Pro-life Pregnancy Center Appeal Arguments This Week | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

Update in Crisis Pregnancy Center Appeal

By ACLJ.org1347296602000

This Friday, September 14, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit will hear oral arguments concerning a New York City ordinance that targets pro-life pregnancy centers.

The ordinance requires pregnancy centers—facilities that offer free, non-medical assistance to women who are or may become pregnant—to include lengthy disclaimers in both English and Spanish in all of their advertisements, on signs posted in their lobbies, on their websites, and in any phone or in-person conversation regarding the services that they offer. The ordinance imposes substantial financial penalties for non-compliance; a facility that fails to comply with the ordinance for one month could face $76,000 in fines. The intent and effect of the law is to single out facilities that oppose abortion for disfavored treatment, while abortion-providing facilities are exempt from the law.

In the litigation, the ACLJ represents The Evergreen Association (Expectant Mother Care Pregnancy Centers-EMC Frontline Pregnancy Centers) and Life Center of New York (AAA Pregnancy Problems Center), which operate numerous pro-life pregnancy centers across New York City. The ordinance would prevent these Plaintiffs from using certain forms of advertising and would significantly increase the cost of other forms of advertising.

The ACLJ has alleged that the ordinance violates the freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of the press, and due process of law guaranteed to the Plaintiffs by the United States and New York Constitutions. Similar ordinances have been struck down in whole or in part by federal judges in Baltimore and Montgomery County, Maryland.

Last July, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the City of New York from enforcing the ordinance, concluding that there was a high likelihood that the ordinance violated the Plaintiffs’ free speech rights and was impermissibly vague. The judge stated that the law was not comparable to laws that regulate commercial advertising because the pregnancy centers offer assistance for free in furtherance of their religious and charitable missions. In addition, the judge concluded that there are multiple ways for the City of New York to protect its interests, including through the neutral enforcement of existing laws, without forcing the pro-life pregnancy centers to speak a government-crafted message.

The City of New York appealed the judge’s decision to the Second Circuit, and briefs were filed by both sides from October 2011 to February 2012. The case was consolidated with another lawsuit brought by pro-life facilities that are or may be subject to the ordinance’s requirements. A panel of three judges will hear oral argument and subsequently issue a decision.

Latest in
Pro Life

Looking for the Silver Lining

By Walter M. Weber1467223330083

The Supreme Court's 5-3 decision in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt , striking down two Texas abortion regulations, was a great disappointment . No question. Assuming the role of Supreme Medical Review Board, the Court took a magnifying glass to scrutinize the Texas regulations for any flaws or...

read more

Supreme Court Puts Women at Risk

By Jay Sekulow1467052217627

It’s the first time in nearly a decade since the Supreme Court has weighed in on the issue of abortion. In Monday’s 5-3 decision, the high court struck down a Texas law that required common-sense safety standards for abortion clinics – regulations designed to protect women. In writing for the...

read more

SCOTUS Puts Profits Over Women’s Health

By Jay Sekulow1467043213457

It’s extremely disappointing. The U.S. Supreme Court today struck down commonsense safety standards for abortion clinics – regulations designed to protect women. The 5-3 decision in the case of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt struck down a Texas law regulating abortion clinics. The Court missed...

read more

Briefs Filed to Expose Illegal Abortions

By ACLJ.org1466102628040

Last summer, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) began to release a series of videos documenting criminal and other illegal acts of abortion providers, medical researchers, and fetal tissue procurement companies after the group spent a few years compiling an extensive collection of videos and...

read more