The Maryland state senate is considering a bill that would require so-called Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) to issue a disclaimer stating that they are not required to provide accurate information. State Sen. Richard Madaleno Jr. proposed the bill following an investigative report by NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland on CPCs, which found that such centers provided factually incorrect information about abortion, were not open regarding their pro-life stance, and even lacked medical services in some cases.
(I gather it didn't pass.)
But the good pro-choice people of Maryland soldiered on, and now via RH Reality Check, we learn that the city of Baltimore is debating the same sort of legislation.
Advocates on both sides of the abortion debate filled Baltimore City Council chambers for a contentious hearing on legislation that would require pregnancy counseling clinics that do not provide abortion services to post signs indicating that policy.
The legislation would affect four centers, two of which are funded by the Roman Catholic Church. The centers provide adoption information and counseling, but do not perform abortions or issue contraceptives.
City Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake introduced the bill at the behest of Planned Parenthood, a pro-choice organization that hopes the Baltimore legislation will serve as a model for a national effort.
"This is a bill about truth in advertising," Rawlings-Blake said. "Crisis pregnancy centers provide good and charitable work. A simple sign insures everyone walking into a center knows what to expect."
It's called the Limited Service Pregnancy Center Disclaimers Bill. I like that, 'limited service' but unlimited lying.
Planned Parenthood is targetting city governments rather than state legislatures, figuring, probably correctly, that city folk are more liberal and sophisticated in their views on meddling in other people's decisions.
Obviously, we have nothing against these centres helping women who want to continue their pregnancies and who know what they're walking into.
But, funnily, 'counsellors' at these centres are taught to focus on the 'abortion vulnerable' -- women who are considering abortion. These women are offered all kinds of bribes to reject abortion.
A new blogger at Crisis Pregnancy Center Watch, Rosa, is a former counsellor and introduces herself here.
Our task in greeting new clients was to determine, on a scale from 1-10, how "abortion vulnerable" the woman is. That is, is she considering abortion, or did she come here because she's already chosen life and wants help with the new baby? If a woman was deemed not abortion vulnerable at all, they were often given nothing more than an opportunity to volunteer at the CPC itself, on top of whatever real job they actually had. They were paid in diapers, wet wipes, formula, some second-hand clothing. Nothing substantial. Certainly no prenatal care or anything like that. The abortion vulnerable women, however, they were offered the lot. High chairs, cribs, brand new clothing, even financial assistance for prenatal and pediatric care in rare cases! Doesn't that seem backwards? There are women who wanted to just have the abortion and be done with it, pay their $400 or whatever it is, and leave it behind. But they were getting what women who were struggling to make their choices should have had. I had many conversations with God about this, and with each one I became more convinced that what I was doing was not God's work at all.
Good luck, Baltimore.