This lawsuit involves a New York City law that requires pregnancy service centers (PSC) to disclose whether they have a licensed medical provider on staff and whether they do or do not provide prenatal care, emergency contraception, or abortion services or referrals. The law, enacted on March 16, 2011, does not seek to limit or direct the activities of PSCs, but mandates that PSCs clearly disclose the services provided and whether staff members are supervised by licensed professionals. The law does not restrict what PSCs can say about abortion or contraception. The plaintiffs, organizations that provide pregnancy services to women in New York City, sued in federal court seeking an injunction to prevent the law from taking effect as scheduled on July 14, 2011.
On May 19, 2011, the NYCLU filed an amicus brief defending the constitutionality of the law. The brief maintained that the law is carefully crafted to appropriately balance the centers' First Amendment rights with women's right to access necessary and time-sensitive health care. It argued that the law does not burden the free speech rights of the centers or their employees; force them to adopt ideological views with which they disagree; or target them for their viewpoint. The court disagreed with the NYCLU's analysis of the appropriate level of review and enjoined implementation of the law. The City of New York appealed the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
The NYCLU filed an amicus brief with the Second Circuit on Nov. 7, 2011. The brief explains how the district court erred in subjecting two of the law's disclosure requirements to strict, rather than intermediate "exacting," scrutiny and in concluding these compelled disclosures were unconstitutional.
S.D.N.Y., Index No. 11-cv-2342 (WHP) (amicus) Second Circuit, Index No. 11-2735-cv (amicus)