NYC Mayor Asked for Hearing on Bill Attacking Pregnancy Centers

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 11, 2011   |   1:24PM   |   New York, NY

A pro-life law firm representing some of the pregnancy centers in New York that would be adversely affected by a new law the city council passed have delivered an appeal to New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Earlier this month, the city council passed a bill attacking pregnancy centers. On a 39-9-1 vote, council members approved an ordinance that would place stringent limits on the advertising pregnancy centers use and require them to post signs designed to dissuade women from seeking their abortion alternatives services.

The American Center for Law and Justice, a pro-life law firm, has threatened to file a lawsuit against the city if Bloomberg signs the bill into law. But, before doing so, it delivered a letter to the mayor today on behalf of EMC FrontLine Pregnancy Centers, a chain of a dozen pregnancy centers in the Big Apple, asking for a formal hearing on the ordinance required under city statutes.

Attorneys for the ACLJ contend Municipal Home Rule Law § 20 (5), as it applies to New York City, was violated in the rush to approve Bill 0-71A. The law provides that no local law shall be approved by the Mayor unless a public hearing has been held before him and that notice of the public hearing must be made at least five days before the hearing and within ten days of presentation of the introduction. The notice is required to be published in the City Record and in a daily newspaper or newspapers for public information.

“Mr. Mayor, we demand our fair public hearing before you on the merits of this unwarranted Bill, which seeks to cripple free alternative to abortion counseling, ultrasounds, and quick and easy access to pre-natal care, which we provide in four boroughs,” Chris Slattery, founder and president of the pregnancy center group, said today.

ACLJ attorneys also contend the New York City Council disrespected the rule of law when it hastily passed the ordinance in violation of section 36 of the New York City Charter. This section states that the Council shall not pass a local law until it shall have been in its final form and upon the desks of the council members at least seven calendar days, exclusive of Sundays, prior to its final passage. The bill did not reach its final form until the Committee on Women’s Issues voted on the amended version on Tuesday, March 1. Therefore, ACLJ says, the introduction, in its final form, reached the council members’ desks less than twenty four hours prior to the vote.

“Your pledge to sign Bill 0-371A, shows a cold indifference to women obtaining both sides of their options in pregnancy,” he added. Your unwillingness to meet and talk with abortion alternative leaders shows your complete apathy to NYC’s staggering 41% rate of abortion and displays a callous disregard for New York’s future –it’s children.”

The report, which was recently exposed at a press conference by Archbishop Timothy Dolan and an interfaith coalition of religious leaders, definitely showed an abortion rate of 60% for African American women and that 90% of all abortions in New York City were performed on ethnic minorities.

“It is a sad day when the Mayor of the nation’s greatest city turns a blind eye to a fundamental problem of our city’s parents — they have little hope in their future here. His indifference to the pre-born children of New York puts our very future at greater risk,” said Chris Slattery.

The American Center of Law and Justice said it promises swift legal action should Mayor Bloomberg fail to comply with the law and hold the necessary public hearing for Introduction 0371-A.