Supreme Court: Mandating Crisis Pregnancy Clinic Disclosure Violates First Amendment

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Tuesday that crisis pregnancy centers—nonprofit, often religious organizations that oppose abortion but offer pregnancy counseling—likely cannot be required to inform women about their medical licensing status, or about opportunities for abortion. The case, NIFLA v. Becerra, began when a group of California crisis pregnancy centers known as the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates sued over California’s FACT Act. The law states that medically licensed crisis pregnancy centers must inform women that free or low-cost abortions are available, and non-licensed clinics must disclose that they cannot offer medical assistance. The centers—which have long been accused of trying to talk women out of abortions with shame and false information—argue that mandating these disclosures violates their right to free speech. The Monday ruling sided with NIFLA, and determined that the FACT Act “likely violates the First Amendment.” The case has been returned to the lower court for further proceedings.