In a legal victory for pro-life pregnancy centers that support pregnant women and help them find aboriton alterantives, a judge has tossed a lawsuit filed by the online review company Yelp.
A federal judge in California has declined to grant Yelp protection from a lawsuit brought by the state of Texas, alleging the posting of deceptive notices regarding crisis pregnancy centers on its online review platform.
U.S. District Judge Trina Thompson, based in Oakland, ruled on Thursday that federal courts should not intervene in state enforcement actions unless there is evidence of bad faith. Consequently, she dismissed a preemptive lawsuit filed by Yelp against Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in September, aimed at preventing him from suing the company.
Yelp had sought to halt Paxton’s intended legal action against the San Francisco-based company for displaying warnings on its platform, cautioning users about the limited medical services offered by crisis pregnancy centers.
Yelp initiated legal proceedings against Paxton in the federal court in Oakland on September 27, immediately following indications that Paxton planned to sue the company, which he indeed did the following day. Paxton alleged that the notices posted by Yelp on the review pages of crisis pregnancy centers violated a Texas law prohibiting unfair business practices.
“To be clear, the court is not convinced that Paxton acted entirely in good faith in bringing this case against Yelp; still, Yelp has not provided enough concrete evidence of his subjective motivations to prove otherwise,” Thompson wrote.
Paxton applauded the decision.
“Yelp cannot mislead and deceive the public simply because the company disagrees with our state’s laws,” Paxton said in a statement.d and deceive the public simply because the company disagrees with our state’s laws,” Paxton said in a statement.
Despite the ruling, Yelp will continue its crusade against pro-life pregnancy centers.
“Yelp will continue to press forward to vigorously defend our constitutionally protected free speech rights to provide consumers with access to accurate information,” the company said in a statement.
In 2022, Yelp announced that the company would begin issuing consumer notices to the Yelp profiles of crisis pregnancy centers. The notices claim to inform consumers that crisis pregnancy centers “typically provide limited medical services and may not have licensed medical professionals onsite.”
Yelp is applying these notices to all crisis pregnancy centers but not to Planned Parenthood and related facilities that kill babies in abortions….