The largest group of pro-life pregnancy clinics in New York City is waiting for a Supreme Court ruling in the latest of long-term legal challenges against its work.
EMC Frontline Pregnancy Centers has been targeted by a city ordinance that requires the centers to post signs referring clients to abortion clinics and include a statement in their advertising that they do not provide abortions.
Most of the ordinance was struck down by a federal judge in the 2014 U.S. Supreme Court case Expectant Care Pregnancy Centers EMC Frontline Pregnancy v City of New York, New York.
However, New York City recently made an additional demand according to Chris Slattery, who heads the pregnancy help centers.
“The city tried to again compel speech,” Slattery explains, “by trying to force us to post signage [saying] we're not a medical facility. The requirement is extended to include advertising and all contacts with the public, in big posters and banners in our offices.”
The truth is EMC does provide medically supervised ultrasounds in two of its clinics.
“Their immediate goal is to demolish our effective advertising efforts and foist false and confusing office signage on us,” Slattery warns. “There's been a 35-year effort to bring down pregnancy centers with city and state regulations by attorneys general, by cities, and by state governments.”
He contends that speech compelled by the government is not free speech guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
Slattery expects a ruling concerning the new demands within a month but, at the same time, the U.S. Supreme Court has already agreed to hear arguments in a similar case in California, where the state has attempted to force pro-life organizations to refer clients for abortions.