The following comes from an October 14 Christian News article by Heather Clark:
SACRAMENTO — A federal appeals court has rejected a request for an injunction against a California law that requires pro-life pregnancy centers to provide information on government abortion programs.
“California has a substantial interest in the health of its citizens, including ensuring that its citizens have access to and adequate information about constitutionally-protected medical services like abortion,” wrote Judge Dorothy Nelson, appointed to the bench by then President Jimmy Carter, on behalf of a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
“And given that many of the choices facing pregnant women are time sensitive, such as a woman’s right to have an abortion before viability, we find convincing the AG’s argument that because the licensed notice is disseminated directly to patients whenever they enter a clinic, it is an effective means of informing women about publicly-funded pregnancy services,” she said.
Violators will be fined $500 for the first offense and $1,000 for each infringement afterward.
Several pregnancy centers filed suit to challenge the law, which went into effect on Jan. 1, but none so far has been successful in obtaining relief.
In February, San Diego Judge John Houston became the fourth to deny the injunction, opining, “The state clearly has a legitimate interest in ensuring pregnant women are fully advised of their rights and treatment options when making reproductive health care decisions and the required disclosure is undeniably related to that interest.”
Friday’s decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Houston’s denial. The office of Attorney General Kamala Harris had defended the law in court.
“It’s bad enough if the government tells you what you can’t say, but a law that tells you what you must say — under threat of severe punishment — is even more unjust and dangerous,” said ADF senior counsel Matt Bowman following release of the ruling. “In this case, political allies of abortionists are seeking to punish pro-life pregnancy centers, which offer real hope and help to women.”
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