Abortion Advocates Target Pregnancy Centers in Austin, Texas With Sign Law

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 2, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abortion Advocates Target Pregnancy Centers in Austin, Texas With Sign Law

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 2
, 2010

Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — Fresh from their victory in Baltimore, Maryland where they forced crisis pregnancy centers to post signs saying they don’t do abortions, abortion advocates are now going after pregnancy centers in Austin, Texas. The goal is to besmirch the work the centers do in helping women find alternatives and pregnancy support.

With pregnancy centers providing women legitimate help and alternatives, abortion businesses are experiencing a loss in profit as the number of abortions decline.

Making such centers post signs saying they don’t provide abortions or birth control is one method of trying to siphon off their clientele.

As LifeNews.com reported, Baltimore officials approved a sign ordinance there, although the centers, with the help of the Catholic Archdiocese, have filed a lawsuit to overturn the ordinance.

On April 8, pro-abortion Austin City Council members will introduce an ordinance to require pregnancy centers to display similar signs.

The Texas affiliate of NARAL, a national pro-abortion group, is behind the effort.

"This would be only the second ordinance of its kind in the United States, and our City Council members need to hear from as many Austin residents as possible who support this proposed ordinance," it said in an action alert to its members.

The city council is holding a meeting on the morning of April 8, at 10:00 a.m., where members will consider the ordinance sponsored by Bill Spelman, Laura Morrison, and Mayor Pro Tem Mike Martinez.

Sara Cleveland, the director of the pro-abortion group, also indicated Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell would likely sign it if the city council approves.

The ordinance requires pregnancy centers to prominently display, at the entrance of their office, two black and white signs — one in English and one in Spanish — saying: "This center does not provide abortions or refer to abortion providers. This center does not provide or refer to providers of U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved birth control drugs and medical devices."

Each sign must be at least eight and one-half inches by eleven inches and the text must be in a font size of at least 48 point, the proposal stipulates.

In Baltimore, pro-life city council members attempted to get their colleagues to approve an amendment to the ordinance requiring abortion centers to post similar signs saying they do not provide or refer to places that provide abortion alternatives or pregnancy support. Members of the Baltimore city council rejected the amendment.

Melinda Delahoyde, the president of Care Net, a national network of pregnancy centers, told LifeNews.com that such laws are “nonsensical,” “unwarranted,” and “discriminatory.”

Delahoyde 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.

That is thanks in part to pregnancy centers that provide women medical, legal, educational, financial and other support during their pregnancies.

“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.

“In this economy, and with abortion on the rise, wouldn’t it make more sense for the 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.

“Sadly, this 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.

ACTION: Contact the Austin City Council members and Mayor Pro Tem Martinez by going to https://www.ci.austin.tx.us/site/city_hall_portal.htm. Contact Mayor Lee Leffingwell at (512) 974-2250, fax (512) 974-2337, or send an email at https://www.ci.austin.tx.us/connect/email_leeleffingwell.htm

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