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One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom Kerri Kupec was in the courtroom for the hearing on the city’s demands. She tells OneNewsNow: “The city had dragged in a number of pro-life pregnancy centers, demanding that they release documents from their private files, and they were doing this to help the city defend the ordinance that is currently forcing pregnancy resource centers in Baltimore post signs discouraging women from using their services.”
Alliance Defending Freedom: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman will be available for media interviews Friday immediately following his oral argument in federal court on behalf of four pro-life organizations. In a highly irregular move, the Baltimore City Council subpoenaed the groups, not located in Maryland, in a lawsuit in which they have no involvement.
The Baltimore Sun: This prompted Alliance Defending Freedom to come to the defense of pro-life groups Care Net, Heartbeat International, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates and the Vitae Foundation. All four groups contend that that city is wrong to subpoena organizations that are not parties to their lawsuit, have no offices in the city, and are located across the country.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a motion to quash Thursday on behalf of four pro-life organizations, not located in Maryland, who are being subpoenaed by the City Council of Baltimore. Baltimore and the pro-abortion law firm, Center for Reproductive Rights, have demanded access to the national pro-life organizations’ private files to help the city defend an ordinance that forces pregnancy resource centers in Baltimore to post signs discouraging women from using their services.
Townhall: Matt Bowman, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, said of the appeals court’s decision in the Montgomery County case, “Pregnancy centers, which offer real help and hope to women, shouldn’t be punished by political allies of abortion sellers. The court of appeals affirmed that a hostile government cannot force pro-life centers to speak a message contrary to their interests without the highest form of justification for doing so.”
One News Now: And the local government’s orders to abortion facilities? “They don’t apply the government disclaimers to pro-abortion centers,” says attorney Matt Bowman of Alliance Defending Freedom. Bowman is serving as co-counsel representing the Centro Tepeyac Women’s Center in the lawsuit. Bowman, Matt (ADF)“They only make pro-life centers say things,” the attorney continues, “because mandated speech is designed to scare women away so that they will not actually be able to choose the life-affirming help that pro-life centers offer.”
4th Circuit rules on whether gov’t can force speech of pro-life centers | Alliance Defending Freedom
Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns v. Mayor and City of Council of Baltimore, Nos. 11–1111, 11–1185. (4th Cir. July 3, 2013)
Invoking the First Amendment, the district court fully and permanently enjoined enforcement of a City of Baltimore Ordinance requiring limited-service pregnancy centers to post disclaimers that they do not provide or make referrals for abortions or certain birth-control services. The injunction emanated from the court’s award of summary judgment to plaintiff Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, Incorporated, on its claim that the Ordinance is facially invalid under the Free Speech Clause. See O’Brien v. Mayor of Balt., 768 F.Supp.2d 804, 812–17 (D.Md.2011). Crucially, however, the summary judgment decision was laden with error, in that the court denied the defendants essential discovery and otherwise disregarded basic rules of civil procedure. We therefore vacate the judgment and remand for further proceedings, without comment on how this matter ultimately should be resolved.1
Report from en banc Fourth Circuit oral argument in pregnancy center compelled speech cases | WalshLaw
WalshLaw: This morning’s lively en banc proceedings at the Fourth Circuit in abortion-counseling-related First Amendment challenges did not produce clear signs of a winner, but raised questions (at least in my mind) about what legal issues the court took the cases en banc to address. There was virtually no discussion of commercial speech doctrine, and no judge or set of judges developed a line of questioning that would seemingly lay the foundation to displace strict scrutiny as the appropriate standard of review. That said, oral argument reveals only so much. | Related ADF Media Information Page and Press Releases
LifeNews: “Pregnancy centers, which offer real help and hope to women, shouldn’t be punished by political allies of abortion sellers,” said Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman, co-counsel for the Centro Tepeyac Women’s Center. Bowman added: “Pro-life centers provide women with the emotional support and practical resources they need, giving them more choices. They should be free to share that message instead of being compelled to provide the government’s preferred message, which sends women elsewhere. The 4th Circuit panel was right to rule against Montgomery County’s law, and we trust the full court will agree.”
An Alliance Defending Freedom attorney will be available for media interviews following oral arguments by co-counsel Thursday at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in a lawsuit involving a Montgomery County, Md. law that forces pro-life pregnancy counselors to advise women against using their services.
The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Matt Bowman regarding Thursday’s decision by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit to review a three-judge panel’s decision in Centro Tepeyac v. Montgomery County and Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore.
Bloomberg: The full U.S. Appeals Court in Richmond, Virginia, agreed to rehear a case involving a law that requires anti-abortion pregnancy centers to post an advisory encouraging their clients to consult with medical professionals. The court set Dec. 6 for oral arguments in the rehearing, accepting a request by Montgomery County, Maryland, to review a split decision by a three-judge panel.
Center for Reproductive Rights Petitions Full 4th Cir for Hearing on Advertising Rule for Crisis Pregnancy Centers
The Center for Reproductive Rights and the City of Baltimore filed a petition for a new hearing today before the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in their case defending a truth-in-advertising ordinance requiring crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to post modest signs in their waiting rooms indicating that they do not provide or make referrals for abortion or comprehensive birth control services.
The court held that the disclaimer required by Ordinance 09-252 is “a form of compelled speech” that “alters the course of a [pregnancy] center’s communication with a client or prospective client about abortion and birth-control” and “is based, at least in part, on disagreement with the viewpoint of the speaker.” The court entered a permanent injunction barring enforcement of the ordinance. For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
OneNewsNow.com: Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorney Matt Bowman tells OneNewsNow the philosophy behind the law is to protect abortion clinics. “Pregnancy centers, which offer real help and hope to women, should not be punished by political allies of the abortion industry,” he argues . . . “The government cannot create special speech rules for people who want to talk about pregnancy choices,” the attorney contends. “And it also cannot target pro-life centers for special sign requirements and fines while leaving speech by abortion clinics unregulated.”