Montgomery County will appeal a federal court decision that struck down its requirement that anti-abortion pregnancy clinics make a health disclosure to patients.
A three-judge panel of the court on June 27 reversed in part and upheld in part the lower court’s decision on the resolution.
The 2010 resolution requires limited resource centers to post a disclaimer that it does not have a licensed medical professional on staff and also post one that the Montgomery County Health Officer encourages women who are or might be pregnant to consult a licensed health care provider.
Centro Tepeyac Silver Spring Women’s Center, a pregnancy center, sued the county claiming the resolution violated its free-speech rights.
Two judges on the panel agreed that both disclaimers violated the First Amendment.
Councilman George L. Leventhal (D-At large) of Takoma Park said the most important thing for a pregnant woman is prenatal care and that if women are going to these centers believing that they are clinics, they are not.
Council President Roger Berliner (D-Dist. 1) of Bethesda said the county will appeal the panel’s decision to the “en banc” or the full 4th circuit court for reconsideration.
“This to me was one of those issues in which right-wing judicial opinions need to be challenged,” he said. “It just was, in my judgment, a flawed opinion.”