- Associated Press - Friday, January 28, 2011

BALTIMORE (AP) — A federal judge has ruled a Baltimore ordinance that requires pregnancy counseling centers to post a disclaimer if they don’t provide abortions or birth control unconstitutional.

In a ruling issued Friday, U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis said the ordinance violates the Freedom of Speech Clause of Article I of the Constitution and is unenforceable.

Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien was the lead plaintiff because the Catholic Church owns two pregnancy counseling centers that would be subject to the ordinance. Garbis dismissed claims by the archbishop for lack of standing. Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, which is provided rent-free-space by the archdiocese, was also a plaintiff.

Baltimore’s ordinance took effect last year, but the city agreed not to start enforcing it while the matter was litigated.

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