Will Md. pro-life centers be forced to sign away their rights?

Alliance Defending Freedom attorney available to media following 4th Circuit hearing
Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Attorney sound bite:  Matt Bowman

WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman
WHAT: Available for media interviews following oral arguments by co-counsel in Centro Tepeyac v. Montgomery County
WHEN: Thursday, Dec. 6, immediately following hearing at 9 a.m. EST
WHERE: U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, U.S. Courthouse, 1000 E. Main St., Main Street Entrance, Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. — An Alliance Defending Freedom attorney will be available for media interviews following oral arguments by co-counsel Thursday at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in a lawsuit involving a Montgomery County, Md. law that forces pro-life pregnancy counselors to advise women against using their services.
 
“Pregnancy centers, which offer real help and hope to women, shouldn’t be punished by political allies of abortion sellers,” said Senior Legal Counsel Matt Bowman, co-counsel for the Centro Tepeyac Women’s Center. “Pro-life centers provide women with the emotional support and practical resources they need, giving them more choices. They should be free to share that message instead of being compelled to provide the government’s preferred message, which sends women elsewhere. The 4th Circuit panel was right to rule against Montgomery County’s law, and we trust the full court will agree.”
 
The Montgomery County law forces “limited-service pregnancy centers” and individuals who have a “primary purpose” of offering information about pregnancy to post signage noting that a medical professional is not on staff and that the county health department advises them to speak with a licensed medical professional. The county intentionally crafted the law so that it doesn’t apply to pro-abortion centers, such as Planned Parenthood, even if counseling is offered by non-medical persons.
 
In March 2011, a federal district judge issued a preliminary injunction preventing the county from enforcing part of the new requirement, and a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit later upheld the district court’s decision and further blocked the entire ordinance. In August, the full 4th Circuit decided to review the case. Similar laws around the country have also been declared unconstitutional.
 
Lead counsel Mark Rienzi will argue before the court Thursday. Rienzi is one of nearly 2,200 allied attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom and a law professor at Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law. Allied attorneys Bob Michael and John Garza are also serving as co-counsel in the suit.

  • Fact sheet on the case
  • Pronunciation guide: Bowman (BOH’-min), Rienzi (Ree-EN’-zee)

Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly Alliance Defense Fund) is an alliance-building legal ministry that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
 
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