California’s faith-based pregnancy centers are challenging a state law in the Supreme Court that requires them to tell patrons about abortion, contraception and prenatal care available at no or low cost from the state.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, the centers would also have to give clients a Medi-Cal information phone number and disclose if the center is not licensed. This has spurred a debate over free speech and religious rights and government consumer regulations. There are about 200 pregnancy centers in California, and the outcome of the case could change abortion laws in other states.
Supporters of the current law say women should be given information about all their options and that these centers misrepresent themselves to coerce women not to have abortions. But anti-abortion advocates say the law discriminatory, and uses government overreach to stifle their efforts. The arguments will be heard Tuesday.
We reached out to Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office and received a response that there were no representatives available for comment at the time of this interview.
Matthew McReynolds, senior staff attorney at Pacific Justice Institute, a Sacramento-based legal defense organization specializing in religious rights; the institute has filed a suit challenging the legislation being heard today
Amy Everitt, state director for NARAL Pro-Choice California, a non-profit advocacy group that sponsored the original Reproductive FACT Act (AB 775) signed into law in 2015, which required California pregnancy centers to provide information regarding low-cost and free abortion services