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Doctors of North Coast Women's Center

When Guadalupe Benitez came to Dr. Christine Brody and Dr. Douglas Fenton at the North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group for infertility treatments, the two Christian doctors explained that they had a policy based on their faith against artificially inseminating an unmarried woman. They referred her to another doctor who would perform the procedure, but agreed to provide all of the pre- and post- natal care, and also offered to pay any additional costs she encountered from going to another facility.

Six months after she became pregnant, she sued the doctors at the North Coast Women’s Care Group claiming that they discriminated against her by denying her care, not because she’s unmarried, but because she is a lesbian. The doctors would be in violation of a state law prohibiting discrimination based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity covering places of business and public accommodation.

Alliance Defending Freedom fought for the doctors’ freedom to run their practice according to their conscience at the trial court, and overturned the decision at the state appeals court. However, the California State Supreme court decision favored Guadalupe Benitez, claiming that the First Amendment’s right to the free exercise of religion did not exempt the doctors from “conforming their conduct” to the law’s antidiscrimination requirements even if it “poses an incidental conflict” with their faith.

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