Anti-Abortion Crisis Pregnancy Centers Must Reveal If They Have Doctors On Staff, Appeals Court Confirms
New York City has been fighting a long-running battle with anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers, and today that fight advanced forward another inch. The city wants those CPCs to disclose to their clients that they're not medical facilities, that they don't have doctors on staff, that they don't offer abortions or abortion referrals, and that the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene suggests that if you're pregnant, or think you might be, you should really see a licensed healthcare provider. In 2011, the New York City Council passed a law requiring CPCs to do all those things. As you might expect, it quickly got messy, legally speaking.
Photo by Caleb Ferguson Chris Slatter, Expectant Mother Care founder and president, pictured in his office chapel
Expectant Mother Care, the crisis pregnancy center chain with 12 locations across New York City, joined by two other crisis pregnancy centers, argued the city's law violated their rights to freedom of speech and religion. A federal judge agreed and struck down that law, and so the case proceeded to an appeals court.
Today, the United States 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that yes, crisis pregnancy centers in New York do need to clarify that if they have an actual medical doctor on staff. But they also ruled in the CPCs' favor on two other things, namely that forcing CPCs to tell their clients that they don't provide abortions, abortion referrals, or emergency contraceptions and that the city health department recommends they see a real doctor, would "impermissibly compel speech."More »