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Bicoastal Challenges to Pro-life Pregnancy Centers

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Bicoastal Challenges to Pro-life Pregnancy Centers

Related sto­ries come to us from Con­necti­cut and Cal­i­for­nia, where “anti-​abortion” cen­ters (in the par­lance of the Hart­ford Courant) are get­ting some pushback.

From the Courant, 11÷10÷17:

The city is look­ing to crack down on faith-​driven cri­sis preg­nancy cen­ters, which crit­ics say some­times pose as clin­ics to lure women and hand out mis­lead­ing infor­ma­tion about abortions.

Under a mea­sure headed for the city coun­cil, the so-​called anti-​abortion cen­ters in Hart­ford would be required to dis­close whether staff mem­bers have med­ical licenses, and would be banned from engag­ing in false or decep­tive adver­tis­ing practices.

When abor­tion advo­cates like NARAL start talk­ing about “delib­er­ate mis­in­for­ma­tion and lies,” I’m a bit skep­ti­cal. Why the sud­den con­cern? Aha: the Hart­ford Women’s Cen­ter, where abor­tions are nei­ther pro­vided nor pro­moted, opened up in May just behind an abor­tion facil­ity. The facility’s sup­port­ers find the prox­im­ity irksome.

Not con­tent to mut­ter darn pro-​lifers, stay outta my yard, Hartford-​area abor­tion pro­mot­ers are try­ing to get them­selves an ordi­nance. But there’s this thing about ordi­nances: they come with pub­lic hear­ings. Ten days after the Courant arti­cle was pub­lished, the hear­ing on the pro­posed ordi­nance drew a packed house. CBS Con­necti­cut reported that pro-​life advo­cates out­num­bered NARAL’s allies.

Out­come is yet to be determined.

Mean­while, out on the left coast, a Cal­i­for­nia law requir­ing pro-​life preg­nancy cen­ters to post infor­ma­tion (in large font in a “con­spic­u­ous place”) about state-​funded abor­tions is headed to the Supreme Court.

Appar­ently, busi­ness is so lousy at Cal­i­for­nia abor­tion facil­i­ties that the state must com­pel other facil­i­ties to help pro­vide adver­tis­ing for abor­tion services.

The Ninth Cir­cuit Court of Appeals upheld the Cal­i­for­nia law, which is no sur­prise, since…well, Ninth Cir­cuit. Sim­i­lar laws in Mary­land and New York have been struck down in other Cir­cuits. With divided con­clu­sions and a First Amend­ment issue before it, the Supreme Court agreed this month to take the Cal­i­for­nia case.

I have no doubt that abor­tion facil­ity oper­a­tors in every state are watch­ing Hartford’s pro­posed ordi­nance and California’s law to see what happens.

In my state’s largest city, a pro-​life preg­nancy help cen­ter opened a cou­ple of years ago just around the cor­ner from a Planned Par­ent­hood office. It’s hard to believe that the $23 mil­lion PP affil­i­ate might ever feel threat­ened by the store­front oper­a­tion that serves preg­nant and par­ent­ing women with cloth­ing, equip­ment, and referrals.

Then again, I find it hard to believe that any state actu­ally passed a law like California’s or that any city con­tem­plated an ordi­nance like the one pro­posed in Hart­ford. Eter­nal vig­i­lance is the price of ser­vice, when the ser­vice is pro­vid­ing and pro­mot­ing alter­na­tives to abortion.

Related stories come to us from Connecticut and California, where “anti-abortion” centers (in the parlance of the Hartford Courant) are getting some pushback.

From the Courant, 11/10/17:

The city is looking to crack down on faith-driven crisis pregnancy centers, which critics say sometimes pose as clinics to lure women and hand out misleading information about abortions.

Under a measure headed for the city council, the so-called anti-abortion centers in Hartford would be required to disclose whether staff members have medical licenses, and would be banned from engaging in false or deceptive advertising practices.

When abortion advocates like NARAL start talking about “deliberate misinformation and lies,” I’m a bit skeptical. Why the sudden concern? Aha: the Hartford Women’s Center, where abortions are neither provided nor promoted, opened up in May just behind an abortion facility. The facility’s supporters find the proximity irksome.

Not content to mutter darn pro-lifers, stay outta my yard, Hartford-area abortion promoters are trying to get themselves an ordinance. But there’s this thing about ordinances: they come with public hearings. Ten days after the Courant article was published, the hearing on the proposed ordinance drew a packed house.  CBS Connecticut reported that pro-life advocates outnumbered NARAL’s allies.

Outcome is yet to be determined.

Meanwhile, out on the left coast, a California law requiring pro-life pregnancy centers to post information (in large font in a “conspicuous place”) about state-funded abortions is headed to the Supreme Court. 

Apparently, business is so lousy at California abortion facilities that the state must compel other facilities to help provide advertising for abortion services.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the California law, which is no surprise, since…well, Ninth Circuit. Similar laws in Maryland and New York have been struck down in other Circuits. With divided conclusions and a First Amendment issue before it, the Supreme Court agreed this month to take the California case.

I have no doubt that abortion facility operators in every state are watching Hartford’s proposed ordinance and California’s law to see what happens.

In my state’s largest city, a pro-life pregnancy help center opened a couple of years ago just around the corner from a Planned Parenthood office. It’s hard to believe that the $23 million PP affiliate might ever feel threatened by the storefront operation that serves pregnant and parenting women with clothing, equipment, and referrals.

Then again, I find it hard to believe that any state actually passed a law like California’s or that any city contemplated an ordinance like the one proposed in Hartford. Eternal vigilance is the price of service, when the service is providing and promoting alternatives to abortion.