4th Circuit Will Review CPC Truth-In-Advertising Ordinance

The full Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to review a challenge to Baltimore’s truth-in-advertising ordinance that requires crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to post signs in their waiting rooms indicating they do not provide or make referrals for abortion or comprehensive birth control services.

The Baltimore ordinance is the first of its kind and strikes at the heart of the deception necessary to keep CPC’s in operation. The order voids a June decision from a divided panel of judges that struck the ordinance as a violation of CPC speech rights, a decision one judge described as “indefensible” in his dissent.

A new hearing on the challenge will be held on December 6th.

CPCs frequently advertise themselves as clinics that provide a full range of reproductive health services. In reality though CPC’s are non-medical organizations that dissuade women from obtaining abortion and birth control services.  In addition to deceptive advertising, some centers provide factually inaccurate information to patients and disregard patient confidentiality. Anti-choice activists promote CPC’s as “alternatives” to comprehensive women’s health clinics despite the fact that they are anything but.

The Center for Reproductive Rights joined the City of Baltimore to defend the ordinance in June 2010 against a lawsuit filed by the Archbishop of Baltimore, a local parish, and the Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns seeking to block enforcement of the ordinance.

In January 2011, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of the CPC and its allies before the city was even able to submit evidence in support of its case, and the City and the Center immediately appealed the ruling to the Fourth Circuit.

“We applaud the Fourth Circuit for reconsidering this important case and we will continue to fight alongside the City of Baltimore in its efforts to protect residents from the deceptive business practices of so-called crisis pregnancy centers,” said Stephanie Toti, senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “The women of Baltimore deserve timely access to comprehensive reproductive health care services, not lies and delay tactics.”

Baltimore was the first city in the nation to pass legislation requiring these centers to disclose that they neither refer nor offer abortion services. Others cities including Austin, TX, New York City, and San Francisco have since introduced similar measures to curb the deceptive practices of these centers.

Related Stories:

Missouri GOP Think Fraud By Crisis Pregnancy Centers OK

Crisis Pregnancy Centers Lie In Minnesota, Too

Photo from steakpinball via flickr.


Lawrence Travers
Lawrence Travers5 years ago

Maybe Left Wing nuts (if there are any) should send bombs to CPC's.
Just joking, but this country is going to hell. How can we live with Right Wing nuts "law" and Islamic Sharia "law"?

Winn Adams
Winn Adams5 years ago


Terry Vanderbush
Terry V5 years ago


Joe Beiter
Joseph Beiter5 years ago

I hope this "truth in advertising" is applied to those dairy commercials, too ...saying that milk's "good" for you...

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L5 years ago

The only way to end this nonsense is to vote the Republicans out of office.

pam w.
pam w5 years ago

GOOD! These CPCs are liars! Nothing like having a confused and unhappily pregnant woman fall into their hands.

I suppose the religious "WE OWN YOUR BODY AND WILL MAKE YOUR DECISIONS" gang of thugs is trying to fight this.

Amanda M.
Amanda M5 years ago

CPCs should be called on the false advertising they do! They do NOTHING to promote women's health-they exist solely to spread misinformation and lies, harass women in the name of their twisted version of Christianity (they also engage in aggressive proselytizing), and guilt them into Staying Pregnant No Matter What.

I would far rather see our tax dollars go towards REAL women's health clinics that actually DO perform reproductive health services such as pelvic exams, Pap smears, cancer screenings, distribution of MEDICALLY ACCURATE information about contraception (as well as access to effective, reliable contraception itself), and even provide the full range of pregnancy options including abortion, adoption info/referrals, and referrals for prenatal care-ALL of which Planned Parenthood and its ilk provide!

And Steve R, birth control IS part of women's health care. Pregnancy is a tremendous strain on a woman's body, and allowing women to plan and space their pregnancies helps keep their physical and mental health in good form. Not only that, but since hormonal birth control helps prevent or control symptoms of chronic conditions such as PCOS, endometriosis, severe menstrual symptoms, or fibroids, it DOES in fact help keep women healthier!

James N.
James N5 years ago

CPC is operating under fraudulent advertising. It provides no medical or counseling services by licensed professionals in the field. A woman in need of help in emergency pregnancy termination to save the mother may well die due to deliberate withholding of services. These people should be prosecuted not given funds to deceive the public for fundamental religious

Vivianne Mosca-Clark

I thought the law was to protect consumers from getting ripped off by a company lying to them about what was in their products.
But it seems that people can put known chemicals in their products and do not get in any trouble for hurting the customer.
I have signed a lot of petitions about this issue.
This thing about CPC is just another form of not telling the truth of what they provide to a person using their services.
Truth and ethics in business is at a all time low as far as i am concerned.

Duane B.
.5 years ago

I've never known truth and advertising to go together! ;-)