“We are confident that today’s procedural ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit will eventually lead to a ruling that affirms pregnant women in need of assistance and the First Amendment principles we treasure in a free society,” Archbishop Lori said. “A three-judge panel of this same Court affirmed a 2011 ruling of a federal court in Baltimore, with both courts saying the City’s ordinance violates the pro-life pregnancy centers’ First Amendment rights by requiring the posting of the sign. We continue to believe the ordinance is based solely on the centers’ moral and religious beliefs.
“We plan to support these centers as they respond to the Court’s request for additional information and are confident that the Court will issue a final ruling that denounces the ordinance as unconstitutional.”
Of note, the Court, in its decision today, refused the City’s request to dismiss the lawsuit and to uphold the ordinance in its entirety.
The Center for Pregnancy Concerns provides free services to 1,000 pregnant women in Baltimore City annually, and handles approximately 8,000 calls to their 24-hour hotline.