November 4, 2014 — The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal challenging part of a New York City law (Int. 371) that requires antiabortion-rights crisis pregnancy centers to disclose more information about who provides their services, Reuters reports.
Previous Appeals Court Ruling Stands
By rejecting the case, the high court left in place a federal appeals court ruling from earlier this year that upheld the law's requirement that New York City CPCs disclose whether they have a licensed medical provider on staff (Hurley, Reuters, 11/3).
In that ruling, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision had noted that without such authority, the city would be deprived "of its ability to protect the health of its citizens and combat consumer deception in even the most minimal way." The appeals court's ruling ended a temporary hold on the law that had prevented it from taking effect.
However, the appeals court declined to reinstate another aspect of the law that required CPCs to post signs stating that "the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene encourages women who are or who may be pregnant to consult with a licensed [provider]" (Women's Health Policy Report, 1/22).
In addition, the appeals court rejected components of the law requiring CPCs to disclose whether they would refer women for emergency contraception, abortion or prenatal care (AP/Miami Herald, 11/3).
Supreme Court Leaves Colo. 'Bubble Zone' in Place
In related news, the Supreme Court on Monday also let stand a lower court ruling that upheld a Colorado law prohibiting individuals from blocking others from entering abortion facilities, the AP/Colorado Springs Gazette reports (AP/Colorado Springs Gazette, 11/3).
Colorado has a "bubble zone" that establishes an 8-foot floating perimeter around people entering clinics. Protesters are not permitted to enter the zone without obtaining the person's consent (Women's Health Policy Report, 7/8).
The lower court had found that the law was constitutional and did not violate individuals' free speech rights (AP/Colorado Springs Gazette, 11/3).