Save The Life Centers:
Sign the Petition Opposing NYC Bill 371:
Hear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's niece, Dr. Alveda King, encouraging the signing of this petition
Help by donating to EMC (the largest network of crisis pregnancy centers in NYC):This template was coded using valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional and CSS 2.1 markups, which is distributed under the -->-->
Get Informed :
Free choice, free speech: Proposal to regulate anti-abortion counselors is a bad idea Monday, October 18th 2010, 4:00 AM
It is never a good idea for lawmakers to draft legislation based solely on the urgings of advocates for one cause or another, and it is particularly dangerous when the measure in question could curtail First Amendment rights. That's what's happened with a bill sponsored by City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin and Speaker Christine Quinn. They should know better.
The National Abortion Rights Action League, a pro-choice lobbying group, has targeted 16 so-called crisis pregnancy centers in the city. These are establishments where abortion opponents present women with alternatives to ending pregnancies, such as adoption and single-parenting.
NARAL called eight centers and visited 10, posing as women who might be pregnant and inquiring about services. While finding that the centers "present themselves as hospitable places offering emotional support," NARAL asserted that they "engage in deceptive and manipulative practices," attempting to "coerce women considering abortion into carrying their pregnancies to term."
Without investigation or hearings, Lappin and Quinn - both pro-choice - drew up a bill to require centers to post notices stating that they do not provide abortions or contraception; disclose that no medical provider is available if none is on the premises, and commit to treating all information gathered from a client as confidential.
The implication: It is deceptive just to open up shop as an anti-abortion advocate, and an affront to present women with alternatives. As if women need to be shielded from this information.
What's more, NARAL's evidence shows no deception by the centers. None have "abortion" in their names; they have names such as Pregnancy Help and Pregnancy Resource Services.
More than half the websites say they are "pro-life" or do not recommend abortion. None of the centers gave researchers inaccurate information over the phone and, when asked, most said they don't perform abortions or provide referrals.
The report describes no harm sustained by any patient - and even contains potent disclaimers: "The findings contained herein are not exhaustive." "This report contains no insight into how CPCs would respond to a proven pregnancy."
All of which adds up to no basis for infringing on anyone's right to advance a cause, however disagreeable one finds it.