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Supreme Court to Review California Reproductive FACT Act

14 November 2017

In 2014, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Richmond, Virginia, struck down a North Carolina law that required abortion providers to show and describe an ultrasound to the pregnant woman.

The Arizona-based Alliance Defending Freedom is before the high court in another high profile First Amendment case challenging compelled speech this term: Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, brought by a Colorado baker who argues that the state can not, under anti-discrimination laws, compel him to create a wedding cake for same-sex couples.

Tang said the case will likely be argued in March 2018 with a ruling sometime before the end of June 2018.

"'Speech-free zones' can not be reconciled with the First Amendment's free speech clause", the challengers told the justices in their brief seeking review. That's the question the Supreme Court is taking on, in a new case it accepted on Monday.

California is defending the Reproductive FACT (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency) Act, passed in 2015.

Evangelical groups, including the National Association of Evangelicals and pro-life ministry Care Net, have filed amicus briefs siding with NIFLA.

Liberty Counsel represents three pro-life crisis pregnancy centers in Southern California, all of which offer women experiencing crisis pregnancies resources, counseling, advice and alternatives to abortion. "And given the Legislature's findings regarding the existence of" the centers, "which often present misleading information to women about reproductive medical services, California's interest in presenting accurate information about the licensing status of individual clinics is particularly compelling".

The law requires licensed healthcare facilities to post a notice saying that the state has programs for "immediate free or low-priced access to comprehensive family planning services. prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women".

The Supreme Court is stepping into a free speech fight over California's attempt to regulate anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers. NIFLA had initially petitioned the court for both First Amendment claims. This unbelievable government mandate forces pregnancy help centers and staff to be puppets of the government and channel the state's abortion message. The Supreme Court says it will consider the law in its upcoming session.

Furthermore, he said the federal district court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the arguments of the plaintiffs.

Liberty Counsel is an global nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics.

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Supreme Court to Review California Reproductive FACT Act