The Supreme Court has been asked to review whether the disclosures required by the California Reproductive FACT Act, which require crisis pregnancy centers to post pro-abortion messages inside their facilities, violate the protections set forth in the First Amendment, applicable to the states through the 14th Amendment.
Rights of the Unborn
After an inmate gave birth in jail, the baby suffered severe birth defects as the result of neglect and indifference by jail personnel. The inmate mother sued on behalf of her daughter. The defendant sought to avoid liability by arguing that the baby had not been a “person” during the delivery process.
The city of Pittsburg passed a ordinance that created both a 15-foot buffer zone and a 100-foot bubble zone around hospitals and abortion clinics. A pro-life protester challenged the ordinance under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment and Pennsylvania’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. In a complicated ruling, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that the combination of the two zones was unconstitutional, while ruling against the protester on some other arguments.
Following a period of national attention, the Washington Board of Pharmacy issued a regulation that effectively excluded a right of conscience for pharmacists who could not fill Plan B prescriptions because of their religious convictions. One of the arguments that Appellees presented in their Motion for Preliminary Injunction was that the Board was denying pharmacists the same fundamental right that other health care professionals enjoyed in contravention of the two statutes, and that denial was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.
Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, Inc. v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, et al.
The challenged ordinance not only compels speech. It also targets specific content and favors a particular viewpoint. Under the standards recently reaffirmed and clarified by the Supreme Court in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, 135 S. Ct. 2218 (2015), the ordinance violates the First Amendment for these reasons, too.