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Federal Suit Filed Against Connecticut Law That Punishes Pro-Life Speech

Attorneys for a Connecticut faith-based pregnancy center are mounting a constitutional challenge to a state law requiring it to provide abortion referrals, claiming the statute violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom and freedom of association, and due process and equal protection. The law—Public Act No. 21-17—proscribes “deceptive advertising” by limited services pregnancy centers and exclusively empowers the state attorney general to impose monetary fines and require “corrective” advertising to be paid for by the offending center. “Limited services pregnancy centers” are those that do not provide abortions or abortion referrals and that offer faith-based counseling, healthcare, and other services to encourage a pregnant woman not to abort the baby. The Connecticut legislature approved the law in May after it failed to gain passage in 2020 and 2019. State Attorney General William Tong told the legislature in testimony that “some limited services pregnancy centers openly acknowledge in their advertising …

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