Washington State Cmte Makes No Decision on Bill Attacking Pregnancy Centers
by Steven Ertelt
January 28, 2010
Olympia, WA (LifeNews.com) — A Washington state legislative committee did not make a decision on a bill that goes after pregnancy centers in the state that help women find abortion alternatives and pregnancy support. The Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee held a hearing Wednesday morning on the bill.
The measure, Senate Bill 6452, has the backing of pro-abortion groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, which loses abortion business when women find positive alternatives.
Sen. Rodney Tom, a Democrat from Medina, is the sponsor of the legislation and the panel has until February 4 to make a decision on it.
His bill would place a "gag order" on the centers because they don’t push abortion on women.
The legislation would apply the Consumer Protection Act to religious non-profit organization and, as opponents say, would violate the pregnancy center’s rights of freedom of faith and conscience.
The idea is to define information pregnancy centers produce as not "medically and scientifically accurate" because women are told about physical, medical and mental health risks of abortion — risks abortion advocates deny.
About 250 people turned up for the hearing where Tom said the centers give out false information.
One woman who testified, Glynnis Kirchmeier, claimed a pregnancy center she visited withheld pregnancy test results and that it informed her of the problems with condoms.
Kate McLean testified in favor of SB 6452 for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Washington. her knock was against centers that point to research confirming a link between abortion and breast cancer.
Sen. Joseph Zarelli, a Republican, opposes the bill, according to the Seattle Times, and he talked about how the bill goes against the Free Speech rights of pregnancy resource centers.
"It’s regulating something they have no business regulating and that is personal interaction between individuals," Zarelli said in an interview Wednesday. "When you walk into a Taco Bell are they required to tell you that they don’t sell hamburgers?"
Paula Cullen, founding director of Life Services Spokane, testified as well.
She told LifeNews.com earlier this week that, at a time when the state is facing budget shortfalls and a busy legislative session pro-abortion groups are promoting a bill that could eliminate approximately $15 million worth of free services for women facing unplanned pregnancies.
Cullen said the Attorney General’s Office has estimated the bill will cost Washington taxpayers more than a half million over the next four years to enforce.
"This bill hurts pregnant women, plain and simple," Cullen said
"It will be critical for legislators to learn for themselves about the tremendous contribution of pregnancy centers in their districts. They will find that these entities have been serving their communities for years without complaint and play a critical role in providing a web of support to women facing unplanned pregnancies," she told LifeNews.com.
ACTION: Contact your Washington state legislator at https://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx and urge a no vote on the bill.
Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com
Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.