Bloomberg-Signed Bill Will Hurt Efforts to Help Pregnant Women

State   |   Thomas Cronquist   |   Mar 17, 2011   |   1:57PM   |   New York, NY

Yesterday New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law Bill 371 which will impose unconstitutional restrictions on pro-life Pregnancy Help Centers and violate their free speech rights.

The Vitae Foundation is responding immediately with another life-saving advertising campaign on the subways of New York City, beginning March 28.  New figures just released indicate Vitae’s ads helped save an estimated 1,500 babies last year alone in NYC.

This is why we cannot let the abortion industry stifle our freedom of speech through advertising!  I believe this unjust law will eventually be ruled unconstitutional as was a similar statute in Baltimore recently. Until then the Vitae Foundation will continue to move forward with advertising that helps women find life-affirming alternatives to abortion.

The new law, which will go into effect 120 days from the signing, is designed to force Pregnancy Help Centers to post disclaimers about the services they do not provide (including abortion) and control what is said to women who contact the Centers.  This violation of free speech also includes advertising.

In effect, the law will control how pro-life centers carry out their life-saving work with women who are facing unwanted pregnancies and thinking about aborting their babies. On the other hand, abortion clinics have no restrictions placed upon them in this new law.

In reality, these centers already make clear which services they do provide, including counseling and in some cases free ultrasounds, and which services they do not provide.  So what is the problem? Too many women are deciding to keep their babies and are not choosing to have abortions, a reality the abortion industry doesn’t like. An estimated 80 percent of abortion-minded women who see an ultrasound of their unborn baby have a change of heart and mind.  Of course, abortion clinics do not want women to see their ultrasounds.

Vitae’s life-saving ad, “Free Abortion Alternatives” has had incredible success.  In the past five years Vitae and the EMC Pregnancy Centers that are listed on the ads in New York City have saved approximately 5,000 babies.  This is in a city where 40 percent of all pregnancies end in abortion.

For Mayor Bloomberg and other abortion proponents, women facing unwanted pregnancies must be given the option to abort even if they would choose to keep their babies if alternatives were presented.  To them, alternative counseling is equal to deception, and women who receive it are somehow victimized. Moreover, babies saved also represent a lot of money lost to the abortion industry in New York.  For these reasons pro-aborts are furious. Note: Thomas Cronquist is the Senior Vice President for Eastern Market Expansion for the Vitae Foundation, a national organization which uses mass media campaigns to reach women facing unplanned pregnancies. Vitae pioneered the research that provides a results-driven approach in using media to address the abortion issue.