Baltimore still challenging pro-life pregnancy centers

Monday, August 20, 2012
Charlie Butts (

Baltimore's ordinance for pro-life pregnancy centers, or "deceptive" crisis pregnancy centers, is going back to court for another hearing, even though federal judges have ruled that it violates the centers' constitutional rights.

The truth-in-advertising ordinance forces pro-life facilities to post large signs declaring they do not do abortions or provide birth-control. Abortion clinics, however, are not required to post signs of any type. The law has already been deemed unconstitutional by a federal district court and a divided panel of judges, but Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Matt Bowman says the full Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the case again in December.

Bowman, Matt (ADF)"Multiple judges have ruled in favor of the pregnancy centers and have ruled that there is no abortion exception to the First Amendment and that governments cannot use the walls of pro-life centers to speak the government's own message that is antithetical to the help that pregnancy centers offer," the attorney reports.

And he says the ruling in this case will send a message to pro-life pregnancy centers nationwide.

"The government has no business taking over the walls of pro-life centers just because abortion advocates have influenced the government to force people to say things," Bowman insists. "And [in] this case almost all the judges have ruled that the government faces the highest forms of scrutiny and can't satisfy that scrutiny when they try to force people to speak a pro-abortion message."

Cases concerning similar measures are making their way through federal courts in New York and Texas. The ADF attorney asserts that any ruling unfavorable to the pro-life centers will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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