Connecticut Crisis-Pregnancy Center Withdraws Lawsuit Against ‘Deceptive Advertising’ Ban| National Catholic Register

HARTFORD, Connecticut — The ProLife Pregnancy Center in Connecticut has closed a legal challenge to a state law prohibiting what it calls “deceptive advertising” by such centers.

An attorney representing the Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center in Southeastern Connecticut said his client was satisfied that state attorney general William Tong had not taken action against the state’s emergency pregnancy centers. I got

“Connecticut Attorney General Tong has clarified in his lawsuit that he is unaware that some women are being cheated on by Prolife pregnancy centers. Our client Care Net New London will continue to focus its energy and resources on serving unborn babies and their mothers,” said Mark Lippelman, Senior Counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom. said in a written statement addressed to the Register through its spokesperson.

Alliance Defending Freedom is a legal organization headquartered in Arizona that conducts religious and free speech litigation.

“I am happy that this issue has been resolved.

Both sides signed a court filing known as the “Joint Dismissal Provision” on January 11. The lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice the next day, implying that similar lawsuits may be filed in the future.

In May 2021, the Legislature ruled that “any statement regarding pregnancy-related services or the provision of pregnancy-related services, whether by statement or omission, is deceptive and provides limited services.” We passed a bill banning pregnancy centers from knowing or being pregnant.You should reasonably know it’s deceptive.”

The bill calls the Pro-Life Pregnancy Resource Center a “limited service pregnancy center” because it does not provide abortion, contraception, or referrals.

The governor signed it into law later that month. Effective July 1, 2021.

Proponents of the law say it is necessary because some pregnancy centers lure unsuspecting women with problematic pregnancies into their buildings and make unexpected and unwelcome sales pitches to discourage them from having abortions. said. The longer the pregnancy lasts, the less likely it is to have an abortion.

Opponents of the law argue that crisis pregnancy centers use standard marketing techniques to reach potential customers and offer free products and services that pregnant women are free to accept or reject. claims to be They say the point of the law is to have a chilling effect on what amounts to competition for abortion facilities.

legal context

called the Connecticut Incident Pregnancy Support Center Inc. vs. TongThe dismissal date is January 12, 2023.

As The Register reported last year, in October 2021, the company that runs a Christian critical pregnancy center in New London, a coastal city in southeastern Connecticut, announced that the law would end the center’s free speech and free movement. filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleging infringement. A religion guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

According to United States District Court documents for the District of Connecticut, no substantive complaint has been filed in this case for more than a year.

Most recently, in December 2021, attorneys in the Attorney General’s Office (defendants in this case) denied that the law violated the constitutional rights of emergency pregnancy centers.

The Attorney General’s attorneys also questioned the “maturity” of the case. This is a legal term that refers to whether the facts of a case have matured into a substantive controversy that warrants intervention by the court.

“In the absence of allegations that the defendants have enforced or threatened to enforce the law, the plaintiff’s allegations … maturity, especially in light of the fact that the Act gives plaintiffs the right to give notice of alleged violations and to remedy them 10 days before enforcement. It is insufficient as a matter of law to actually establish objective, non-speculative damages to meet the requirements of the Attorney General’s filings with the court dated December 7, 2021 that the lawsuit stated to have been filed.

Activists Target Pregnancy Centers

Opposing pro-abortion pregnancy centers has become a priority for abortion advocates in the United States. In July 2022, Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren called for a ban on emergency pregnancy centers.

“We need to shut them down here in Massachusetts and we need to shut them down across the country. You can’t torture a pregnant person like that,” Warren said.

Elected officials from seven Massachusetts municipalities have been discussing similar measures with Connecticut for the past year.

In Cambridge, home to Harvard University’s undergraduate and law schools, city councilors called for a ban on emergency pregnancy centers this fall. After obtaining a legal opinion that doing so would violate the federal constitution, they gave up. But on January 9, he passed an ordinance banning “deceptive advertising practices” by such centers, and the city’s licensing board threatened to fine him $300 a day.

Nearby Somerville passed an equivalent ordinance in March 2022.

Neither city currently has a critical pregnancy center, so neither ordinance is unlikely to face legal challenges in the near future.

The Register contacted the Massachusetts Family Institute to put together a coalition of several emergency pregnancy centers in the state in September 2022 and ask the state attorney general to protect them. Three maternal assistance centers endured glass shards and graffiti all night long.

Since May 2022, when a draft U.S. Supreme Court ruling was overturned, dozens of emergency pregnancy centers across the country have come under physical attack. Law vs Wade According to a list compiled by the Center for Family Studies, it was leaked.

“The Massachusetts Family Institute is pleased to hear the Connecticut Attorney General’s admission during the lawsuit. number “An example of deceptive advertising by a crisis pregnancy center in Connecticut,” said Andrew Beckwith, director of the Massachusetts Family Institute, in a statement written through a spokesman. Just to reinforce what I’ve been saying: The “deceptive advertising” claims that Planned Parenthood and its allies spew against ProLife, the ProWomen’s Pregnancy Resource Center, have no basis in reality. They are an excuse to shut down what the abortion industry sees as its most dangerous competitors. ”

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