(Bloomberg) -- Yelp Inc. preemptively sued Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in an effort to maintain notices for users of the online forum that say crisis pregnancy centers don’t provide abortion services.
Paxton sent Yelp a letter Sept. 22 claiming the company violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act with the notices and he was authorized to file a suit within seven days, according to the complaint filed in San Francisco federal court Wednesday.
“This threat targets truthful speech fully protected by the First Amendment,” Yelp said in the complaint in which it seeks an injunction to stop Paxton from taking any action to prosecute, fine or penalize the company. “The attorney general may not punish Yelp for publishing truthful information.”
Abortion rights advocates have accused crisis pregnancy centers of misleading people by advertising a full range of reproductive healthcare services, while they seek to discourage people facing unintended pregnancies from accessing abortion care. California’s attorney general has issued a consumer alert on the issue advising people to research the clinics and ask “the right questions.”
Users who initiate searches on Yelp for pregnancy resources or services, or specifically for CPCs, have no difficulty reaching Yelp business pages for CPCs, the company said in the complaint.
Yelp’s notice states: “Crisis Pregnancy Centers do not offer abortions or referrals to abortion providers.”
The case is Yelp Inc. v. Paxton, 3:23-cv-04977, US District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).
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