by Steven Ertelt
March 31, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Abortion advocates in Congress have filed new legislation threatening to shut down pregnancy centers that offer women practical help and resources that often prompt them to not have an abortion. The pro-abortion lawmakers allege the centers are engage in false advertising.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York Democrat, introduced the measure on Thursday. Her bill directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create a rule prohibiting pregnancy centers from trying to deceive women into thinking they perform abortions.
“I anticipate my colleagues across the political spectrum will step-up to stop the fraud being perpetrated against the women of America," she said in filing her bill.
However, Maloney did not provide any examples of crisis pregnancy centers falsely advertising abortions.
Three groups that represent thousands of pregnancy centers across the country said Maloney’s bill is an "old recycled" attempt to attack pregnancy centers and denies women the chance to get information showing them abortion alternatives.
"This is nothing more than a routine attack on pregnancy centers by organizations seeking to limit their competition," Care Net president Kurt Entsminger said in a statement provided to LifeNews.com.
"Our network of pregnancy centers are held to a high standard of integrity regarding truth and honesty in advertising," he added. "We find it particularly curious that in her announcement Rep. Maloney did not cite one example of a pregnancy center that is engaging in deceptive advertising."
Jor-El Godsey of Heartbeat International, another national pregnancy center network, said abortion businesses "clearly threatened" by the "community efforts represented by compassionate, caring pregnancy centers to reach women struggling with the difficult decisions an unplanned or unintended pregnancy can create."
Tom Glessner, an attorney who specializes in helping pregnancy centers, said the clinics are providing "accurate, truthful, and complete information" to women who visit any of the more than 3,000 centers nationwide.
"The only fraudulent activity in this arena comes from those in the abortion industry who want to withhold truthful information," he said.
Approximately 1,900 of the centers participate with Care Net and Heartbeat in operating the 1-800-395-HELP number that connects women to a specialist and a local center in her area.
The groups told LifeNews.com that all of the centers involved signed a statement ensuring that "All of our advertising and communications are truthful and honest and accurately describe the services we offer."
The ACLU issued a press release supporting Maloney’s bill and said it would target pregnancy centers that advertise in the yellow pages under the Abortion Services or Family Planning or Medical Clinics headings.
It, too, did not provide any examples of centers engaging in inaccurate advertising.
Maloney’s bill, the Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women’s Services Act, has 11 co-sponsors.