A landmark religious freedom case especially threatens low-income women and those of color

Members of Chicago feminist group FURIE protest the crisis pregnancy center The Women's Center in Chicago on Nov. 15, 2014. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

(RNS) — A case going before the Supreme Court this week could redefine public accountability for organizations that provide false information or mislead women about their reproductive health options under the guise of religious freedom.

The court will hear arguments in NIFLA v. Becerra on Tuesday (March 20). For years, fake women’s health centers have exploited women by masquerading as real health clinics, often locating next to real clinics, adopting nearly identical names and even clothing their nonmedical staff in scrubs, all to give the impression of being a genuine health provider. The plaintiff in the case now before the Supreme Court, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, joins these fake women’s health centers in trying to overturn the Reproductive FACT Act – a commonsense California law that requires these storefront operations to explain that they are not a licensed medical facility and provide information on how to find one.

This law was enacted to curb the harm caused by fake health centers and reduce the delays in getting real care that women experience when they are duped by these tactics. Women need accurate information about their options when it comes to pregnancy and family planning – not shame, coercion or misinformation. The lies that these fake centers tell endanger the health and safety of pregnant women – especially low-income pregnant women, women of color and immigrants.

Fake women’s health centers have a well-documented history of providing inaccurate, incomplete or misleading information with the aim of coercing women to continue a pregnancy. Moreover, some women may choose to avoid or delay seeking care from actual medical professionals after consulting the staff of these centers, potentially leading to serious health complications that could have been identified and treated earlier.

These centers also advertise heavily and frequently target young women and communities of color, including Asian-American and Pacific Islander, or AAPI, women. Many of these operations are also deliberately located in low-income neighborhoods, neighborhoods of color, urban centers and counties with higher than average rates of segregation. AAPI women are already a medically underserved community due to a lack of information and resources that are culturally sensitive and provided in the languages we speak. Fake health centers create additional barriers to the care we need. It’s shameful.

Every day, AAPI women make reproductive decisions while being subject to discrimination and racial stereotypes about their countries of heritage. For example, we have seen Congress taking up the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, which pushes abortion care out of reach and perpetuates harmful stereotypes about AAPI women – in addition to abuses of prosecutorial discretion to criminalize pregnancy and punish the reproductive decisions and health outcomes.

When women are confronted with false choices, or even worse, not given agency over the conditions under which we become parents, the outcome can be devastating. Allowing fake health centers to spread their misinformation in our communities does real harm to low-income communities and women of color and threatens our ability to make decisions about our own reproductive health.

This landmark case is another reminder that women, especially low-income women and those of color, must deal with threats from coercive laws and fight for agency over our bodies. Whether it is not being able to make our own reproductive decisions, dealing with horrible and unsafe working conditions or having to worry about our documentation status, women of color in this country are constantly faced with false choices. Many of us do not get to have a say in what happens to our bodies, our families and our communities.

Fake women’s health centers and religious rights groups have argued that the Reproductive FACT Act violates their freedom of speech. But this is not about freedom of speech. Let’s be clear: This case is about a deliberate effort by opponents of abortion to mislead and silence the conversation around reproductive decisions – particularly at a moment when women need real information and quality care. Fake health centers create a smokescreen that deflects from the real issue – that all women, regardless of their race, ethnicity, sexuality or socioeconomic class, deserve to be fully informed and empowered to make their own decisions about their reproductive health.

As a Christian, I am deeply concerned to see people who profess to be Christians using deceptive tactics to lure women into making the wrong decision – thus forcing them to deal with unintended consequences. Religious beliefs about abortion may vary, but I am certain that the Christian faith remains centered on the values of integrity and truthfulness, not exploiting the concerns of vulnerable communities.

In these difficult times, we should recommit ourselves to trying to understand others whom we may disagree with. We need to treat our fellow human beings with kindness and compassion – no matter what our personal beliefs.

(Sung Yeon Choimorrow is executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect those of Religion News Service.)

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  • “fake women’s health centers have exploited women by masquerading as real health clinics, often locating next to real clinics, adopting nearly identical names and even clothing their nonmedical staff in scrubs, all to give the impression of being a genuine health provider.”
    They couldn’t be Christians if they were lying, could they?

  • Real health centers facilitate acquiring knowledge of ALL safe sex practices, not merely the one driven by religious dogma.

  • The issue seems to have less to do about religion than it does about facts. The facts are that the Constitution prevents abortion and euthanasia. The fact that this is only understood by people of faith, shows the lack of education is in the abortion camp.

    The SCOTUS Justices violated ministerial Law, whether by ignorance or willingly, does not change this fact.

  • In our last year of law school, my wife and I went to Planned Parenthood to see if she was pregnant. They told us that she was and asked us, “Do you want to keep the baby. We said joyfully,”Yes!” and they were shocked. They asked again to make sure we were sure. What kind of question was that for them to ask us. It was actually none of their business, but they felt they had a duty to ask. Really! So when you talk about deception, try to understand that those who support abortion are deceptive as well. Further, Margaret Sanger was a racist who tried to use abortion to rid our country of undesirable children which included African American babies. When you want to remove George Washington and Thomas Jefferson from US History because of their slave ownership, maybe Margaret Sanger should be on the list of those who need to be expunged. Revisionism History works well for the likes of Hitler and Stalin, but not so in US. Just sayin!

  • So you got allegedly actual medical advice from qualified physicians at a clinic which performs abortions.

    Frankly given your need to repeat oft told lies about Planned Parenthood’s founder and racism, I sincerely doubt the veracity of your first paragraph. Lying seems to be a major part of the anti-abortion POV. Your post appears to be par for the course for such veracity impairment.

    This case deals with places pretending to be clinics and lying to people going there in order to push an agenda. Free speech does not cover willful deception to the public.

  • ” The facts are that the Constitution prevents abortion and euthanasia. ”

    Not true in any way. Please give me the section where you would get that impression,

    As the article notes, lying is a major part of furthering the anti-abortion POV.

  • We’re both lawyers Ben. Do you think we would actually have given them something that made them think we were confused. We expressed joy and they expressed shock. Simple.

  • “The facts are that the Constitution prevents abortion and euthanasia. The fact that this is only understood by people of faitH.”

    The facts are, the constitution mentions neither, except by implication in the 10th amendment, which would tell the government to stay out of other people’s business.

    The facts are also that”People of faith” means to you people who think like you, and see your faith as a way to control other people. Plenty of people of faith have no problem with either, because they don’t think it is their business to manage the business of other people for them.

  • No we didn’t get medical advice. We got their opinion which we didn’t ask for. Further, we went their for a pregnancy test only not for abortion advice. Are you really saying that abortion is only what Planned Parenthood is about? They would argue against that. Finally, it seems pro-abortionist can only use names and lying accusations to stop debate. Too bad, but it doesn’t work for me and many others. I know the words Margaret Sanger used. You can’t get around it. It’s not opinion. It’s history. Too bad the icon of abortion is flawed. To say someone is lying is cute but it isn’t thoughtful.

  • You did a lot to kill any credibility you had in your story. Your need to go into a canned fictional talking point about Planned Parenthood makes one doubt the story happened or as you described it.

    Anyone can go online to find the info to refute the second part of your original post about Sanger. Read the Snopes citation for it and get back to me.

    This whole article is about facilities willfully lying to people to push an anti abortion agenda.

    Even the people defending the clinics admit they are not being forthcoming and honest about what they are or their goals. They just want to pretend it’s free speech or religious belief.

    I think you are full of it. Lying appears to be necessary for your view. You can’t even use honest terms. “Unborn child” is a contradiction.

    Nobody needs to debate you on the subject of abortion because you have no say in the physical burdens of pregnancy. You are not interested in rational discussion. You want to simply pretend to have a moral high ground and call people baby killers and the like.

  • In January, the Fourth Circuit ruled against a Baltimore ordinance that required pregnancy clinics that don’t offer abortion to post a sign saying as much in their waiting rooms. “After seven years of litigation and a 1,295-page record before us, the City does not identify a single example [!] of a woman who entered the Greater Baltimore Center’s waiting room under the misimpression that she could obtain an abortion there.”

    The issue before the court is compelled speech. If the issue was fraud, a less drastic statute would suffice.

  • How does the state decide what is “real free speech” and what is “pretend free speech”? Imagine if one political party outlawed the speech of another party (or compelled that party to post a rebuttal to their own platform) because one or more of their candidates lied or allegedly lied. That would be the end of free speech and democracy in this country.

  • The issue here is compelled speech. Does the American Lung Association have to post in their offices a notice that cigarettes are still legal? Does AA have to post a sign advertising the benefits of an occasional drink? Can the state force McDonalds to post a sign that there is a health food restaurant down the block?

    If speech can be compelled or prohibited because the motivation for the speech is religion, the First Amendment is dead.

  • Lying to people in a public setting is not protected speech. Especially holding one’s self out to be a facility capable of giving medical advice when one is not qualified to do it.

    Your example is stupid beyond words. Political speech is recognized as political speech. However, even politicians however can’t lie about other people in a defamatory way and they get in trouble for lying to the public on facts. Lying has consequences and is not protected speech.

    In this case clinics are pretending to be giving medical advice, but are not qualified to do so. That is willful deception on the level of any kind of fraud. It is not recognized as exaggeration or expression of religious belief. It is giving people advice under false pretenses which can be harmful if taken at face value.

  • But, PP did not try to coerce you into having an abortion, did they? And really, Margaret Sangers’politics are not the issue. The issue is that these pregnancy centers are generally deceivers and liars.

  • Planned Parenthood helped me out when I was young. No, it was not for abortion. They do so much more.

  • So you are left with stupid analogy because you can’t defend the issue on its own facts.

    None of your examples lie to the public by design nor hold themselves out to be anything other than what they obviously are. These are not healthcare centers, but hold themselves out as if they are. They provide advice meant to be taken with the credulity of medical professionals but are not.

    Better analogies.
    A storefront calling yourself Attorney at Law, but are unlicensed.

    Tax Preparers who are unlicensed signing the forms of their customers.

    Calling a GNC store a pharmacy

  • As you were told before, and continue to misrepresent or hide here, that case turned on issues of facts concerning the clinics. With no finding of deception here, there was no discussion of protected or coerced speech.

    The 4th Circuit wrote the opinion in such a way that it could not be appealed but also in a way that it can’t be used for precedent. Since the issue turned on the factual issue of not “finding examples of misimpressions”, is a factual determination by the trial court and outside the realm of appellate discussion. The argument for laws designed to prevent fraud or misleading the public never got to be justified.

    The issue before the Court is whether lying to the public is protected speech. They already distinguished themselves from the 4th Circuit because the Appeals Court found the facts supported the law for the disclaimers as “professional speech”. It won’t take a genius to figure out that lying is not protected speech here.

  • Once again it’s the Spudster making comments. We were in the third year of law school at GW. We were in our early twenties. It was during Watergate. We were hippie law students searching for the truth of the universe. Nixon was not our hero. We have vivid memories of what happened and you’re not getting away with calling us liars. I did go online about Sanger who said she was trying To help African Americans control their birth rate because of their poverty. Sorry that you can’t understand what she was getting at. She was also rebuked by Planned Parenthood for speaking at a Klan meeting. Hitler used the same logic on Jews, Gypsys and homosexuals. So your websites are just speaking their party line which you agree with. Next I hope the SC sides with free speech and not the silencers of free speech. The State can’t say this is a medical issue and that’s it. Freedom of Speech is greater than the Nanny State. So nice that you can refute arguments by calling people liars or names, but we’re not going away. We’re just as smart as the opposition and well trained to refute the arguments you present. Shalom to you Spuddie.

  • Frankly I don’t believe your story at this point. You undermined yourself with giving us the usual fictions about the founder of Planned Parenthood as if it were relevant. You have an axe to grind.

    You continue to lie about Sanger as well. Repeating an oft-debunked meme. I posted articles which demonstrated how full of crap those assertions were. I hardly call Snopes or Politifact “party line” sources. Their entire existence is to point out oft told internet rumors and false public statements.

    I am calling you a liar because you are not acting in a credible
    fashion. Feel free to be offended. I don’t care. The more you post, the
    less believable you are. It becomes more obvious how much of a wingnut
    you are.

    “The State can’t say this is a medical issue and that’s it. ”

    They can, if the facilities are holding themselves out to the public as if they are medical providers.

    The articles on the subject shows blatant lying is not only part and parcel with the anti-abortion POV, its proponents want such behavior protected by law. Its not a matter of denying that they are being deceptive, its looking for an excuse to do it.

    Free speech does not cover holding yourself out to others in public in a deceptive and dishonest manner. But I guess if it gets what you want, lying is perfectly excusable. Right?

  • Gertz v Welch was a defamation. It’s a stretch to say that it applies to the current case. By the way, politicians lie to the citizens all the time. Maybe we should take them to court as well. Did the “clinics” in question give medical advice or exercise their free speech rights. Thank God you’re not in charge of free speech. Sounds like 1984 but all y’all aren’t going to get away with it.

  • If you believe in a penumbra of unspoken rights like the right of privacy you might be right. But if you believe that the SC is fallible like they were in Buck v Bell that three generations of imbeciles is enough or that the Japanese internment was ok, then your mindless reliance on the SC is misplaced. If you haven’t been to law school yet, that might be your best next step. Shalom again Spuddie.

  • Of course. Because it makes sense that a right to privacy and a right to personal autonomy, although not mentioned expressly in the bill of rights, is fundamental. Without such a right, no others can possibly exist. It is not only my belief, it is the law of the land. 🙂

    But most importantly, if your POV had any moral or legal leg to stand on, then why is this need to blatantly lie to people to further its ends?

    The argument given by the facilities here is not a denial they are lying to people who come there. Its that such lying is somehow religious expression or freedom of speech.

    SCOTUS is the last word on Constitutional interpretation. In the last 40 years and three challenges, the last one fairly recently, they have been clear about the right for a woman to make choices concerning whether to keep a pregnancy. They are fallible but their word is binding law nonetheless.

    My guess, you are a Liberty Law School grad? 🙂

  • When politicians commit fraud, they get in trouble. When they represent things about themselves and others which are not true, it is hardly protected. Many times they face penalties for doing so. Sometimes even criminal and civil liability for their lies. If such lying was protected speech it would keep such penalties or criticism from happening. So your example is beyond stupid. It is the very opposite of what free speech would entail.

    But its so good that you demonstrate that you are bereft of moral standing for your position. Evidently lying is perfectly OK if it gets you what you want.

    You really have no clue what free speech entails. Calling out blatant fraud is not an attack on your free speech. The only people looking to get away with something immoral are the clinics here. They want to lie to the public with impunity and without consequences.

    Your position is not from Orwell, it is Lewis Carroll. Somehow in your topsy turvy wonderland, liars are virtuous and facts form some kind of attack.

  • Would you like to have a copy of my JD from GWU? How about my three state bar memberships and federal bar certificates? Sounds fake because you only believe in one party line.

  • You repeat slurs about Sanger while voluntarily deciding to go into a PP clinic? Yeah, that doesn’t pass the sniff test.

    That post was more indicative of a deplorable that doesn’t know proper history or ethics and would rather engage in lying and strawmanning.

  • Not many knew about Sanger in 1973. We went there for a a pregnancy test. Alas, your just another person who can only use names to discuss issues. I have quotes from Planned Parenthood about what Sanger said and their rebuke of her for speaking at a Klan meeting. I’m a citizen, not a deplorable and a staunch advocate for the 1st Amendment which means the State isn’t the boss of speech even if you don’t like it. The ACLU defended the Nazis right to march in Skokie, IL where countless Holocaust survivors live. If people like me didn’t exist, it may be your turn one day to be silenced. By the way, how does your sniff test operate?

  • Wrong. George Washington University, The National Law Center. The Surpeme Court had it wrong on Dredd Scott and the Underground Railroad made no note of it. BTW, no laws were broken by the facilities except maybe unconstitutional ones. And the Congress could remove jurisdiction from the SC on any matter they choose.

  • Yep, typical deplorable talking points and deflections. Nothing you’ve said is believable. For starters:

    “When you want to remove George Washington and Thomas Jefferson from US History”

    Who said this? Be specific, because this argument doesn’t exist anywhere on the left.

    “Revisionism History works well for the likes of Hitler and Stalin”

    When you go straight Godwin in your first post is when that raises all sorts of deplorable red flags. Especially since you clearly don’t keep up with internet rules and how Godwin is only applicable for Trump.

    “The ACLU defended the Nazis right to march in Skokie, IL where countless Holocaust survivors live. ”

    Classic deplorable tactic, going after the ACLU. Especially since you just said that you were for the first amendment. Just gibberish all around.

    Got any other hilarious mistakes and fallacies that you need my help with?

  • Politicians lie to the public all the time and that’s not fraud per se or is it actionable under law. Tell me Spuddie, what’s your legal experience. I have been a lawyer for 44 years. I’m not even buying your fraud argument. Have you read the trial transcript or the Supreme Court briefs? No my version is from another source where “good is called evil and evil good. “A lie to you can be the truth to another. Let’s say that an unborn baby is protected by the law and Roe v. Wade was bonkers. Then your position would be bereft of moral standing. Science is slowly heading towards changing the definition of viability. It doesn’t seem possible for your world to accept any idea that contradicts your thinking. I’ll listen and weigh your thinking, but all you got is names, characterizations an generalizations all of which, btw, would not be received into evidence in a court of law. Shalom Spuddie.

  • Your analogies don’t apply to this situation. You’re using examples of lawyers, pharmacists and tax preparers to battle political speech. It’s not going to work with the SC. Maybe they’ll have to change their name or costumes. Do you think everyone who visits them are brain dead?

  • Depends on what they are lying about. Famous cases involved defamation of opponents and “Stolen Valor”. People are more than free to criticize and point out the lies politicians make. You are arguing that doing something on those lines is somehow attacking a right to free speech. I can’t think of a more ridiculous view in my life. It makes me doubt you were ever a lawyer.

    “No my version is from another source where “good is called evil and evil good.”

    The Bible. Where all sorts of immoral acts are justified in one form or another. Its a very poor primer on moral behavior. 🙂

    “Let’s say that an unborn baby is protected by the law and Roe v. Wade was bonkers”

    Lets not. You already have enough problems dealing with actual facts. We don’t need to go into hypothetical here.

    “Then your position would be bereft of moral standing. ”

    But it isn’t and I am not the one defending liars here.

    Nor am I pretending that holding one’s self out to the public as being qualified to give medical advice when you are not qualified is protected speech. Its fraud. Its harmful fraud. Being called out on it is not an infringement of free speech. Its protecting the public from harm caused by dishonest behavior and public image.

  • So you say. Given the nonsense you are posting and your willingness to defend blatant lying/fraud as if it were protected speech, I have little reason to take your word at face value.

    You offer no arguments against abortion rights which are novel. You offer no criticism of it which is cogent.

    “And the Congress could remove jurisdiction from the SC on any matter they choose.”

    So now you are saying that when in doubt, if you can’t cough up a sane legal argument, “might makes right” and there are other ways to get your way. Constitutional amendment is highly unlikely. Your view is by far the minority.

  • Really?

    People holding themselves out as being able to give professional advice but really can’t is not a close analogy here?

    I guess once you start pretending that pointing out lies and fraud attack free speech then you can get pretty ridiculous from there.

    The advice those clinics give to women is not political speech, nor represented by them as such. It is given under the guise of professional advice and counseling. It is holding one’s self out as an expert but really lacking expertise.

    If the facilities called themselves ministries, then maybe you would have a point. But that would also defeat their purpose. Which is to deceive women about their family planning options under the guise of expert advice.

    If your view was so legally sacrosanct and moral, then why the need for deception?

  • The fact remains, and you continue to ignore it, that neither court could find or took the trouble to provide any evidence of even one individual being deceived. You would think that cases of individuals actually being deceived or harmed would be essential in supporting your case, a case that turns on the First Amendment, but you don’t seem to have any. You haven’t proved the clinics any had any clients who complained that they were deceived.

    California apparently has never in all the years filed charges against even one such a center for “false and misleading advertising.” I know of no such civil cases in California either.

    Justice Gorsuch in oral arguments seemed to favor “very familiar” anti-fraud laws which would “have the virtue of applying evenly to all persons and all industries” (think equal justice under law) rather than a law that seemed to Justices Alito and Kagen to be targeted in a “very suspicious manner” and “gerrymandered.” This begins to look to the justices very much like targeting unpopular speech and compelling speech against the wishes of the speaker rather than addressing alleged false advertising, which California never seemed to care much about before.

  • The holes include apparent dates and locations using Waterfate and GWU.. At that time as far as I can determine abortion was only provided in Syracuse.

  • When asked if the statute intended to address the problem of pregnant women generally not getting enough information about their options or, instead, was it enacted out of a belief that crisis pregnancy centers were misleading women about their options, Joshua A. Klein, deputy solicitor general of California, said it was the former, rather than the latter. That would explain why the state never, even brought a fraud case against any of these clinics. But then Justice Gorsuch rightly noted that the state can use other methods to make sure that pregnant women are aware of their options, rather than free-riding “on a limited number of clinics to provide that information”? “If you’re trying to educate a class” of people “about their rights,” Gorsuch stressed, “it’s pretty unusual to force a private speaker to do that for you under the First Amendment.”

  • As noted in oral arguments today, very familiar anti-fraud laws would suffice to solve this problem, and the state has never brought a fraud case against even one of these clinics. The deputy solicitor general of California admitted the law’s purpose was not to address fraud, but to get more information out to women on their options. That may have been a fatal admission, for as Justice Gorsuch noted, the state can use other methods to make sure that pregnant women are aware of their options, rather than free-riding on a limited number of clinics to provide that information. “If you’re trying to educate a class” of people “about their rights,” Gorsuch stressed, “it’s pretty unusual to force a private speaker to do that for you under the First Amendment.” After oral arguments today, this case looks more and more like a compelled speech case and less and less like a case about fraud.

  • Actually since they are generally non profit, it doesn’t meet most civil and criminal definitions of fraud.

    But a licensing law would probably get rid of them once and for all. Force them to abide by medical ethical standards or to declare themselves ministries.

    Free speech arguments are not being taken seriously here.

  • Which means they never ruled on “free speech” issues at all. They made a narrow ruling on the facts which has no value as precedent, nor produces questions of law which could be appealed.

  • Sounds fake because you sound like a raving wingnut who is spinning a tale which sounds fake and following it up with infantile rants unrelated to the subject.

    You are trying to invoke a level of personal authority here which can’t be taken seriously in an online discussion. You can call yourself a brain surgeon/astronaut/rock star for all anyone needs to care.

    Your arguments are incoherent nonsense. It’s not a party line issue. Plenty of people here can state a case for conservative causes in a saner manner than you.

  • She was opposed to abortion for white women of means and what she considered sufficient intelligence if they actually wanted the child.

  • Says the non-attorney whose track record in reading law and interpreting it qualifies him to stay out of the discussion.

  • The difficulty with your statement is the use of the word “lying”.

    In the view of many every religious organization is “lying”.

    Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323 (1974) dealt with First Amendment protection against defamation claims brought by private individuals. It is completely irrelevant to this case.

  • You are slow on the uptake here.

    LB already brought it up. It was decided on the facts and narrowly tailored to lack precedent and be nearly impossible to appeal.

    No evidence of deception from the trial court means no ruling of free speech. No ruling on legal questions either.

  • You are slow on the uptake there.

    It was in fact decided on the law applied to the facts, as any court should do.

    If course it ruled on the legal questions raised – read the decision.

  • Not at all. You don’t know how to read a legal decision, or are too dishonest to represent one in a meaningful fashion.

    They found no evidence of people mistaking the intent and purpose of the clinics. Therefore no cause to support the laws. It turned on facts. Not issues of law.

    Go play with someone else. I can’t ever take you seriously when you try to invoke court cases. You are lazy and dishonest. I have pwned you too many times by quoting them directly to pretend you will ever have anything of value to say on such matters.

  • Nope. But of course one of the least honest people will try to split hairs on levels of dishonesty.

    The facilities lie to “patients” about being able to give medical treatment and professional objective advice. They are ministries pretending to be clinics. If they called themselves ministries in an open manner, this would not be an issue.

  • A habitual liar defending a liar.

    How droll.

    A person who gets caught constantly deliberately misstating arguments of others in conversations with them is a poor judge of veracity.

  • You don’t know how to read a legal decision, or are too dishonest to represent one in a meaningful fashion.

    The Court concluded that commercial speech was not involved and “that the Ordinance is a content-based regulation that regulates noncommercial speech, or, at the least, that the Center’s commercial and professional speech is intertwined with its noncommercial speech, and [the ordinance] is thus subject to strict scrutiny.”

    They noted the record failed to demonstrate that the ordinance furthers a compelling government interest because “there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that deception actually takes place and that health harms are in fact being caused by delays resulting from deceptive advertising.”

    The court rejected the City’s contention that the ordinance regulated commercial speech because the Center advertises its services, some of which have commercial value in other contexts. The court found that the Center fit none of these characteristics of a professional speaker.

    “The compelled speech at issue here raises particularly troubling First Amendment concerns. At bottom, the disclaimer portrays abortion as one among a menu of morally equivalent choices. While that may be the City’s view, it is not the Center’s.”

    The Court found that the ordinance “compel(s) a politically and religiously motivated group to convey a message fundamentally at odds with its core beliefs and mission” and that it was therefore a First Amendment violation “because it was not narrowly tailored to accomplish a compelling government interest”.

    The only apparent difference between this case and that under discussion from the Ninth Circuit is that the 9th circuit applied the professional speech doctrine to compelled disclosures in clinics licensed by the state.



    What is in common is an ordinance that forces an organization to utter words at odds with its foundational beliefs and with the principles of those who have given their working lives to it.

    I understand that, as one who would confiscate private property for use to perform abortions and compel people with religions beliefs to perform abortions that does not bother you in the least.

    But let’s not have another round of you telling people who can read “You don’t know how to read a legal decision, or are too dishonest to represent one in a meaningful fashion” just because the courts are not in agreement with you and people point it out.

  • Unfortunately for you and your usual spouting of dreck, I’ve decided to take on your habitual calling people who can read habitual liars.

  • Your dislike of those who disagree with you, religious or not, does not rise to the level of law.

  • Not only that, but abortion in general she opposed. What she favored was repealing laws that made it illegal to provide birth control information. Lots of people don’t know that, but it’s true; during most of her life, in the United States, you could go to prison for giving people information about birth control (let alone the devices themselves).

    Call me crazy, but I don’t want to bring those days back.

  • You are talking gibberish here and trying to weasel out of your obvious initial erroneous assertion. Their own words were that they did not find evidence of people being misled.

    Your assertions are a waste of time. You have demonstrated time and again that you do not read these things honestly or in context. So I just can’t ever take you seriously. You are just trolling. Bye bye.

  • Most of what I posted was direct quotes from the 4th District’s judgment on the case arising in Baltimore.

    Had you actually read the case, we would not be reading “you are talking gibberish here”.

    I have no idea what your bona fides are, but you couldn’t punch your legal way out of a paper bag.

  • Sanger appears to have called abortions a “disgrace to civilization” as a sales pitch for birth control. Sanger did have the idea that abortions caused a number of ailments, like the “womb may not return to its natural size but remain large and heavy, tending to fall
    away from its natural position” as well as “barrenness and serious,
    painful pelvic ailments”, that was not any moral objection to the procedure itself, just the consequences.

  • Not to mention, that little thing about posting under two different names. As soon as Joe Bob and Bobby Joe got called on it, joe bob disappeared.

  • Your dislike of those who disagree with you, religious or not, does not rise to the level of law.

    And thank the god I don’t believe in for that.

  • I don’t dislike people who disagree with me.

    And thank the deity you don’t believe in for that.

  • You don’t even read your own citation. Lazy slug
    Reproductive control including pregnancy coercion (coercion by male partners to become pregnant) and birth control sabotage (partner interference with contraception) may be associated with partner violence and risk for unintended pregnancy among young adult females utilizing family planning clinic services.”

  • As usual, you missed the important part of the decision to the arguments here. You still can’t read a decision honestly nor will you ever do so.

    The clinic’s [alleged] lying to people there is not being protected in any way. Its is not addressed because there is no showing of deception in the evidence from the District Court.

    The city is being found to have overreached especially due to a lack of evidence to justify it.

    “The City’s interests are plainly important. Baltimore’s stated goals in enacting the ordinance were to address allegedly deceptive advertising and to prevent health risks that can accompany delays in seeking to end a pregnancy. States must have ample room to
    regulate deceptions and health risks. Courts have long recognized those sorts of aims as weighty.

    Where there is solid evidence of such dangers, courts will not hesitate to give government the deference it is due.

    However, as the district court found, “there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that deception actually takes place and that health harms are in fact being caused by delays resulting from deceptive advertising

    The bolded part shows that an evidentiary showing could have justified the city’s act.

    “The only apparent difference between this case and that under discussion from the Ninth Circuit is that the 9th circuit applied the professional speech doctrine to compelled disclosures in clinics licensed by the state.”

    Which makes perfect sense to facilities holding themselves out to the public as clinics providing care to people going there. As stated earlier, if they just call themselves ministries and take a more honest stance, this would not be an issue.

    Foundational beliefs are not even being considered by the Courts if there is a showing of deception by the facilities in question.

    “I understand that, as one who would confiscate private property for use to perform abortions …”

    Now you are just making crap up about my position. As usual. You are wasting time with nonsense.

    “and people point it out.”

    You certainly have never done so in an honest fashion. You didn’t do it here either. Your entire point that the clinics can lie with impunity as part of their deeply held beliefs is not even being addressed here nor will it.

  • But the 14th Amendment mentions equal protection under the law. A law banning an action requires a measure of justification by the government. Bigots could not justify gay marriage bans, so they lost and made it legal nationwide.

  • Yup and nowhere in there is yours (and LB’s) assertion that clinics lying to the public is protected speech.

  • Interestingly that if there was a definite showing of fraud and deception here, then the laws would be justified (but limited for being overreach). Still not getting to that part where the clinic’s actual speech and [alleged] lying to people is being protected here. Nor will we, judging by how the questioning is going.

  • Liars defending liars.

    I am not the one who constantly gets called out for using sockpuppet accounts, deliberately misstating an opponent’s position or citing sources in a haphazard and deceptive manner.

    Everyone who talks to you in a serious manner does that.

    Are you going to regale us about your career in law? How you argued in front of the Supreme Court? About your hot girlfriend who lives in Canada and is too busy to come down and meet us?


  • For, but I didn’t like it and I think they lost Jewish members. If free speech is not defended, ultimately your speech will be illegal.

  • I particularly enjoyed your attacking quotations from the 4th District decision as if you had a clue what they said.

    Trust me, when I state your position, I will be quoting.

  • You tried this on the abortion shtick as well.

    Disagreeing with you does not constitute “lying”.

    In fact, it may constitute intelligence.

  • The 10th was the amendment being discussed.

    Here’s the 14th:

    “Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    “Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.”

    “Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.”

    “Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.”

    “Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.”

    Explain, Clarence Darrow, Jr., how any of that supports same sex marriage.

  • “The clinic’s [alleged] lying to people there is not being protected in any way.”

    Since the facts being considered did not mention, nor did the City of Baltimore even allege, anyone was lying to the people, you appear to be thinking of the case in your mind, not the case in the Court.

    Baltimore was found to have infringed on the Free Speech rights of the clinics because there was no compelling state purpose in the statute except to advance an abortion agenda.

    “Baltimore’s stated goals in enacting the ordinance were to address allegedly deceptive advertising and to prevent health risks that can accompany delays in seeking to end a pregnancy.” indeed. But note “allegedly”. The Court found that there were no identifiable health risks and no deceptive advertising. Thus, the statute could not pass the strict scrutiny tests.

    If the City was able to adduce evidence, it had at least three bites at the apple to do so before it reached the appellate level, just as California has had.

    These facilities aren’t holding themselves out to the public as anything beyond what they are, and the lower courts in the California case have found zero evidence that they were.

    That pretty much wraps that up.

  • Too many big words for him — and not a single reference to excrement. You’re asking too much.

  • “If you haven’t been to law school yet, that might be your best next step”

    He’s got several steps before he gets to that one — getting a college education, presenting an outstanding transcript, then demonstrating reading comprehension and organized thinking skills via qualifying examinations.

    Spuddie’s chances of ever becoming a real lawyer were never better than slim to none.

  • Birth control doesn’t work 100% of the time. Your anti-sex attitude is irrelevant to the life of my family.

  • If the statute merely required the centers to say, “This facility does not provide abortion and is not a licensed medical center,” but did not require them to say where abortions could be obtained, would it be constitutional? Certainly seems like it would have a better shot.
    Long before the tobacco company settlements, cigarette packaging was required to have anti-tobacco warnings. Many McDonald’ses and similar restaurants are required by local laws to post calorie and nutrition information, against their will. Some speech may be compelled, but this California statute probably went too far, and the oral arguments where even the liberal justices were skeptical shows it.

  • Nothing PP did in your case sounds deceptive. Pushy perhaps, but not deceptive. Deceptive is setting yourself up as though you’re “providing women with options” without saying that abortion will never be one of them.

  • Because sex happens, and so does pregnancy, even sometimes when birth control is used as intended. It is not 100% foolproof. That’s one of the many reasons I’m pro-choice.

  • The Guttmacher Institute notes that the perfect use of the pill should result in a 0.3% failure rate (35,000
    unplanned pregnancies/yr.) and for the perfect use of a male condom, a 2% failure rate (138,000 unplanned pregnancies/yr).

    Guttmacher also notes that the typical use of the pill results in a17% failure rate and by calculation this comes to about 1 million unplanned pregnancies. The typical failure rate for a male condom is 18% or about another 1 million unplanned pregnancies using Guttmacher’s statistics.

    Therefore there would be a reduction of ~ 90% in the number of unplanned pregnancies (and abortions) if everyone practiced safe sex. (173,000/2,000,000). (only 50% of unplanned pregnancies end up as abortions.

    And this would be lower if everyone doubled up on birth control e.g. pill plus male condom.

  • Thank you for proving my point. Even with intended use of birth control, there will always be unplanned pregnancies.

  • Indeed, that is why l said “mostly a moot point”. Doubling up perfect use of birth control methods should define “mostly ” as less than 1 %.

  • The organizations in question never claim to be medical clinics, which would be illegal in California, which is why the law was passed rather than charges brought.

  • They do offer snip-snip if you’re one of those folks for whom “sex happens” in the subway, elevator, or eating lunch rather randomly.

  • Holding the pill between the knees and keeping it there by pressing the knees together works 100%.

  • Yes, the viewpoint discrimination is another thing that will ultimately doom the statute — even if the Supreme Court is inclined to send it back for a fuller factual record.

  • They of course never claim outright to be licensed medical clinics. They just dress themselves up to look that way — you don’t actually necessarily need a license to give an ultrasound, for example. But perhaps more importantly, they claim to be providing women “with options” without being upfront about their feelings toward abortion.

  • Do they provide women with options?


    I think “they just dress themselves up to look that way” is a guess, a suggestion, an unevidenced fig leaf. Were that the case, the California legislature would have multiple options to legislate signage, or disclaimers, along the lines of “not a medical facility”, and stopped there. But the Act makes clear that is not its purpose:

    “Millions of California women are in need of publicly funded family planning services, contraception services and education, *abortion services*, and prenatal care and delivery.”

    I am unable to find anything in the record, or in the legislative debate, that ONE woman did not get a wanted abortion because she was misled by a center dressed up to look like a medical clinic.
    Had the State of California evidence of that sort of problem, I would have expected them to raise that issue along the way.