Washington, DC—In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in NIFLA v. Becerra, which undermines a California law that required reproductive health clinics in California, including so-called “crisis pregnancy centers”, to provide certain types of information to clients, American Atheists legal and policy director Alison Gill released the following statement:
Today’s ruling undermines the ability of women to receive health services in California, putting them at risk for the deceptive and predatory practices of so-called ‘crisis pregnancy center’ while simply seeking reproductive health services. This decision has more to do with the partisan leanings of the majority than with anything the Constitution says about free speech.
This decision prevents California from requiring unlicensed organizations claiming to be clinics or health centers—but offering no actual healthcare procedures—to disclose that they offer no real medical help to pregnant women. The Court claims that doing so would violate the First Amendment rights of the clinics. This Court has put the lives of patients at risk by denying them the ability to make an informed decision about their health with all the facts.
As Justice Breyer notes in his dissent, the Court has repeatedly permitted states to require doctors to tell women seeking abortions about adoption services and inaccurate or incomplete information related to the risks of abortion. And yet, in this case, the court ruled that informing women about abortion services is somehow different. The only difference is that the Justices in the majority disapprove of abortion for religious reasons and are perfectly happy to play politics with women’s health.