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76 Nat'l Law. Guild Rev. 75 (2019)
NIFLA v. Becerra and Crisis Pregnancy Centers: Constitutionalizing the Distribution of False Medical Information to Pregnant People

handle is hein.journals/guild76 and id is 79 raw text is: 


Amelia Spencer
                       NIFLA V. BECERRA AND CRISIS PREGNANCY
                             CENTERS: CONSTITUTIONALIZING THE
                                 DISTRIBUTION OF FALSE MEDICAL
                              INFORMATION TO PREGNANT PEOPLE
 I. Introduction
 An abortion clinic and a crisis pregnancy center (CPC) stand directly
 across from each other at the corner of 12th and Delaware in Fort Pierce,
 Florida.' A man hovers outside the abortion clinic holding a poster of a
 bloody, mangled fetus.2 A woman paces the sidewalk holding a rosary and
 singing hymns.' As patients enter the abortion clinic, protesters alternate
 between insulting them, calling them murderers, and attempting to lure
 them across the street to the CPC.4 When the doctor arrives, he is covered
 by a sheet to protect his identity.' Seeking an abortion in the U.S. can be
 traumatic. Performing abortions can be downright dangerous.6
 With the passage of Roe v. Wade,7 pro-life activists mobilized on a national
 level, sowing the seeds for an intensely polarized battle over abortion rights
 that, in great part, defines the Democratic and Republican party platforms
 as they exist today.' A key component of anti-choice activism has been the
 establishment of CPCs. California became the first state to regulate CPCs
 through its Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care,
 and Transparency (FACT) Act, which required CPCs to disclose that state
 funded clinics offer other pregnancy options (including abortion) and inform
 patients if they are not licensed to provide medical services. I
 In NationalInstitute ofFamily andLife Advocates v. Becerra, the Supreme
 Court held that California's FACT Act violated the First Amendment.10
 In light of NIFLA v. Becerra, there are three necessary policy changes.
 First, state and federal governments should refuse to fund CPCs directly
 or indirectly. CPCs violate the First Amendment's Establishment Clause
 on separation of church and state when they use government funds to mas-
 querade as healthcare clinics and provide inaccurate medical information
 to pregnant people. Second, the federal government should enact a National
 Deceptive Trade Practices Act to target CPCs' false advertising and decep-
tive practices. Finally, Congress should promulgate a statute that conforms
with NIFLA v. Becerra. CPCs impose an unconstitutional undue burden
on individuals seeking abortions when they provide them with inaccurate

Amelia Spencer is a recent graduate of the George Washington University Law
School and has accepted a position as a staff attorney with Bronx Legal Services
in New York.

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