San Francisco
Dreamstime

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court has upheld a San Francisco law aimed at countering what officials claim is deceptive advertising by some pregnancy clinics opposed to abortion.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that the 2011 ordinance is constitutional. The judges said it regulates false or misleading commercial speech, which is not protected by the constitution.

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The ordinance prohibits so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" from making false or misleading statements about their pregnancy-related services. City officials said some of the centers tried to mislead women into believing that they offered abortion services when in fact they didn't and wouldn't refer clients to places that did.

The 9th Circuit ruling came in a lawsuit filed by one clinic, First Resort. An email to an attorney for the clinic was not immediately returned.

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