In this Feb. 8, 2018, photo, Blayne Wittig, executive director of Options for Women of California, left, a center in Concord, Calif., Debbie Whittaker, nurse manager, center, and Christine Vatuone, president and CEO of Informed Choices, talk at Informed Choices, a crisis pregnancy center in Grilroy, Calif. A California law regulating anti-abortion pregnancy centers has led to a Supreme Court clash at the intersection of abortion and free speech. The centers say a law requiring them to tell pregnant clients the state has family planning and abortion care available at little or no cost violates the centers’ free speech rights. Informed Choices is what Vatuone describes as a “life-affirming” pregnancy center. Even as it advertises “free pregnancy services” and promises in signs on its door and inside to discuss all options with pregnant women, Informed Choices exists to steer women away from abortion. (AP Photo/Mark Sherman)

Abortion, free speech collide in Supreme Court dispute

March 16, 2018 - 1:28 am

GILROY, Calif. (AP) — The Supreme Court is taking up a fight over a California law that regulates anti-abortion pregnancy centers like Informed Choices on the edge of downtown Gilroy in northern California.

The center advertises "free pregnancy services" and promises to discuss all options with pregnant women.

But abortion rights groups were concerned that vulnerable, uninsured women were going to Informed Choices and similar centers expecting they would get comprehensive care. They pressed state lawmakers to adopt a law that forces centers that are licensed by the state to let clients know that abortions and other medical services are available elsewhere, for little or no cost. It also requires unlicensed facilities to posts signs disclosing they are unlicensed.

The justices' are hearing the center's free-speech challenge to the law on Tuesday.

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