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

Abortion: The Selfishness of Eugenics

By ACLJ.org1413399163190

The miracle of life truly is, well, miraculous. How two cells come together to form, perfectly, a small human life. The way a woman’s body changes to accommodate that new life throughout pregnancy. And even afterward, how a woman’s body can continue to sustain that life. The full breadth of this...

read more

The Deception Over Abortion

By Matthew Clark1413308134781

It’s one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve ever read. A woman about to abort her unborn child wrote a sadly naive letter to her child, which she refers to as her “Little Thing”. She is clearly deceived, fallen victim to the abortion distortion pushed by the radical left in the media and our...

read more

Culture of Death Suffers Major Defeat

By Matthew Clark1412715549591

Last week the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling allowing provisions of a pro-life Texas law, vehemently apposed by radical abortion supporters, to go into effect. Earlier a federal district court in Texas issued an injunction blocking aspects of this pro-life law that among other things...

read more

Scripture Could Be Hazardous?

By Francis J. Manion1412354293856

On October 1st, I had the privilege of defending Mr. George Krail, of Burlington County, New Jersey in a trial in Cherry Hill New Jersey Municipal Court. Cherry Hill, a prosperous stretch of post-World War II suburban sprawl that buried the once blooming orchards of South Jersey beneath miles of...

read more