In 2010, NIRH worked with the New York City Council to pass a law regulating fake clinics that deceive women in New York City. NIRH first investigated fake clinics, and released a report on the deceptive practices of fake clinics, in order to build the record of harm. We then worked with the New York City Council to pass an ordinance requiring fake clinics to post signs and otherwise disclose information about the services they provide, including whether a licensed medical provider is on staff at the center and whether center staff will refer women for contraception and abortion services. The law also contained a provision requiring fake clinics to treat all health and personal information they receive as confidential.
Several local fake clinics sued, arguing that the disclosure requirements violated their First Amendment rights. After an appeal, the Second Circuit upheld the requirement that fake clinics disclose whether or not they have a medical provider on staff, although the court struck down the requirement that they disclose whether or not staff would refer for contraception or abortion services. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case, allowing the Second Circuit Court ruling to stand and enabling New York City to begin enforcing this part of the law.
NIRH then continued its advocacy, urging the City to promulgate regulations and begin to enforce the new law. In 2016, the City went through a rulemaking process to promulgate the regulations and in 2017, the City enforced the law against the first set of CPCs to violate the ordinance.
- Read our investigation into CPCs.
- Read the New York City ordinance.
- In 2011, New York Civil Liberties Union filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the New York ordinance.
- Read a summary of the court cases surrounding the ordinance in the National Partnership for Women and Families’ Repro Health Watch.
- Read about the Supreme Court decision not to hear an appeal to the Second Circuit Court’s decision.