Supreme Court Warily Eyes California Law Involving Abortion and Free Speech

By Adam Liptak

WASHINGTON — A California law that requires “crisis pregnancy centers” to provide information about abortion met a skeptical reception at Supreme Court arguments on Tuesday.

The centers, which are often affiliated with religious groups, seek to persuade women to carry their pregnancies to term or to offer their offspring for adoption. The law requires centers licensed by the state to post notices that free or low-cost abortion, contraception and prenatal care are available to low-income women through public programs, and to provide the phone number for more information.

Justices across the ideological spectrum said they suspected that the law had singled out centers run by opponents of abortion. Justice Elena Kagan said she was concerned that the law had been “gerrymandered” to address only some providers, something she said would pose a serious First Amendment problem.

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