Friday, July 22, 2016

Another Court Refuses To Enjoin California's Reproductive FACT Act

In Mountain Right to Life v. Harris, (CD CA, July 8, 2016), a California federal district court denied a preliminary injunction against enforcement of California's Reproductive FACT Act. The Act requires medical clinics that offer family planning or pregnancy related services to furnish clients a notice that California has public programs that provide free or low-cost access to family planning, pre-natal care and abortion services. Clinics offering pregnancy-related services that do not have licensed medical personnel on staff must provide notice of that fact. In the case, a faith-based crisis pregnancy center argued that the Act violates its free speech and free exercise rights. The court found that the center did not show a likelihood of success on the merits.  The court concluded that the state has a compelling interest in ensuring that people know whether or not they are receiving care from licensed professionals. The statute's other notice requirement is a constitutionally permissible regulation of professional speech to protect the government's substantial interest in its residents knowing the health care resources that are available. Two other federal district courts have reached similar conclusions. (See prior posting.)