Baltimore, Maryland City Council Votes Soon on Bill Attacking Pregnancy Centers
by Steven Ertelt
November 10, 2009
Baltimore, MD (LifeNews.com) — The Baltimore City Council will vote next week on a measure that attacks pregnancy centers by making them post signs saying they do not do abortions or provide contraception. Meanwhile, Montgomery County officials have proposed a similar measure that goes after the pro-woman centers.
The Baltimore proposal, which could get a vote November 16, contains no stipulations for abortion centers saying they don’t provide alternatives.
Instead, City Council Bill 09-0406 would fine pregnancy centers $150 per day if they do not comply with the city ordinance.
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and 10 members of the council are sponsoring a measure that pro-life advocates say is at the behest of Planned Parenthood and NARAL and is in the council’s judiciary committee.
The Baltimore City Council vote is next week after the council’s judiciary committee signed off on the proposal.
Gail Tierney, executive director of the Rockville Pregnancy Center, tells the Washington Examiner the measure is discriminatory.
"Why don’t they have to post that they do not provide free prenatal vitamins, do not provide free sonograms … STD [sexually transmitted disease] testing … Pap smears … clothing. …?"
Maryland Right to Life has also urged the council to reject the bill.
"At the hearing held on October 27, no one could testify to any disinformation or deception from any Baltimore City pregnancy center regarding the services they provide," the group’s director Angela Martin told LifeNews.com.
"Bill 09-0406 is simply a child of the 2008 statewide bills attempting to destroy pregnancy centers on the sole reason that they do not share the pro-abortion lobbys position on abortion and birth control," she added.
Montgomery County Councilwoman Duchy Trachtenberg is behind the new legislation there.
They would be required to tell potential clients that they should go elsewhere for medical advice because Trachtenberg claims they are misleading women.
Her measure makes them tell clients the pregnancy center isn’t intended as "medical advice or to establish a doctor patient relationship" and that they should consult with a health care provider before making a decision about an abortion.
"It’s pretty much just a consumer protection measure more than anything else," Trachtenberg said, according to the Examiner. "We’re not saying they can’t seek clients and they can’t counsel them."
Her measure has the backing of five other county council members and gets introduced today.
Baltimore has four pregnancy resource centers that operate within city limits. The centers offer free resources for women facing unplanned pregnancies and women facing the challenge of raising young children amidst poverty.
The centers offer a variety of services, including parenting classes, sonograms, baby bottles, formula, pre-natal care, diapers and more without cost to any client.
A similar bill (SB 690/HB 1146) was introduced in the General Assembly in 2008 and would have required that pro-life pregnancy centers say to their clients that they don’t do abortions and give out incorrect information on how abortions hurt women.
Related web sites:
Maryland Right to Life – https://www.mdrtl.org
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