U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Law Requiring Religious Clinics to Inform California Women of Abortion Options

Pro-life demonstrators carry signs as they march January 23, 2006 in downtown Los Altos, California. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Pro-life demonstrators carry signs as they march January 23, 2006 in downtown Los Altos, California. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A federal appeals court Friday unanimously upheld the constitutionality of a new California law that requires religiously affiliated pregnancy clinics to inform women about abortion options.

The law, which took effect in January, says licensed clinics must disseminate information to women about government programs that provide free or low-cost services for family planning, abortions and prenatal care.

About 200 crisis pregnancy centers in California are affiliated with religions that oppose abortion. Three nonprofit groups that run these clinics sued to block the law, contending it violated their rights to free speech and freedom of religion.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, contending that the law did not discriminate against or infringe upon anyone’s 1st Amendment rights.

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