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A Connecticut law prohibiting deceptive advertising by pregnancy centers faces a federal lawsuit

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A federal lawsuit is challenging a state law in Connecticut that bans deceptive advertising by pro-life pregnancy centers. 

Crisis pregnancy centers don’t perform abortions or offer contraceptives. Many are aligned with faith-based organizations. Critics say they make people think they’re abortion providers, but are meant to discourage women from abortions or contraception.

Denise Harley is with Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization suing the state over the law on behalf of a New London-based pregnancy center.

“The bottom line here is that all Americans have the right to live and work freely according to their beliefs. And so even if you don’t share the views of pregnancy centers in this particular case, I think everyone should be concerned when you see the government targeting certain opinions and trying to silence them,” Harley said.

Liz Gustafson, with NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, said Connecticut’s law is important because it protects women from being taken advantage of by pregnancy centers that often deceptively market themselves as abortion clinics.

“While they have important First Amendment rights, including the right to try to persuade people who are pregnant to not have abortions, no one has the right to try to deceive or trick individuals by misleading them into thinking they will get services that are unavailable,” Gustafson said.

The law went into effect in July.

Copyright 2021 WSHU. To see more, visit WSHU.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He fell in love with sound-rich radio storytelling while working as an assistant reporter at KBIA public radio in Columbia, Missouri. Before coming back to radio, he worked in digital journalism as the editor of Newtown Patch. As a freelance reporter, his work for WSHU aired nationally on NPR. Davis is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism; he started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.
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