Austin LifeCare v. City of Austin

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Description:  In 2010, the Austin City Council passed an ordinance specifically to restrict the operations of pro-life centers that help women choose birth but that do not promote abortion. The ordinance required centers such as LifeCare to display multiple signs at the entrance of the center before any staff had a chance to talk to women—signs that state that the center does not provide practices such as abortions. The ordinance imposed severe fines for failure to post the signs. Facing a lawsuit, the city later revised the ordinance, but it continued to require pro-life centers to post negative signs simply because the centers speak to women about pregnancy while the city effectively exempted abortion facilities. Under the ordinance, pro-life centers that don’t offer medical services must post negative signs even if the centers don’t claim they are medical. Pro-life centers like LifeCare that do have part-time, licensed doctors supervising ultrasounds must still post a sign declaring that the facility is not licensed to offer ultrasounds—even though there is no such thing as a facility license to perform ultrasounds, and, therefore, centers cannot obtain such licenses.

Court strikes down Austin, Texas anti-pregnancy care law

Monday, June 23, 2014

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman regarding a federal district court’s decision Monday in Austin LifeCare v. City of Austin to strike down an Austin, Texas, anti-pregnancy care law that forced pregnancy care centers to post messages that encourage women to go elsewhere:

“Political allies of abortionists shouldn’t be allowed to use the law as a tool to attack pregnancy care centers, which offer real help and hope to women. As the district court found, Austin’s ordinance was so vague that it allowed the city dangerous latitude in punishing pro-life organizations. Courts around the country have been striking these types of laws down, and this decision joins the growing list.”
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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Additional resources: Austin LifeCare v. City of Austin

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Previous news releases:

  • 2012-02-01: Austin renews attack on pro-life centers
  • 2011-11-14: Signs of hope in Austin: City reconsiders law regulating pro-life centers
  • 2011-10-06: Austin ordinance forces pregnancy resource centers to highlight abortion

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