Friday, July 09, 2010

Pro-life Speech Limits Sought by Congress

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) have reintroduced legislation to restrict the speech of pro-life crisis pregnancy centers by regulating the advertising they do.

-- From "CPC 'Truth in Advertising' Legislation Introduced" posted at Ms. Magazine 7/1/10

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced a bill yesterday that would regulate the misleading advertising practices of Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs). The Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women's Services Act would require the Federal Trade Commission to create and enforce rules to prohibit CPCs' deceptive advertising practices, such as advertising under the term "abortion services." The act expressly defines abortion services to mean "providing surgical and non-surgical procedures to terminate a pregnancy, or providing referrals for such procedures."

Maloney first introduced the Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women's Services Act in 2006. The current bill has 11 co-sponsors in the House. On the state and local levels, similar laws have been referred to as "truth in advertising laws."

Currently, there are an estimated 3,500 CPCs nationwide, most of which are affiliated with one or more national umbrella organizations. CPCs pose as legitimate health centers and offer "free" pregnancy tests. Some CPCs coerce and intimidate women out of considering abortion as an option, and prevent women from receiving neutral and comprehensive medical advice. These clinics are typically run by anti-abortion volunteers who are not licensed medical professionals.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Rep. Maloney and Sen. Menendez Introduce Bill to Restrict Speech of Pro-Life Crisis Pregnancy Centers by Controlling Their Advertising" by Penny Starr, CNSNews Senior Staff Writer 7/9/10

But critics claim the “Stop Deceptive Advertising in Women’s Services Act,” first introduced in 2007, is itself deceptive and is designed to limit the access women have to organizations that provide alternatives to abortion, including adoption services and free parenting support, such as housing, job training, and parenting classes.

“This bill is not at all what it sounds like,” said Joe Young, vice president of Heartbeat International, an association of 1,100 pregnancy-help centers, maternity homes, non-profit adoption agencies, medical clinics and abortion recovery programs in 50 countries.

“Pregnancy centers are reducing the number of abortion sales, and this aggravates the abortion industry,” said Young. “A more accurate name for this bill might be ‘Stop Alternatives to Abortion Advertising to Pay Back the Abortion Industry Act.’”

“Without any financial gain, Heartbeat International affiliates offer alternatives to abortion, providing the emotional support and practical help needed to sustain a healthy pregnancy,” Young said in a statement about the proposed law. “The pregnancy help movement is dedicated to protecting women, protecting maternal health and protecting child well-being.”

NARAL and other pro-abortion groups back the Maloney-Menendez bill, which would make federal law a longtime campaign by NARAL and similar groups to discredit pregnancy resource centers and the work they do for women.

The Web site of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America describes the pregnancy resource centers as “fake clinics.”

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.