An Attack on Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers

A bill has been introduced in the New York City Council (Intro. 371) that singles out pregnancy resource centers for harsh and discriminatory regulation.

The targets of this bill include Catholic Charities and a number of crisis pregnancy centers, all of which help pregnant women in need. These agencies offer services to poor expectant mothers who want help in having their baby. They provide spiritual, material and emotional support, and both before and after the babies are born. All provide these services completely free of charge — and most receive no federal, state, or city tax dollars to support their work.

Here are some of the lowlights of this terrible bill:

  • This bill would violate constitutional guarantees of free speech by forcing these agencies to post signs and change the wording of their advertisements to describe what services they don’t provide (referrals for abortion and contraception).
  • If the City government isn’t satisfied with the wording of these signs, ads and websites, the pregnancy centers can receive heavy fines (up to $2,500), they can be closed down by the police, and their staff can go to jail for six months.
  • The confidentiality provisions of the bill are written in a way that would prevent pregnancy center staff from reporting child abuse — from even notifying a pregnant teen’s parents that she was sexually abused.
  • No other business or organization in the City has to face such unfair regulations.
  • No other organization can be closed down, or have their staff thrown in jail, merely for failing to post signs.
  • There are far more abortion clinics in the City than pregnancy centers, yet none of them would be required to post signs or advertise the services that they don’t provide — like referrals for adoption, help in nurturing the baby to birth, and support to mothers with newborns.
  • This bill is the product of a national campaign by abortion advocates to shut down pro-life organizations that help pregnant women who are seeking alternatives to abortion. These powerful and influential pro-abortion organizations are enlisting the City Council to show favoritism to their position on abortion, and to silence those who disagree.
  • Make no mistake about it. The only reason that the City Council is considering this bill is that they disapprove of what pro-lifers are saying and doing — opposing abortions.

    A hearing was held today before the Women’s Issues Committee of the City Council. Many pro-life groups gave testimony. I testified too, and I’ll have more to say about the hearing in my next post.

    If you’d like more information about the bill, click here.  If you’d like to find out who your City Council representative is, to let them know what you think about this bill, click here.

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