Pro-life crisis pregnancy centers are fighting a new law enacted in California in January that requires them to post or hand out a notice about abortion, contraception and prenatal care via public programs. The notice also includes a phone number that women can call.
The pregnancy centers are often religious-based, but advertise as if they are secular health clinics with offers of free pregnancy testing and counseling, which is talking women out of abortion and urging them to give birth.
“I don’t want to put up a sign telling you where you can go for an abortion,” Josh McClure, the director of the East County Pregnancy Care Clinic in El Cajon, California, told The New York Times. “The sign is not up here now because it’s unconstitutional.”
McClure's clinic is one of several that say the new law violates their rights to free speech, but three federal district courts and one California court have refused to block enforcement of the law.
Christian legal groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom, Pacific Justice Institute and the American Center for Law and Justice are defending the clinics in their fight against informing women of their options.
NARAL Pro-Choice California says that there about 170 to 200 crisis pregnancy centers in the Golden State, but only about 70 are licensed, which means the clinics are supervised by a doctor. The unlicensed clinics are required by law to post a notice that says they are unlicensed.
Some crisis pregnancy centers have reportedly told women that abortion can increase their chances of getting certain types of cancer.
The American Cancer Society states on its website that "scientific research studies have not found a cause-and-effect relationship between abortion and breast cancer."
The National Cancer Institute website says, "The newer studies consistently showed no association between induced and spontaneous abortions and breast cancer risk."