Pro-Life Pregnancy Care Centers’ Free Speech Rights Upheld in Case with National Implications
“Pregnancy Care Centers provide real care and hope for women who are facing unplanned pregnancies. These life-affirming centers should not be forced to promote the abortion industry’s agenda in order to help women,” said AUL’s Director of Legal Communications, Deanna Wallace.
Washington, D.C. (01-05-18) — Today a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit unanimously affirmed that a Baltimore City ordinance requiring pro-life pregnancy care centers to post signs about abortion in their waiting rooms, violated their First Amendment free speech rights.
Americans United for Life previously filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of Care Net and pregnancy care centers in Maryland, whose free speech rights were being trampled by the abortion industry.
There has been a recent push by the abortion industry to force the pro-life community to push an abortion message in pregnancy care centers by requiring signs about abortion to be posted. The abortion industry has worked for the passage of multiple ordinances across the country to force their abortion messages on pro-life pregnancy centers. Several other lawsuits involving similar ordinances and state statutes are currently moving through the courts, including the upcoming Supreme Court case NIFLA v. Becerra.
“The ordinance in the Baltimore case is a blatant attempt to undermine the life-affirming work of pregnancy care centers by forcing the posting of messages about abortions in their facilities,” said Wallace. “Clearly, the abortion industry feels threatened by the ability of these dedicated pregnancy care centers to provide women with alternatives to abortion, and is trying to protect their profits by forcing pro-life pregnancy centers to promote abortion. AUL is extremely pleased that the Fourth Circuit unanimously recognized the free speech rights of these commendable pro-life centers, and we look forward to continuing to be active in court cases defending their ability to serve women and their children with love and respect.”
AUL’s brief, which is available here, was filed in the Fourth Circuit case Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore.