Tuesday, June 20, 2017

9th Circuit Refuses To Enjoin California's Notice Requirements For Crisis Pregnancy Centers

In Mountain Right To Life, Inc. v. Becerra, (9th Cir., June 19, 2017), in a brief opinion, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a California federal district court's refusal to issue a preliminary injunction against enforcement of California’s Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act. (See prior posting).  The Act requires licensed crisis pregnancy centers to notify clients of programs offering free or low-cost abortions and requires unlicensed centers to notify clients that they are not state-licensed.  The court said:
The district court properly concluded that Plaintiffs cannot demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of their First Amendment free speech or free exercise claims.... The Act regulates licensed covered facilities’ professional speech, and is therefore subject to intermediate scrutiny, which it survives.... The notice requirement for unlicensed covered facilities survives any level of review.... And as to the free exercise claim, the Act is a neutral law of general applicability that survives rational basis review.