The U.S. Supreme Court sided with anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers Tuesday, saying a California law that requires anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers to provide patients with notices disclosing information about state-provided abortion and family-planning services is unconstitutional.
The court split 5-4 along ideological lines in the case, which sat at the intersection of free speech and abortion. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the opinion, and was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Anthony Kennedy.
Tuesday’s ruling from the Supreme Court could impact similar laws enacted in other states, including Hawaii and Illinois.
With the court’s decision, a ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was reversed.
The key question in the case was whether the Reproductive FACT Act, signed by California’s Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown in 2015, violated the free speech rights of anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers.
Under the California law, licensed medical facilities are required to provide clients with a two-sentence notice stating, “California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [phone number].”
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