Be Careful What You Sue For
If the Supreme Court strikes down California’s “crisis pregnancy center” disclosure act, dozens of anti-abortion laws could fall with it.
Nov 13, 2017
By Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern
On Monday morning, the Supreme Court agreed to weigh in on NIFLA v. Becerra, yet another religion-fueled fight over free speech. NIFLA involves a long-simmering dispute surrounding a 2015 California law requiring the state’s more than 200 “crisis pregnancy centers” to notify patients whether they actually have a medical license, and to disclose that California subsidizes birth control and abortion services. Faith-based anti-abortion groups argue that the law violates the CPCs’ freedom of speech under the First Amendment. The Supreme Court will soon decide whether the California law is constitutionally permissible. If the justices vote to strike down the statute, abortion foes will celebrate the decision as a resounding victory for their cause. An eventual ruling against California, though, could also lead to the invalidation of anti-abortion counseling laws across the country on similar First Amendment grounds.