BALTIMORE, March 30 (UPI) -- The Catholic Church has sued to overturn a Baltimore ordinance requiring pregnancy counseling centers to notify women that they do not give advice on abortion.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore, in a lawsuit filed Monday, said the law, the first of its kind in the country, is unconstitutional because it violates the right to freedom of religion and speech, the Baltimore Sun reported.
Backers of the ordinance accuse counseling centers run by anti-abortion groups of misleading women. The ordinance, which became law in January, requires centers to post notices saying they do not refer women to abortion clinics or for birth control.
Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien said the requirement hurts "the good people volunteering and giving so much of their resources to come to the help of pregnant women." But Mark Graber of the University of Maryland School of Law said the ordinance only asks the centers "to tell the truth."
"This is simply telling a pregnancy center that you must tell the truth about what you do," he said.