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Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Clinics Seek Reprieve From Abortion Info Law

SACRAMENTO (CN) - Anti-abortion groups asked a federal judge on Friday to enjoin a California law that requires pregnancy clinics to describe their abortion services.

The motion by A Woman's Friend Pregnancy Resource Clinic and two others comes about a month after they brought a lawsuit calling Assembly Bill 775 unconstitutional.

They say the law scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2016, violates their free-speech rights by making them "disseminate the state of California's message for which the clinic disagrees."

Otherwise known as the Reproductive FACT Act , the law requires clinics to hand out or plainly post information about where women can obtain low-cost contraceptives and abortions.

Offenders face up to $500 in fines for a first violation and $1,000 thereafter.

Attorney General Kamala Harris sponsored AB 775, which passed the California Legislature 73-40, and she thanked Brown for signing it last month.

"I am proud to have co-sponsored the Reproductive FACT Act, which ensures that all women have equal access to comprehensive reproductive health care services, and that they have the facts they need to make informed decisions about their health and their lives," Harris said in a statement. "I commend Governor Brown for signing AB 775 and thank Assemblymembers David Chiu and Autumn Burke for championing this important law."

In addition to A Woman's Friend Pregnancy Resource Clinic, the law has drawn challenge from the Crisis Pregnancy Center of Northern California and Alternatives Women's Center. All three groups are religious nonprofits that offer free services to pregnant women, including ultrasound exams and education about nutrition and sexually transmitted diseases.

Their motion for an injunction will go before U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller on Dec. 18.

Attorneys for the groups with the Pacific Justice Institute in Sacramento did not return a request for comment Friday afternoon.

Editor's Note - This article was corrected on Nov. 16 because of several errors in the original version. Courthouse News misreported Friday that U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller granted the injunction, when in fact the order was simply proposed. A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Dec. 18. We regret the error.

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