In another rejection of abortion advocates attempt to muzzle pregnancy resource centers, a federal judge has ruled that pregnancy centers in Montgomery County, Maryland cannot enforce the onerous signage regulations passed by the county board.
The board had deemed that pro-life pregnancy centers had to post specialized signs that noted the absence of medical staff and had to say that the county encourages pregnant women to consult with a licensed medical provider. This served as a requirement that the pregnancy centers essentially post advertisements for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.
Mark Rienzi, an attorney allied with the Alliance Defense Fund and Americans United for Life, helped fight the law in court. In an email, he stated, “We’re very happy with the Judge’s ruling. The County has no business taking over the walls of pro-life pregnancy centers to tell women to go elsewhere.”
The law is similar to this has already been struck down in Baltimore, Maryland. Another one recently passed the New York City Council and signed into law by Mayor Bloomberg. Pro-life lawyers have vowed to challenge the New York City law in court as well.
Rienzi said that the Montgomery County decision paves the way for the rest of the law to be considered under the first amendment where restrictions on free speech “rarely survive.”
In the meantime, states continue to move ahead with resolutions drafted by AUL honoring the work of pro-life pregnancy centers. Such resolutions have already been passed this year in Arizona, South Dakota and West Virginia. They are pending in several states including Alabama, Nebraska and Texas.