Thursday, December 31, 2009

Baltimore Law Singles Out Pro-life Counseling

The new city law requires pregnancy resource centers to post services NOT offered so that women considering abortions do not mistakenly enter a pro-life organization.

Who knows, the poor mother-to-be might see her baby's image via ultrasound, and reconsider the abortion!

-- From "Law would require pregnancy centers to post signs if they don't offer abortions" by Julie Scharper, Los Angeles Times 11/24/09

Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a Democrat who sponsored the bill, called the vote a victory for women's well-being. She cited a study by an advocacy group indicating that women have been misled at pregnancy centers that provide counseling, clothing and food for expectant mothers -- but not abortions.

"It's a step toward making sure that women have the information they need to make the right decision for their health and their future," Rawlings-Blake said.

"At the very least now, these centers will have to put a sign up that lets women know that information about birth control and abortion won't be found within those doors," said Keiren Havens, vice president of communications for Planned Parenthood of Maryland, which supported the bill.

Similar measures have failed in the legislatures of several states, including Oregon and Texas, Meister said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Baltimore Law Aims to Undermine Charitable Work of Pregnancy Resource Centers, Say Pro-life Activists" by Penny Starr, CNSNews Senior Staff Writer 12/30/09

A bill passed by the Baltimore City Council in November and signed into law on Dec. 4 will require pregnancy resource centers operating within the city to post signs stating what services the facilities do not offer. Signs -- to be posted outside the centers -- must state that they do not provide or give referrals for abortion or contraceptives.

Pro-life activists say this is the first time in the United States that a nonprofit service provider has been required to post such signage. They believe the law is intended to undermine their efforts to help women make an informed decision about an unplanned pregnancy. The signs will turn more women to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, they say.

“The passage of this piece of legislation may serve as serious encouragement to those who would like to see our organizations saddled with more laws and restrictions,” Carol Clews, executive director of the Center for Pregnancy Concerns in Baltimore, told the Baltimore Sun after the council passed the bill by a 12-3 vote in November.

Joe Young, vice president at Heartbeat International, a network of pregnancy resource centers around the world . . . who attended the hearings in Baltimore, said that the pregnancy resource centers affected by the new law provided as evidence during hearings the paperwork that clients at the centers must sign to get services, which include a disclaimer that neither abortions nor contraceptive services or referrals are included.

Not one witness at the hearings who had used the services of a pregnancy resource center testified that they felt misled, Young said, adding that groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood have a vested interest in undermining the work done by the centers.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.