Time is of the essence.
A troubling new law that unconstitutionally targets crisis pregnancy centers in New York City is scheduled to be enacted on July 14th.
That's why today's hearing on our motion for a preliminary injunction asking a federal court to block it was so important.
As you recall, we filed a federal lawsuit in March against the City of New York, challenging the constitutionality of the new ordinance.
Here's the problem:
The ordinance requires crisis pregnancy centers to post signs in the lobbies of their counseling centers, add extensive additional written language to their advertising materials, and to provide oral statements during both "in person" and telephonic conversations regarding the services offered by crisis pregnancy centers.
This ordinance violates the constitutional rights of our clients and forces crisis pregnancy centers to adopt and express views about abortion and contraception that are not their own, that they strongly disagree with.
At a hearing today before Judge William H. Pauley in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, our attorneys argued that the new law violates the constitutional rights - including freedom of speech - of the crisis pregnancy centers. We also asserted that the law forces the centers to espouse a message they disagree with and interferes with their right to craft a message of their own choosing.
We pointed out to the court that this disturbing law violates the constitutionally protected rights to freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of the press, and due process of law, guaranteed to Plaintiffs by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, as well as the New York Constitution.
In this case, we represent The Evergreen Association (Expectant Mother Care Pregnancy Centers-EMC Frontline Pregnancy Centers) and Life Center of New York (AAA Pregnancy Problems Center) which operate a total of 13 crisis pregnancy centers across New York City.
Clearly, with the law set to take effect July 14th, we're expecting a decision soon from the court regarding our motion for a preliminary injunction.
It's our hope that the court will take the appropriate action and put an end to this measure before it ever takes effect.