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Appeals court upholds California's abortion education law

By Amy R. Connolly
Appeals court upholds California's abortion education law
Pro-life demonstrators hold banners outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on June 27 after the court struck down a Texas regulation on abortion clinics. On Friday, a federal appeals court upheld a California reproductive freedom law that requires all pregnancy clinics, including those with religious affiliations, to educate patients about abortion options. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- A federal appeals court upheld a California reproductive freedom law that requires all pregnancy clinics, including those with religious affiliations, to educate patients about abortion options.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in upholding an earlier ruling by a lower court, denied a motion from three nonprofits that sought to overturn the 2015 California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act.

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The act requires licensed and unlicensed women's healthcare facilities to notify women about low-cost or free abortions in the state. The nonprofits, which include the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates and the Pregnancy Care Clinic, run crisis pregnancy centers and sued on the basis the law violated their freedom of speech and religion.

The appeals court found that the law does not discriminate based on religion or violate free speech.

Matt Bowman, an Alliance Defending Freedom attorney who is litigating the case, slammed the decision as "unjust and dangerous."

" In this case, political allies of abortionists are seeking to punish pro-life pregnancy centers, which offer real hope and help to women," he said. "Forcing these centers to promote abortion and recite the government's preferred views is a clear violation of their constitutionally protected First Amendment freedoms. That's why other courts around the country have halted these kinds of measures and why we will be discussing the possibility of appeal with our clients."

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