Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon OKs Attacking Pregnancy Centers Helping Women
by Steven Ertelt
December 7, 2009
Baltimore, MD (LifeNews.com) — Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon has signed a bill attacking pregnancy centers that help women find abortion alternatives. City Council Bill 09-0406 would fine pregnancy centers $150 per day if they don’t post a sign saying they do not also provide abortions.
City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake sponsored the measure that the city council approved on a 12-3 vote.
The council defeated an amendment to the bill that would have required abortion businesses to post a similar sign confirming they do not provide abortion alternatives.
With Dixon’s signature, Baltimore will be the first city in the nation to target pregnancy centers in what could become a growing phenomenon.
Melinda Delahoyde, the president of Care Net, a national network of pregnancy centers, told LifeNews.com that the new law is nonsensical, unwarranted, and discriminatory.
Mayor Dixon is the same city official who just days earlier was convicted of embezzling $600 worth of gift cards intended for the citys poor, and Delahoyde said her decision to sign the bill deprived them further.
It is nonsensical for the Baltimore City Council to undermine local efforts to provide free support to pregnant women in their city, but thats exactly what they’ve accomplished with this legislation, Delahoyde said.
Its particularly alarming when abortions are decreasing nationwide, but increasing in the state of Maryland," she added.
Delahoye said the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute noted the abortion rate in the U.S. has decreased nine percent since 2000 to 19.4 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age in 2005.
On the other hand, Maryland in 2005 had a rate of 31.5 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age, an increase of eight percent since 1992.
Pregnancy centers help to reduce abortions by providing free, compassionate support and practical help to women facing unplanned pregnancies. For nearly 30 years, the first center Care Net opened, the Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns, has been faithfully serving the women of Baltimore," the women’s leader told LifeNews.com today.
In this economy, and with abortion on the rise, wouldn’t it make more sense for the Baltimore City Council to pass a resolution praising the contribution of pregnancy centers, which rely solely on charitable contributions, not on state or local funding?" she asked.
Delahoyde also said the city council and Mayor Dixon supported the bill to please Planned Parenthood and NARAL, the pro-abortion advocacy groups that advocated for the measure to hurt pregnancy centers.
"Not one client has ever complained about their experience there. So, why was the bill introduced, other than to satisfy the demands of an abortion lobbying group?" she asked.
Sadly, this bill sends a message to city residents that local pregnancy centers may not be completely forthcoming about their services. This couldn’t be further from the truth and is an affront to women who rely on their support," she added.
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