Heartbeat International Condemns Maloney Bill Restricting Pregnancy Centers

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 9, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Heartbeat International Condemns Maloney Bill Restricting Pregnancy Centers

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 9
, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Heartbeat International, an affiliation of hundreds of pregnancy centers across the country, is opposing a bill introduced by pro-abortion Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York and Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey that would supposedly regulate “advertising” by pregnancy centers that do not provide abortions.

The group says the legislation is "really an attempt to prevent women who deserve choices from connecting with life-affirming pregnancy centers."

At the urging of pro-abortion groups, the two members of Congress are demanding that the Federal Trade Commission develop rules that would restrict pregnancy centers from reaching out to women who need accurate information about abortion procedures, risks associated with abortion, and alternatives to abortion.

“Stop Deceptive Advertising in Women’s Services Act” is not only itself deceptive but seeks to specifically target pregnancy support providers in order to restrict speech that provides alternatives to abortion and affirms life, says Heartbeat International Vice President Joe Young.

“This bill is not at all what it sounds like,” he told LifeNews.com.

“Pregnancy centers are reducing the number of abortion sales and this aggravates the abortion industry. A more accurate name for this bill might be ‘Stop Alternatives to Abortion Advertising to Pay Back the Abortion Industry Act," he said.

“Without any financial gain, Heartbeat International affiliates offer alternatives to abortion, providing the emotional support and practical help needed to sustain a healthy pregnancy,” said Young. “The pregnancy help movement is dedicated to protecting women, protecting maternal health and protecting child well-being.”

Heartbeat affiliates have pledged to uphold the Commitment of Care and Competence which serves as the operating principals for pregnancy service providers. This commitment requires that affiliates provide accurate information about pregnancy, fetal development, abortion procedures and risks, lifestyle issues, and related concerns.

Additionally, the commitment requires that all advertising and client communications are truthful and accurately describe the services offered.

“Heartbeat’s network provides the vital information about human development, abortion procedures, and potential risks that each woman needs to understand to make an informed decision about the future of her pregnancy. These are the crucial facts that abortion facilities often choose to leave out,” said Young. “We believe that a choice without all of the facts is no choice at all.”

To drive legislation hostile to pregnancy centers earlier this year, NARAL of Virginia alleged billboards that read “Pregnant? Need help? Call 800-395-HELP” are deceptive because the caring women answering the phone do not sell abortion.

The sponsor of NARAL’s bill in the Virginia legislature, voted against his own bill once he heard how pregnancy centers are helping women. Virginia’s General Assembly went on to pass a resolution honoring pregnancy centers.

A recent report by the Family Research Council speaks to the compassionate spirit of America’s pregnancy centers, A Passion to Serve, A Vision for Life.

The report is full of endorsements including one from U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner who said that “Pregnancy care centers…are an expression of charity and genuine love for people dealing with life-changing situations. The outpouring of local support over the years shown by supporters, organizers, and staff embody the spirit of volunteerism and truly make pregnancy care centers one of the most important grassroots movements in American history.”

Related web sites:
Heartbeat International – https://www.HeartbeatInternational.org


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