Scholarly Articles and Other Contributions
 

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2010

Abstract

On December 4, 2009, Baltimore, Maryland enacted the nation's first law regulating the speech of individuals and groups who want to talk to pregnant women about whether to have an abortion. Less than two months later, nearby Montgomery County, Maryland enacted the second. These regulations only apply to speakers who want to talk about one particular subject: pregnancy. As a practical matter, the regulations only apply to speakers who oppose abortion. Counselors who work for organizations willing to provide abortions are entirely exempt. Immediately after these laws passed, abortion providers and their allies across the country began plans to pursue similar speech regulations in other jurisdictions. For example, an NARAL activist in California explained that “here in California when we look at [the Baltimore] model we're excited and curious as to how we can use the model in our own state. NARAL and Planned Parenthood are planning similar campaigns in other states, and several state legislatures are already considering similar speech restrictions. Why are these legislatures trying to regulate discussions of pregnancy by speakers who oppose abortion?

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