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California aimed its "FACT Act" at anti-abortion pregnancy centers. Does the Act violate the centers' First Amendment rights?
March 6, 2018
In 2015, the California legislature identified that millions of women were in need of publicly-funded pregnancy-related services (contraception, abortion, prenatal care and delivery). Further, although California had several state-sponsored healthcare programs that would help provide those services, many women were unaware the programs existed.
California determined that religious anti-abortion "crisis pregnancy centers" contributed to the women's lack of information.
The state enacted the "FACT Act" to work towards better informing women. The FACT Act requires all California pregnancy-related medical centers to give their patients information about state-sponsored health options (including the availability of contraception and abortion services). And if a center is unlicensed to give medical services, the FACT Act requires it to disclose that it does not provide medical services.
Feeling singled out, some anti-abortion pregnancy centers sued. The centers (NIFLA in this case), argue the California law discriminates against them based on their viewpoint. The First Amendment, they argue, prohibits the government from forcing people to speak the government's message. And that is exactly what this law makes them do.
Check out our infographic and report on the case. The case will be argued March 20, 2018.
The report comes with an infographic explainer on Levels of Scrutiny! NIFLA will argue for "Strict Scrutiny" in this case.