March 24, 2018

Supreme Court to Review California Reproductive FACT Act

14 November 2017, 03:48 | Opal Carroll

Supreme Court takes up First Amendment challenge to California abortion law U.S. Supreme Court on Monday

Supreme Court takes up First Amendment challenge to California abortion law	 	 	 			U.S. Supreme Court on Monday

Does a California law violate the Constitution by requiring anti-abortion pregnancy centers to inform clients about free or low-priced abortion and contraception services?

The AG added, "The Reproductive FACT Act ensures that women in California receive accurate information about their healthcare options..." The centers seek to persuade women to choose parenting or adoption.

Jerry Brown, the Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency Act (FACT) requires licensed health centers to disseminate information to women regarding state programs that provide immediate free or low-priced family planning services, prenatal care and abortions.

"This unbelievable government mandate forces pregnancy help centers and staff to be puppets of the government and channel the state's abortion message", said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, which represents a case brought against California by Mountain Right to Life.

The clinics are represented by David Cortman with Alliance Defending Freedom.

The California law generated lawsuits nearly immediately, with several pregnancy centers suing the state and asking for the law to be struck down, as NPR's Kelly McEvers reported in the fall of 2015. The law applied to hundreds of privately funded pregnancy centers.

A 2011 New York City law requiring centers to disclose whether they offer abortion and emergency contraception and to make referrals if they don't was barred for being overly broad.

The pro-life centers asked the Supreme Court to hear their case after the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against them previous year.

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Last month a California Superior Court Justice put a halt to the law with a permanent injunction, ruling that the state can not force pro-life pregnancy centers to post signage promoting state-covered abortions to their clients.

Additionally, the law requires unlicensed centers to expressly indicate they are not licensed as medical facilities in California. "It does not contain any more speech than necessary, nor does it encourage, suggest, or imply that women should use those state-funded services".

Furthermore, he said the federal district court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the arguments of the plaintiffs.

The Supreme Court on Monday also agreed to decide whether a Minnesota law that bars political buttons and badges at polling places on Election Day is constitutional.

But the justices said in an order issued Monday that they would only consider the free speech clause issue, setting the stage for a significant ruling on compelled speech: to what extent can the government require people to convey speech with which they disagree.

The case started when Andrew Cilek was temporarily prevented from voting while wearing a T-shirt that said "Don't Tread on Me" and bore a Tea Party logo. However, a recent challenge to the law led a Southern California judge to issue a permanent injunction against it, Baptist Press reported.

The 8th Circuit, in St. Louis, upheld the law.

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