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"Crisis Pregnancy Center" Legislation
What's the latest?
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals returned the Baltimore City case to the District Court, ruling that the District Court had not followed the proper procedure and sending the case back to be reheard correctly. After several years, the federal court ruled against the city in September, 2016, and the city appealed. Oral arguments were heard in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on October 24, 2017.
The Montgomery County ordinance was also returned to the District Court, which ruled against the County.
We continue to work with the city and county councils and will keep this page updated as new information becomes available.
In case you missed how we got here, below is a timeline of events:
Investigation: Our first investigation of Crisis Pregnancy Centers (Read it here.)
Investigation: We conduct a second, in-depth investigation of CPCs. (The Truth Reveled Report)
Legislation: Working with the Baltimore City Council, we help pass Ordinance 09-0406, making Baltimore city the first place in the country to ask CPCs to disclose the truth about their practices.
Litigation: CPCs challenge the ordinance in court in order to avoid being honest about their services, and the ordinance is not enforced, pending the court's decision.
Legislation: Following the example of Baltimore City, Montgomery County, MD, passes Resolution 16-1252, a similar regulation on pregnancy centers.
Litigation: CPCs challenge the Montgomery legislation. In Baltimore, a district court sides with CPCs. Baltimore City appeals the ruling.
Litigation: A district court sides partially with Montgomery County and partially with CPCs, allowing half of the ordinance to go into effect and enjoining the other half, until the merits of the cases are decided. The decision is appealed.
Investigation: We map out locations of as many CPCs as we can find in Maryland. (Is there a CPC in your neighborhood?)
Litigation: A three judge panel of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rules 2-1 in favor of CPCs in both Baltimore City and Montgomery County, MD. The majority (Judges Niemeyer and Agee) sided with the CPCs, while Judge King likened the proceedings to a "kangaroo court" and said that the majority "decision is, in a word, indefensible." Baltimore and Montgomery file to have the case heard en banc so that the entire court will hear the case. The court accepts Baltimore's request and oral arguments are heard on December 6, 2012.
The Fourth Circuit ruling on the Baltimore case stated that the lower court’s decision against the ordinance was too hasty and the court had denied the pro-choice defendants the opportunity to submit evidence countering the anti-choice CPC’s claims. The Montgomery County decision applied to the district court’s partial preliminary injunction of the ordinance requiring that CPCs post signs that (1) they do not have medical personnel on staff and (2) the County recommends that pregnant women seek care from a medical professional. The district court, while allowing the first provision to go into effect, had enjoined the second. The Fourth Circuit upheld that decision, and the case against the ordinance’s merits will continue in the district court.
Education: We create the It's Lies campaign, a groundbreaking educational campaign on Baltimore City buses that educated people about the deceptive tactics used by CPCs.
Litigation: The District Court rules against Montgomery County. The Baltimore case is still pending.