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Vermont sued by faith-based pregnancy centers over law restricting pro-life advertising

A coalition of pro-life pregnancy centers has taken legal action against Vermont state officials regarding a new law, SB 37, that imposes restrictions on their advertising and operations. The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday by the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, Branches Pregnancy Resource Center and Aspire Together. The coalition argues that the new law infringes upon their constitutional rights, violating both the First and Fourteenth Amendments. According to the lawsuit, the law censors the pregnancy centers’ ability to promote their free services through advertisements and restricts them from providing non-medical services, counseling and information unless offered by a licensed healthcare provider.

Christian Headlines reports:

A coalition of pro-life pregnancy centers filed suit Tuesday against Vermont state officials over a new law that limits their advertising and restricts what such nonprofits can do.

The new law, SB 37, was signed by Vermont Gov. Phil Scott in May. Alliance Defending Freedom filed the suit on behalf of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, Aspire Together and Branches Pregnancy Resource Center, alleging that the new law “violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments” of the U.S. Constitution by “imposing vague and viewpoint discriminatory laws that target speech and conduct.”

The law “censors the centers’ ability to advertise their free services” and “precludes centers from offering non-medical services, information, and counseling unless provided by a licensed health care provider,” the lawsuit alleges.

“Women who become unexpectedly pregnant should be empowered with life-affirming options, emotional support, and practical resources,” said ADF legal counsel Julia Payne. “Vermont’s law, however, does the opposite — it impedes women’s ability to receive critical services during a difficult time in their lives and suppresses the free-speech rights of faith-based pregnancy centers. Pregnancy centers should be free to serve women and offer the support they need without fear of unjust government punishment.”

The suit alleges that the law potentially prevents a pregnancy center staff member “who is not a licensed healthcare provider” from discussing a client’s pregnancy.

Pro-life pregnancy centers, the lawsuit says, benefit the public.

Read the full article here.

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