The following comes from a February 12 Courthouse News Service press release by Bianca Bruno:
A San Diego federal judge has refused to give abortion foes a pass in implementing California’s new women’s health information law while their fight against the law proceeds.
National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, Pregnancy Care Center and Fallbrook Pregnancy Resource Center sought to duck having to comply with the Reproductive FACT Act, which took effect on January 1, claiming the law infringes on their free speech and freedom of religion rights.
The clinics asked U.S. District Judge John Houston to restrain California Attorney General Kamala Harris, San Diego County Counsel Thomas Montgomery, El Cajon City Attorney Morgan Foley and Gov. Jerry Brown from enforcing the act.
The FACT Act, which stands for Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency, was signed into law by Brown last October. It requires a licensed health center to disseminate information to women informing them of state programs that provide immediate free or low-cost family planning services, prenatal care and abortions.
Additionally, the law requires unlicensed centers to indicate they are not, in fact, licensed as medical facilities from California.
Violators will be fined $500 on the first offense and $1,000 thereafter.
Other clinics that have sued to block the law in Northern California were unsuccessful in Federal Court, and appeals to the Ninth Circuit were rejected.
Rachele Huennekens, press secretary for Attorney General Harris, said they are happy with Houston’s decision.