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.
"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
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.