Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Suit Challenges Hawaii's Notice Mandate For Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers

A suit was filed last week in Hawaii federal district court challenging Hawaii's SB 501 enacted earlier this year that requires "limited service pregnancy centers" to disseminate on-site to patients a notice that says:
Hawaii has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services, including, but not limited to, all FDA-approved methods of contraception and pregnancy-related services for eligible women. To apply online for medical insurance coverage, that will cover the full range of family planning and prenatal care services, go to mybenefits.hawaii.gov. Only ultrasounds performed by qualified healthcare professionals and read by licensed clinicians should be considered medically accurate.
The complaint (full text) in Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor v. Chin, (D HI, filed 7/12/2017), alleges in part:
Plaintiffs are a non-profit, pro-life, Christian church operating a pregnancy center known as A Place for Women ..., and a national non-profit pro-life membership organization with 5 affiliates in Hawaii. Plaintiffs seek to provide help and pro-life information to women in unplanned pregnancies so that they will be supported in choosing to give birth....
The Act, however, imposes government compelled speech upon the Plaintiff pregnancy centers ... in ways that undermine the centers’ messages.
The complaint contends that the law infringes free speech and free exercise of religion, is unconstitutionally vague and violates federal statutory law that protects health care entities from being required to refer patients for abortions. Christian Times reports on the lawsuit.