Is merely requiring clinics to inform women of the availability of free or low-cost abortions an unconstitutional infringement of religious liberty? That seems to be the latest contention in the reproductive culture wars.
Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed into law the Reproductive FACT Act, which is quite straightforward: Licensed healthcare facilities must post or distribute a notice that states,"California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [insert the telephone number]." That's it.
An unlicensed facility, meanwhile, must disseminate a notice to all clients acknowledging that it is not licensed as a medical facility by the state of California.
The law goes into effect Jan. 1. But now two religious nonprofits — so-called crisis pregnancy centers in Marysville and Redding — are claiming the law violates their 1st Amendment right to free exercise of religion and freedom of speech, and are seeking an injunction against it.
Their argument has no merit.
No doctor, other healthcare professional or facility is required to provide contraceptives or abortions, or even provide referrals for these services. The new law simply ensures that clinics expose their patients to additional, accurate information.
Read the whole story at source Los Angeles Times