First Amendment: California law requiring abortion notice struck down by Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California’s law requiring “pro-life” pregnancy centers to inform clients about abortion options violated the First Amendment. In the 5-4 decision, Justice Anthony Kennedy concurred with the majority noting, “Governments must not be allowed to force persons to express a message contrary to their deepest convictions. Freedom of speech secures freedom of thought and belief. This law imperils those liberties.”  (The New York Times, June 26, 2018. by Adam Liptak)

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the dissenting four liberal judges that the Supreme Court previously upheld a Pennsylvania law requiring doctors performing abortions to tell their patients about adoption options. Breyer argued that both circumstances, a doctor performing abortions and a clinic advocating keeping a child to term, involved medical decisions with certain health risks and that the court should be even handed. (NBC News, June 26, 2018, by Pete Williams)