Texas Lawsc. Gammel, Laws of Texas This was soon modified into language that has remained substantially unchanged to the present time.
Reproductive rights advocates have long been concerned that CPCs use dishonest tactics, like internet deception and falsely presenting staff as medical providersin order to trick women who are seeking abortion or contraception services into visiting their facilities.
Inthe California legislature responded to evidence of such deception by enacting the FACT Act, which requires unlicensed pregnancy centers to post a sign on their premises informing patients that they are not licensed and do not employ licensed medical professionals. The FACT Act also requires licensed clinics to post a sign or hand out a notice informing patients that they may qualify for low-cost state programs that provide coverage for contraception, abortion and prenatal care.
Crisis pregnancy centers challenged the law, claiming it violated their right to free speech under the First Amendment. In a decision that broadly protects free speech, the majority asserted a default rule: As such, courts must find them presumptively unconstitutional.
Accordingly, it was found to be unconstitutional compelled speech. The court treated the unlicensed sign requirement differently, even while striking it down. It held that although such a law might not presumptively violate free speech, California had not shown why it was necessary in this case. California, the court said, failed to provide sufficient evidence that patients were visiting unlicensed clinics under the impression that they provided medical care.
In short, while strongly protecting free speech rights, the court allowed for some regulation of professionals who provide services to the public.
This matters because a number of states have laws that single out medical professionals providing abortions and require them to say specific things to their patients, with some states even mandating that doctors lie to the women in their care. Other lawsuits have challenged state laws that force abortion providers to display and verbally describe ultrasound images of the embryo or fetus in detail to a patient, and to do so in the middle of the ultrasound procedure, while the woman is on an examination table and partially disrobed, even if she turns away and objects.
The government cannot require medical professionals to mislead women in an attempt to convince them to continue a pregnancy, as the Mississippi law about nonexistent breast cancer links does.
Julie Rikelman is the senior director of the U. Litigation Program at the Center for Reproductive Rights.
She has successfully challenged abortion restrictions in state and federal courts throughout the country, including at the U. Amy Myrick is a staff attorney for judicial strategy at the Center for Reproductive Rights.
She works on innovative strategies to advance reproductive rights jurisprudence, inside and outside the courts.The debate about abortion has become intertwined with Down syndrome in recent years due to the availability of a noninvasive test.
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