A federal appeals court reinstated a portion of a 2011 New York City law that regulates Crisis Pregnancy Centers, known as CPCs or fake clinics. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling means that CPCs operating in New York City must now disclose whether or not a licensed medical professional works on-site at the facility.
To comply with the law, CPCs must post the disclosure in English and Spanish at their entrances and in their waiting rooms. Disclosures must also appear on advertisements and be made orally, either in-person to potential clients or during telephone conversations with potential clients.
“A pregnant woman deserves and has the right to know whether the person posing as her medical provider is actually just an anti-choice activist,” said NARAL Pro-Choice New York President Andrea Miller. “We look forward to the City moving forward to impelement this important protection.”
A lower court had temporarily blocked enforcement of the 2011 law, finding that it was “unconstitutionally vague.” Overturning that decision, Judge Rosemary Pooler wrote: “The Status Disclosure is the least restrictive means to ensure that a woman is aware of whether or not a particular pregnancy services center has a licensed medical provider at the time that she first interacts with it. Such a law is required to ensure that women have prompt access to the type of care they seek.”
The Second Circuit did not reinstate the New York City law in its entirety. CPCs in New York City will still not be required to disclose whether they provide referrals for emergency contraception, abortions, or prenatal care. The court also ruled that the City could not require CPCs to disclose that “the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene encourages women whoa re or who may be pregnant to consult with a licensed provider.”
Media Resources: The Evergreen Association, Inc. v. City of New York; NARAL Pro-Choice New York Press Release 1/17/14; RH Reality Check 3/6/2011, 1/20/2014