You’ll recall the law recently passed in Baltimore requiring crisis pregnancy centers to advertise that they don’t provide birth control or abortions (thanks to some prodding of the city council by Planned Parenthood). The archdiocese, however, isn’t taking the ruling lying down: Archbishop Edwin O’Brien announced yesterday that they are suing the city of Baltimore, saying that the ordinance “is a clear violation of these centers’ constitutional rights to free speech and their free exercise of religion.”
The archdiocese said its complaint argues that the ordinance that went into effect in January “targets for speech regulation only one side of a contentious public, political debate,” which the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled violates the First Amendment. The archdiocese said the complaint also argues the ordinance also wrongly requires centers to state that they do not provide birth-control services when they provide “education about abstinence and natural family planning.”
Carol A. Clews, executive director of the Center for Pregnancy Concerns, a nonprofit, anti-abortion organization that receives donations from religious groups, said at the news conference that the centers have complied with the law and posted the signs. She added that center clients have never complained “about being misled in any way or problems with the services they’ve received.”
I’m glad that the archdiocese is choosing to fight this ridiculous law. I have to say, the more I get to know our archbishop, the more I like him.