Judge bars California from forcing antiabortion Clinics to offer Abortion Access Information

A ruling that was made by a judge at a Riverside County court revealed that California infringes the freedom of speech by making it mandatory for anti-abortion “crisis pregnancy centers” to inform patients about the availability of abortion services at a low cost or for free. This decision has reopened a debate over the legislation that was supported by federal courts. Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco pushed for the passing of the law, which has been active as from last year. All reproductive health clinics that are licensed by the state are currently required to the post notices that show affordable or free services that are offered according to the state law. This includes abortion. The notice should also have the county social service center’s phone number.

In October 2016, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the law stating that it only needed clinics to offer patients health care information that they deserve to have. Individuals who do not support abortion have requested the U.S Supreme Court to reexamine the ruling. They also filed a case in state court to represent a Riverside County-based clinic and the won. According to the decision that was made by Superior Court Judge Gloria Trask, forcing pregnancy clinic to inform their patients on how they can reach an abortion provider is unacceptable. This will be the same referring patients to abortion clinics. The law violates the clinician’s right to speak and the patient’s right to listen without being censored by the state. The California state legislation invades a private relationship between a woman and her doctor.

The decision of the judge prevents the application of the law in one clinic, Go Mobile for Life, which is based in Temecula and is owned by the Scharpen Foundation. A ruling that will determine the implementation of the law in other clinics across the state will be made after a higher court listens to Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s appeal that defends the legislation. Becerra believes that information is powerful and every woman deserves to have it to make wise decisions about her health. Scharpen Foundation’s president, Scott Scharpen, said that it is wrong for the state to force the clinic to share abortion information with patients since it is against its mission. A religious charity that is known as Advocates for Faith & Freedom funded the lawsuit, which was based on the freedom of speech that the California Constitution provides.


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