In 2008, NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland released a report entitled “The Truth Revealed: Maryland Crisis Pregnancy Center Investigations” that highlighted the deceptive practices of fake clinics in the state. The following year, the Baltimore City Council passed an ordinance requiring fake clinics to disclose whether or not they provide or make referrals for abortion or contraception services. The Montgomery County Council passed a similar ordinance in 2010. Local fake clinics and Catholic officials filed two lawsuits against both jurisdictions, and in 2011 a U.S. District Court blocked the laws from being enforced. A three-judge panel of Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals initially upheld that ruling in 2012. However, the case was heard before the full Fourth Circuit en banc in late 2012, and the court overturned the initial ruling on both ordinances, remanding the cases back to the U.S. District Court for further discovery. The District Court then ruled against the Montgomery County ordinance in 2014. The Baltimore case is still pending and remains enjoined until a decision is reached.
- Read NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland’s fake clinic report.
- Read the Baltimore ordinance and the Montgomery County ordinance.
- View the 2010 Montgomery County Council meeting when the ordinance was passed.
- Rewire covered the history of the Baltimore case following the Fourth Circuit’s 2013 ruling.
NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland’s timeline of the litigation on the ordinances.