Abortion Pregnancy Assistance Centers

important decisions from the 4th Circuit in crisis pregnancy center cases

Yesterday, the 4th Circuit ruled (in 2-1 decisions) on 2 cases involving laws that compelled crisis pregnancy centers to engage in certain speech. Here are links to the decisions. and

The court held that the compelled speech ordinances violated the First Amendement rights of the centers.  Among other things, the ordinances required the centers to post signs stating that the centers did not provide or make referrals for abortion or birth control services. The court held that the speech that was compelled was non-commercial and that accordingly the ordinances had to meet the highest standard of review (strict scrutiny) and that the ordinances could not satisfy that standard.

These are important decisions that preserve the freedom of crisis pregnancy centers to counsel women in the way they choose, without having to convey a governmentally-mandate message.

Richard M.


Richard Myers

Richard S. Myers, the Vice-President of UFL, is Professor of Law at Ave Maria School of Law, where he teaches Antitrust, Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional Law, and Religious Freedom. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Kenyon College and earned his law degree at Notre Dame, where he won the law school's highest academic prize. He began his legal career by clerking for Judge John F. Kilkenny of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Professor Myers also worked for Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue in Washington, D.C. He taught at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law before joining the Ave Maria faculty. He is a co-editor of St. Thomas Aquinas and the Natural Law Tradition: Contemporary Perspectives (Catholic University of American Press, 2004) and a co-editor of Encyclopedia of Catholic Social Thought, Social Science, and Social Policy (Scarecrow Press, 2007). He has also published extensively on constitutional law in law reviews and also testified before Congressional and state legislative hearings on life issues. Married to Mollie Murphy, who is also on the faculty at Ave Maria School of Law, they are the proud parents of six children - Michael, Patrick, Clare, Kathleen, Matthew, and Andrew.