" "Home " Nation " Supreme Court to hear arguments about California abortion law

Liberal justices - including Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and even feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg - all pushed back on California's arguments defending the law.

Conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices on Tuesday signaled sympathy toward Christian-based facilities that argued that a California law requiring them to post signs disclosing the availability of state-subsidized abortions and birth control violates their right to free speech. Nationwide, about 2,500 of these clinics exist - more than the total number of abortion clinics - and these crisis pregnancy centers often seek to effectively strip patients of their ability to choose an abortion.

"So through a clever series of legislative gerrymandering, the state has ended up with a result that only nonprofit pro-life pregnancy centers are required to post the notice", Farris said.

It ruled the California law amounted to "reasonable licensing" by the state.

"California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-priced access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women", the bulletin reads. First, it forces the pregnancy centers that are medical clinics to point the way to abortion by providing a phone number that they can call to access state-funded abortions.

The case represents a crossroads of two contentious issues: abortion and the breadth of the right to freedom of speech under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.

The state of California, at the behest of the abortion industry, is using its power to force pro-life pregnancy centers to be complicit in abortion by telling women how to get one free or at a reduced cost. That is exactly what the First Amendment is supposed to forbid.

"What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander", he said. The most likely outcome is a fairly narrow decision targeting aspects of this particular state law.

Think Progress noted that Zauderer v. Office of Disciplinary Counsel-a precedent ruling against certain deceptive advertising, which was cited by the Justice Department in a brief for the NIFLA case-could possibly lead to a ruling that also applies to laws compelling doctors' disclosures on abortion.

A pro-life pregnancy resource center may be the only nonabortive option available for disadvantaged mothers who wish to choose life. By the statute's terms, all ads run by such a clinic must include the required disclosure, in a font that is the same size as the other text of the ad. But California's deputy solicitor general, Joshua Klein, said the sign would not trigger the requirement.

But Kennedy criticized the question. Even Sotomayor suggested to him that this indicates the state's law goes too far. The disclaimers are created to prevent pro-life centers from even telling women that the centers exist, and the disclaimers wrongly imply that the centers should have a license - when that's just not true.

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"It's important because women, especially young women seeking help, deserve to know all the information and be told about every option out there", Lauren told Teen Vogue.

"They're really the exact flip side of the requirements in this case", said Kagan.

But his questions Tuesday were nearly uniformly hostile to the law, and he was even short with other justices who seemed to defend it.

The other side is saying that we need to end the lies about pregnancy resource centers.

On the other hand, Justice Kagan point out what California's law here is doing is nearly the flip side of what the Supreme Court has said states can require doctors who perform abortions to say to their clients.

He was also highly skeptical of Klein's claims that the law is not targeted at facilities that send out pro-life messages.

But the state of California disagrees with their pro-life message and doesn't want these centers spreading it.

Klein, arguing for California, argued that the state has a protected interest in ensuring women have all of the information necessary to make an informed decision regarding their pregnancy.

He told the Supreme Court on Tuesday the law narrowly targets pro-life facilities by putting in exemptions that these groups can not meet without violating their core beliefs. The federal Supreme Court recognized that in 1943 in West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, when it held that forcing Jehovah's Witnesses to salute the flag and pledge allegiance violated freedom of speech: "If there is one fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein".

"If one decides this case based on the principle that the government can not compel someone to say something they are opposed to, then I think all of those laws are challengeable", said Wendy Mariner, a professor of health law at Boston University, to CALmatters. Oral arguments are being heard in the Supreme Court on Tuesday. NIFLA could prove to be a very minor skirmish in the abortion wars, but it is one California appears destined to lose. "But today, the Supreme Court can instead protect the rights of all people to freely speak in defense of those who cannot speak for themselves".

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