Supreme Court to hear crisis pregnancy centers' appeal

Additionally, the law also requires unlicensed pregnancy centers to disclose that they are not state-licensed medical facility.

The U.S. Supreme Court today chose to hear a pro-life challenge against a California law that forces pro-life centers, such as pregnancy medical clinics, to advertise abortion. Care Net's brief said the FACT Act targeted pregnancy crisis centers, given the state's lack of regulations on abortion; California is one of about a dozen states that don't require parental consent for a minor to get an abortion, for example.

This marks the first time the Supreme Court has agreed to hear an abortion-related case during the Trump Administration.

The crisis pregnancy centers counsel women not to have abortions. It requires licensed and covered facilities to give all their clients notice that the state "has public programs that provide immediate free or low-priced access to comprehensive family planning services, prenatal care, and abortion, for eligible women".

The law requires licensed healthcare facilities to post a notice saying that the state has programs for "immediate free or low-priced access to comprehensive family planning services. prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women".

The free-speech issue has arisen in different contexts around the country.

The Supreme Court said it will limit its consideration of the California case to the question of free speech, and is therefore not expected to address claims of religious freedom violations.

The other plaintiffs are two centers in San Diego County: Pregnancy Care Center and Fallbrook Pregnancy Resource Center.

A few years ago, NARAL Pro-Choice America lobbied Google and Yahoo to take down "deceptive" pregnancy center ads that appeared at the top of search results for abortion.

Kevin T. Snider, a lawyer for A Woman's Friend Pregnancy Resource Clinic and Alternative Women's Center, argued in court papers that his clients can not be compelled to post notifications in their centers against their religious convictions.

Liberty Counsel's case, Mountain Right to Life v. Becerra, and the other two cases, will be held at the Court until it resolves the NIFLA case, likely in spring 2018. Christian pregnancy centers that employ doctors have filed lawsuits against the state over the new law.

University of California, Davis, law professor Aaron Tang said a ruling in favor of the anti-abortion pregnancy centers could "cut both ways" in the broader abortion debate because it would suggest that pro-life state Legislatures violate the First Amendment rights of abortion providers.

A 2015 Democrat-backed law says these private organizations must clearly inform their clients if they are able to practice medicine and whether health care professionals are on hand.

Vanessa Coleman

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