The California case concerns a state law that requires centers operated by opponents of abortion to provide women with information about the availability of the procedure.
The U.S. Supreme Court today chose to hear a pro-life challenge against a California law that forces pro-life centers, such as pregnancy medical clinics, to advertise abortion.
But the justices said in an order issued Monday that they would only consider the free speech clause issue, setting the stage for a significant ruling on compelled speech: to what extent can the government require people to convey speech with which they disagree.
The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against the centers a year ago.
"California's threat to pro-life pregnancy care centers and medical clinics counts among the most flagrant violations of constitutional religious and free speech rights in the nation", said NIFLA founder and president Thomas Glessner, J.D, in a statement.
Theriot added, "The state shouldn't have the power to punish anyone for being pro-life". Unlicensed centers also must inform clients of their status.
The law also requires the centres to post on their premises notices that California offers free or heavily subsidized abortions and contraception.
"The Reproductive FACT Act ensures that women in California receive accurate information about their healthcare options, including whether a facility is a licensed medical provider". Every Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC) must post the notice or face government censorship. They are typically run by groups with strong anti-abortion views.
Hartford, Connecticut, announced last week that it was considering a regulation like California's, including a $100-a-day fine for pregnancy centers that do not meet the disclosure requirements. The legal brief for Becerra - which defends a California law mandating crisis pregnancy centers post information about abortion - stated an eye-popping figure.
CT previously covered how Care Net aims to let potential clients know that it won't provide abortions or abortion referrals-without any law requiring it to do so.
Kevin T. Snider, a lawyer for A Woman's Friend Pregnancy Resource Clinic and Alternative Women's Center, argued in court papers that his clients can not be compelled to post notifications in their centers against their religious convictions.
The California challengers included the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, an umbrella group for pregnancy crisis centers that said its members include 73 facilities in the state that are medically licensed and 38 that are not.
The 2018 ruling on NIFLA v. Becerra will apply to the other three suits challenging California's FACT Act. Christian pregnancy centers that employ doctors have filed lawsuits against the state over the new law.
The California government defends the law by saying regulating professional speech in a medical context upholds its valid state interest in safeguarding public health.