Will discrimination be reinstated against Md. pro-life pregnancy resource centers?

ADF attorneys available to media following hearing at 4th Circuit
Thursday, March 22, 2012

WHO: ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman and ADF Senior Counsel Bryan Beauman
WHAT: Available for media interviews following oral argument in Centro Tepeyac v. Montgomery County
WHEN: Friday, March 23, immediately following hearing. Hearings begin at 8:30 a.m. EDT.
WHERE: U.S. Courthouse, 1000 E. Main St., Main Street Entrance, Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys will be available for media interviews following oral argument at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in a lawsuit involving a Montgomery County law that forces pro-life pregnancy counselors to advise women against using their services.

Most of the law was put on hold in March of last year by a federal district court, but the county appealed that decision. ADF attorneys represent a Silver Spring, Md., pregnancy resource center in the lawsuit against the county. A similar law that was separately held unconstitutional in Baltimore will be argued at the same appellate hearing on Friday.

“Pregnancy centers, which offer real help and hope to women, shouldn’t be punished by political allies of the abortion industry,” said ADF Legal Counsel Matt Bowman, co-counsel for the Centro Tepeyac Women’s Center. “Attacks on pregnancy centers are designed to distract from the growing national scandals in the abortion industry. For years, abortionists have preyed on women and girls for profit. Now pro-abortion politicians are trying to give these women fewer choices.”

“There is no abortion exception to the First Amendment. The county has no business taking over the walls of pro-life pregnancy centers to tell women to go seek help elsewhere,” said Mark Rienzi, who will argue before the court Friday as lead counsel for Centro Tepeyac. Rienzi is an ADF-allied attorney and a law professor at Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law.

Under the Montgomery County law, pro-life pregnancy resource centers must post signage noting that the county believes women should seek assistance elsewhere. The district court issued a preliminary injunction preventing the county from enforcing that requirement. The county intentionally crafted the law so that it doesn’t apply to pro-abortion centers, such as Planned Parenthood.

Attorneys Bob Michael and John Garza, two of nearly 2,100 attorneys in the ADF alliance, are also serving as co-counsel in the lawsuit, Centro Tepeyac v. Montgomery County.

ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.