At the behest of NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and other abortion advocates, the New York City Council is considering legislation placing unnecessary and potentially unconstitutional limits on advertising by pregnancy care centers and requiring them to post signs intended to discourage women from using the centers’ services.
The legislation, sponsored by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, would require pregnancy care centers to “disclose that they do not provide abortions, FDA- approved contraception or referrals for these services. Disclosure will be in the form of signs at the entrance of the facility and in any waiting rooms as well as on the center’s website or on any advertising that they may publish. Furthermore, it will require signage to be posted if there is not a licensed medical professional present at the center.”
This legislation is part of an insidious, nationwide attack on pregnancy care centers (PCC) by abortion advocates who are more interested in protecting abortion’s lucrative “bottom line” than in ensuring that women are fully informed about and are able to exercise their pregnancy options.
For the past decade, abortion advocates led by NARAL have unsuccessfully targeted a number of states including Maryland, Michigan, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Washington for anti-PCC legislation. These statewide legislative efforts have been a complete failure, so abortion advocates have instead turned their attention to counties, cities, and municipalities. In these redirected efforts, they have recently enjoyed some success.
Over the past year, anti-PCC legislation has been adopted in Baltimore, Maryland; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Austin, Texas. Both pieces of legislation adopted in Maryland are currently facing court challenges.
Clearly, abortion advocates are desperate to “silence the competition” because they – in their zeal to promote abortion-on-demand – recognize the growing impact that PCCs are having on women, on their communities, and on the continuing debate over abortion in this country.
The life-affirming impact of PCCs is considerable. Each year, the reach and influence of PCCs grows as more centers open, as public opinion on abortion increasingly shifts to a pro-life ethic, and as PCCs receive more favorable attention for their important work. Today, thousands of PCCs operate across the country, serving women with compassion and integrity and offering them positive alternatives to unplanned pregnancies.
Currently, more than 2,500 PCCs across the United States provide invaluable free services to hundreds of thousands of women facing unplanned pregnancies. Services offered by PCCs typically include free pregnancy tests; one-on-one, nonjudgmental options counseling; temporary housing, food, clothing, furniture, and other material assistance; childbirth and parenting classes; ultrasounds, pre-natal vitamins, and other medical care; education and employment counseling; 24-hour telephone hotlines; and referrals for health care and to adoption agencies and other support services.
Perhaps there is no better indicator of the positive impact that PCCs are having by supporting women emotionally and financially, by protecting women from the adverse health consequences of abortion, and by helping to reduce the number of abortions performed each year than the increasing vitriol – exemplified by the proposed New York City legislation — directed toward these centers by abortion advocates.