by Steven Ertelt
November 3, 2006
Bronx, NY (LifeNews.com) — A New York abortion business that settled a false advertising lawsuit earlier this week said it did so because it consider the litigation a nuisance. The abortion center denies any wrongdoing in its advertising for abortions in the "abortion alternatives" section of local phone directories.
A lawyer for the Bronx Women’s Medical Pavilion, which operates the Bronx and Brooklyn-based Dr. Emily Women’s Health Center abortion facilities, made the comments in an interview with the Journal News.
"We felt it was a nuisance lawsuit, it was a baseless lawsuit," an attorney with the Reproductive Rights Project of the pro-abortion New York Civil Liberties Union, told the newspaper. "We could have fought it in court. … Our clients had no intention of misleading anybody."
Still, the Dr. Emily abortion center agreed to remove advertisements for abortions from the alternatives listing as part of the settlement it signed in the state Supreme Court in White Plains.
Sherwin claimed the abortion business pulled the ads because they "weren’t bringing in great amounts of revenue and it wasn’t worth fighting about, quite simply" but defended the center’s right to mislead customers by advertising in the wrong section.
The pro-abortion attorney also told the newspaper the abortion business was unaware that phone directories reserved the alternatives section for pregnancy centers and other places that don’t do abortions. That’s despite an ongoing campaign in New York and in Congress to accuse pregnancy centers of advertising in the "abortion services" category.
"Our client was unaware it was there until being served with a lawsuit," she said. "As soon as we found out about the black box, we agreed to withdraw the ads."
Expectant Mother Care Pregnancy Centers, a chain of pregnancy care centers in the New York and New Jersey area, filed the suit.
Chris Slattery, the head of EMC, criticized the Sherwin’s comments, the Journal News reported.
"For them to weasel out by saying they did nothing wrong is completely bogus," he said. "They were committing deception and fraud by advertising in the abortion alternatives section."
Slattery previously told the newspaper, "I think it reflects the fact that they had absolutely no case" about their desire to settle.
"There’s no First Amendment right to outright fraud and deception," he added.
Slattery told the Journal News the settlement is good news in part because pro-abortion state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has claimed that pregnancy centers have engaged in the same activities by getting themselves listed in the section reserved for abortion businesses.
"The Attorney General’s Office failed to police these offenses because of his own biases," Slattery said.
A bill in Congress put forward by pro-abortion Rep. Carolyn Maloney made the same allegations against crisis pregnancy centers, though she did not provide any specific examples of false advertising to back up her claim.
Slattery told the newspaper that two-thirds of the women who go to his pregnancy centers and are considering an abortion eventually decided against having one.