Austin-Area Pregnancy Resource Centers’ Lawsuit Proceeds as City Government Continues to Target Faith-based Groups’ Free Speech and Religious Exercise
Liberty Institute Amends Complaint and Seeks Preliminary Injunction Defending Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin and Austin-Area Pregnancy Resource Centers Against Newly Amended Unlawful Ordinance
AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, Liberty Institute, on behalf of three Austin, TX-area pregnancy resource centers, filed an amended complaint in the pending federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. Austin Division, Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin, et al. v. City of Austin. The Amended Complaint identifies, as unconstitutional, the City’s recently enacted amended ordinance that continues to compel pregnancy resource centers, under the threat of criminal penalties, to disclose misleading government-mandated information about their services at their front entrances. In an accompanying Motion for Preliminary Injunction, Liberty Institute is also requesting that the federal court enjoin enforcement of the amended ordinance pending a final hearing on its constitutionality.
Following the repeal of City Ordinance 10-9 on January 26, Austin’s City Council unanimously passed a second ordinance, 10-10, which continues to unfairly targets faith-based groups who object to providing to their clients abortions and contraceptives. Similar ordinances have been struck down by judges in at least three other U.S. federal courts. Legal fees to continue litigating the case are estimated to cost Austin taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“On behalf of our clients, we are saddened that the City of Austin has approved yet a second unlawful ordinance that violates our client’s First Amendment rights to free speech and exercise of their religious beliefs,” said Jonathan Saenz, an attorney and director of legislative affairs for Liberty Institute in Austin.
Texas Supreme Court Justice Raul Gonzalez, David Lill, and attorneys with Liberty Institute represent the Roman Catholic Diocese of Austin, Catholic Charities of Central Texas, the Austin Pregnancy Resource Center, and the South Austin Pregnancy Resource Center in this federal lawsuit.
Liberty Institute is a non-profit legal firm defending and restoring religious freedom across America. For information, visit www.LibertyInstitute.org.
SOURCE Liberty Institute