In 2010, NIRH Action Fund released a report on the deceptive practices of CPCs in New York entitled “’She Said Abortion Could Cause Breast Cancer’: A Report on the Lies, Manipulations, and Privacy Violations of Crisis Pregnancy Centers in New York City,” based on an undercover investigation they conducted with several volunteers. The following year, the New York City Council passed an ordinance requiring CPCs 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 CPCs to treat all health and personal information they receive as confidential. Several local CPCs sued, arguing that the disclosure requirements violated their First Amendment rights. They did not challenge the law’s confidentiality provision. In 2011, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York held that the law was vague and issued an injunction preventing the city from enforcing the law. However, in 2014, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the District Court, holding that the law was not unconstitutionally vague. The Second Circuit then upheld the requirement that CPCs disclose whether or not they have a medical provider on staff, although the court struck down the requirement that CPCs disclose whether or not staff would refer for contraception or abortion services. When the CPCs appealed this ruling to the Supreme Court, the 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.
- Read NARAL Pro-Choice New York’s investigation into CPCs.
- Read the New York 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 ruling in
- Read our , one of the young women who went undercover for the investigation.