by Steven Ertelt
April 16, 2007
Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — Pro-abortion members of the Texas state legislature have filed bills attacking pregnancy centers and claiming they are misleading women with information about the various ways abortion hurts women. They say the state should have greater oversight of the centers but propose no additional regulations on abortion businesses.
The legislators, all Democrats, have proposed bills that would put more licensing requirements in place and penalties for providing what they claim is inaccurate information.
Rep. Jessica Farrar of Houston was one of the abortion advocates at a news conference Monday calling for the legislation.
"If crisis pregnancy centers truly want to have a place in our state, they must be held accountable for the services they provide at taxpayer expense," she said.
Sen. Rodney Ellis of Houston is behind one bill that would require the facilities to employ at least one licensed health care worker and would create minimum licensing requirements and other standards.
Rep. Mike Villarreal of San Antonio is the sponsor of another that would require pregnancy centers to provide so-called medially accurate information, a ploy to get the centers to quit warning women of the link between abortion and breast cancer or other maladies.
Abortion advocates have wanted to target pregnancy centers in the state following a decision by the state legislature in 2005 to direct $5 million in family planning funds that normally go to Planned Parenthood to the centers.
Last May, the legislature reallocated part of the funds back to Planned Parenthood, but budgets both the state House and Senate approved this session call for $5 million for the pregnancy centers in 2008 and 2009.
Rep. Warren Chisum, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, told AP that the pregnancy centers in Texas "do a great job" and said the pro-abortion claims are misleading.
"They don’t need any regulation," Chisum told AP. "They do a fine job just like they are."