by Steven Ertelt
April 2, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A pro-abortion lawmaker has reintroduced a bill in the U.S. Senate that targets the thousands of crisis pregnancy centers across the country that offer tangible help to pregnant women. Sen. Robert Menendez alleges the centers mislead women by giving them information on abortion’s risks and alternatives.
The so-called "Stop Deceptive Advertising for Womens Services Act" would place burdensome regulations on pregnancy centers.
It would also force the Federal Trade Commission to create and enforce rules to prohibit deceptive practices that pregnancy centers say they never use to reach women — such as advertising under the "abortion services" section of the phone book.
Ironically, abortion businesses themselves have been accused of the same practices and one in New York stopped advertising in the "abortion alternatives section.
Tom Glessner, an attorney with NIFLA who has spent decades helping pregnancy centers, told LifeNews.com the bill is what’s deceptive, not the help centers.
"This is the same old tired ranting from the abortion lobby," Glessner said.
He said abortion advocates "get hysterical about the effective work of pro-life agencies that are taking away business (and money) from them by providing alternatives to abortion."
In fact, the National Abortion Federation, a trade group for abortion businesses, issued a press release Tuesday applauding the bill and urging abortion advocates to call lawmakers to get them to support it.
Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the abortion industry group, claimed pregnancy centers "have a well documented history of misinforming and intimidating women in their attempts to prevent them from accessing abortion care."
She called pregnancy centers "fake clinics" and fretted that they "outnumber abortion providers across the country."
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a New York congresswoman, introduced the House version of the New Jersey senator’s bill last summer.
In previous comments about her bill she claimed some pregnancy centers "take a more underhanded approach to lure in women seeking abortions by using tactics that should be illegal."
"They shouldn’t have to face the added stress of deciphering whether or not the clinic they choose offers legitimate medical services," she added.
Kristin Hansen, a Care Net representative, previously spoke with LifeNews.com about older versions of this bill, which have never moved past their introduction.
What’s clear in these attacks is that the multi-million dollar abortion industry is growing increasingly frustrated with the success of pregnancy centers, which, unlike abortion providers, offer a wide range of free services to men and women facing unplanned pregnancy and sexual health-related concerns," Hansen said.
Peggy Hartshorn, the president of Heartbeat International, another national group that supports pregnancy centers, says Congress should instead be looking into problems at abortion centers like Planned Parenthood, which are also federally funded.