Federal Court Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong upheld most of a 2011 San Francisco law that prohibits the false advertising of anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers. First Resort, a CPC based in San Francisco, sued the state of California in response to the truth in advertising law, alleged that the law is vague, is preempted by state law, and is a violation of their equal protection rights. Armstrong ruled that the law is not vague enough to be confusing and that it is not preempted by state law. She also ruled, however, that the law burdens First Resort's "fundamental rights" to equal protection, thus requiring a strict scrutiny review of the law. Under strict scrutiny, a law can only be upheld in cases "where the law serves a compelling government interest."
The law is aimed at "ensuring that indigent women facing unexpected pregnancies are not harmed by false or misleading advertising by certain providers of pregnancy-related services." It applies to CPCs with limited services, such as First Resort, and others that do not provide abortion services and emergency contraception or referrals.
San Francisco was the first city in the nation to adopt a truth in advertising law for CPCs. Similar laws have been passed in Baltimore, Maryland; Montgomery County, Maryland; Austin, Texas; and New York, New York. All of these laws have been struck down as a result of legal challenges.
Media Resources: Jezebel 10/04/12; Courthouse News Service 10/03/12; Think Progress 10/05/12
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .