Politics

Supreme Court Could Hear Case On Religion And Abortion In California

A challenge to a California law which mandates pregnancy crisis centers provide its clients with abortion and contraceptive information may soon head to the Supreme Court.

The Reproductive Fact Act, AB 775, requires that faith-based pregnancy centers — which exist to offer women alternate options to abortion and educate them on the multiple paths they can take regarding pregnancy — to tell their patients that the state will pay for both abortions and contraception as well as what kind of professional medical staff work at the clinic, according to the Huffington Post.

The National Institute For Family And Life Advocates challenged and appealed the law, arguing that forcing religious pregnancy centers to provide information contrary to their beliefs is a violation of the constitutional right to free speech.

The issue is whether “the state of California can compel nonprofit, faith-based, pro-life licensed medical facilities, against their religious convictions and identity, to advertise a government program that provides free or low-cost abortions,” wrote American Center for Law and Justice attorney Jay Sekulow,  according to the Los Angeles Times.

The challenge comes after the California Legislature ruled in 2015 that the state’s pregnancy centers sometimes provide “intentionally deceptive advertising and counseling practices that often confuse, misinform and even intimidate women from making fully informed decisions,” the LA Times reported. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals also rejected the claim that the mandatory abortion information violated the First Amendment, saying that providing information about abortion was simply informing patients of the health services available to them.

The case is expected to reach the Supreme Court as soon as Monday.

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