Abortion Advocates Launch Campaign Against Pregnancy Centers

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 17, 2011   |   1:09PM   |   Washington, DC

Pro-abortion activists have launched campaigns in a number of states to attack pregnancy centers that provide women with life-affirming alternatives to abortion. Now NARAL indicates the campaign is going national.

The efforts in several states have centered on two attempts by NARAL and other abortion advocates to discredit the centers, which provide options counseling with practical maternity help, ultrasounds, and other assistance for pregnant women who may otherwise be considering an abortion. The first has city and county governments, as well as state legislatures, attempting to approve laws mandating that pregnancy centers don’t employ medical staff or give out medically-accurate information on abortion — an attempt to dissuade women from going to the centers. The second involves NARAL activists pretending to be center clients and reporting to NARAL for a public condemnation of the supposedly inaccurate information they received.

Now, Melinda Delahoyde, the president of Care Net, a network of more than 1,100 pregnancy centers located in all 50 states, points to a new video NARAL New York posted on YouTube revealing a national strategy to specifically target pregnancy centers in urban areas She says the video reveals more hostile legislation intended to shut down these centers and direct women to abortion businesses.

“This video reinforces the fact that legislation against pregnancy centers is part of a nationwide strategy by abortion advocacy groups aimed at shutting down the competition,” Delahoyde said in an email to LifeNews. “It also reveals for the first time that these legislative attacks will be focused on urban areas, the very areas where abortion providers are prevalent, support for abortion alternatives is lacking, and abortion rates are skyrocketing.”

In NARAL’s video, a representative from the National Institute of Reproductive Health highlights the “Urban Initiative”, an effort to network local legislators across the country in order to pass legislation, such as anti-pregnancy center bills.

“Our goal is to create a movement, to have each of these bills, not just an isolated victory, but really to address these crisis pregnancy centers, one urban area at a time,” says Angela Hooton, the group’s Interim Executive Director.

Rev. Dean Nelson, Care Net’s Vice President of Underserved Outreach, also responds to the video, and said NARAL’s efforts will be met with opposition from community leaders, especially clergy.

“Talk to pastors in urban areas and see if they support efforts to promote abortion and to crack down on organizations that are supporting pregnant women,” said Rev. Nelson.  “I was there in Baltimore when the anti-pregnancy center bill mentioned in this video was being discussed, and not a single local pastor I spoke with was in support of that bill. This so-called ‘urban initiative’ is an injustice toward the very women, children, and families that live in urban areas.”

Currently, a vast majority of abortion businesses are located in urban areas, Care Net says.

“Many of them are in predominantly minority-populated communities, thereby contributing greatly to the disproportionate impact of abortion on minorities,” the organization indicates. “Statistics show that African American and Latina women account for only 27% of the female population in the U.S., yet they undergo 59% of all abortions. In many urban communities, abortion providers outnumber pregnancy centers by a ratio of five to one. Care Net is working on expanding access to the important resources provided by pregnancy centers so that women in urban areas are empowered to carry their pregnancies to term.”

So far, pregnancy centers have won a handful of victories against these efforts.

Legislation in Washington state that threatened to shut down 56 pregnancy centers died in March, a judge struck down a law targeting centers in Baltimore, and two lawsuits have been filed against a law the New York City council passed.