Faith

Abortion Supporters Try to Harass Pro-Life Clinics

Why some faith-based pregnancy centers must provide free advertising for an industry they vehemently oppose

Faith-based pregnancy centers in certain states have a much tougher time offering care and counseling to women and families than they should.

And why is that? Because the pro-abortion supporters and forces out there want it that way.

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Here are four instances in which abortion supporters have tried to make pro-life pregnancy centers’ operations more difficult:

1.) In Washington State, one county passed an ordinance requiring limited-service pregnancy centers to post a notice that says, “This facility is not a health care facility.” The King County Board of Health in Seattle ordinance requires the notice to be posted in 48-point font and in 10 different languages. The sign must be at least 11 by 17 inches in size.

“Pregnancy centers in the Seattle area believe that the notice is discriminatory toward pro-life groups and will cast doubt in the minds of needy women,” the Christian News Network noted. “The centers offer free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, as well as counseling, but do not provide contraceptives or abortion, nor do they refer women for such services due to their religious beliefs.”

Failure to comply could result in daily $100 fines.

“I believe women who are pregnant deserve complete, accurate and timely information about their health care and options,” Chairman Rod Dembowski said, according to The Seattle Times. “These centers are unregulated and are often staffed by volunteers and employees who lack medical training or licensure.”

“So the reality is that any pro-life pregnancy resource center where a licensed medical professional is operating within the scope of his/her license is in fact a medical facility,” OneNewsNow reported.

Related: Pro-Life Centers: Gov’t Is Forcing Us to Promote Abortion

2.) In Hawaii, pro-life pregnancy centers are required to advertise contraception and pregnancy-related services offered in the state. Pro-life pregnancy centers sued about this.

All pregnancy or family planning-related service centers must post the following statement: “Hawaii has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services, including, but not limited to, all FDA-approved methods of contraception and pregnancy-related services for eligible women. To apply online for medical insurance coverage that will cover the full range of family planning and prenatal care services, go to mybenefits.hawaii.gov. Only ultrasounds performed by qualified health care professionals and read by licensed clinicians should be considered medically accurate.”

“That’s what this is about. The young lady will not have the abortion and Planned Parenthood loses money.”

According to the legislation: “The purpose … is to ensure that women in Hawaii are able to make personal reproductive health decisions with full and accurate information regarding their rights to access the full range of health care services that are available.”

Failure to comply with the new law — put in place in July after gubernatorial inaction — could result in a $500 first-time fine and $1,000 fines after that.

“Ultimately, what was the whole point of this whole thing? It’s before us because there [are] Christian centers that offer alternatives to abortion,” said Bob McDermott, a Republican state representative. “So a woman comes in there and they’re encouraging, they offer alternatives but they don’t do abortions. And that’s what this is about … The young lady will not have the abortion — she won’t — and Planned Parenthood loses money.”

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3.) In California, the same thing has happened. “In 2015, the state passed a law that requires pro-life pregnancy centers to refer for abortions, even giving out the phone number to call,” Sarah Kramar, a digital content specialist at Alliance Defending Freedom, wrote in a blog post on July 27.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a non-profit law firm, petitioned the Supreme Court in March to review a lawsuit in California. The religious liberty-defending law firm asked the Supreme Court to stop the California law.

“The law also forces unlicensed pregnancy centers to add large disclosures about their non-medical status in all advertisements, even if they provide no medical services,” according to ADF. “Other courts have invalidated or mostly invalidated similar laws in Austin, Texas; Montgomery County, Maryland; Baltimore; and New York City.”

Related: From Local Legal Battle to Religious Liberty War

“It’s unthinkable for the government to force anyone to provide free advertising for the abortion industry. This is especially true of pregnancy care centers, which exist to care for women who want to have their babies,” David Cortman, an attorney at ADF, said in March.

4.) In Illinois — same deal. “But there is hope; last week, a federal court issued an injunction to halt enforcement of the Illinois law while the case is being decided,” ADF’s Kramar wrote.

On July 20, a court in the state halted a mandate that forced centers and doctors to promote or refer patients to the abortion industry.

“A law that targets medical professionals because of their pro-life views and right of conscience is unconstitutional and unethical,” stated Noel Sterett, an attorney with Mauck & Baker LLC, which is based in Chicago.

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