24 Nov Baltimore City Council Passes Legislation to Attack Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers
On Monday, the Baltimore City Council passed new legislation that requires all crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to display a sign informing patients they do not provide abortion or contraception services. The bill passed by a 12-3 vote and is now awaiting a signature from the Mayor. If signed into effect, the bill will fine pregnancy centers $150 a day until a sign is properly posted.
The new bill comes in response to accusations from pro-abortion lobbies that such centers provide inaccurate information and “coerce” young girls into not seeking abortions. According to Ms. Magazine:
“CPCs pose as legitimate health centers and offer “free” pregnancy tests and counseling. Some CPCs coerce and intimidate women out of considering abortion as an option, and prevent women from receiving neutral and comprehensive medical advice. Many disseminate false information about both abortion and contraception, and they are typically run by anti-abortion volunteers who are not licensed medical professionals.”
However, there is no evidence to suggest that such accusations are accurate and the new legislation seems nothing more than an attack on pregnancy centers that encourage life. According to Jeffrey D. Meister, legislative director of Maryland Right to Life, the bill targets CPCs for wanting to provide women with better alternatives. “This is the first time in the United States that any elected body has chosen to vote to condemn pregnancy centers. Baltimore City has just said, ‘We recognize you do great work, but politically we’re going to regulate you anyway.’” Meister said.
Similar legislation that would have required abortion facilities to also post a sign describing services was defeated by the same City Council earlier this month by a 10-5 vote.
Montgomery County, Maryland is currently considering a similar bill sponsored by County Councilwoman Duchy Trachtenbery.