Pro-Abortion Attacks on Pregnancy Centers Show Their Success

State   Bill Saunders   Jun 9, 2011   |   12:28PM    Washington, DC

Despite the widely-recognized competency, compassion, and effectiveness of Pregnancy Care Centers (“PCCs”), the abortion lobby continues to attack these centers, attempting to undermine the vital care and support they offer women. 

The abortion industry’s latest tactic is to force its pro-abortion message into pregnancy care centers by requiring the posting of signs about abortion in their clinics.

But the abortion industry’s efforts have not gone unopposed.  This week, Americans United for Life (AUL) filed an amicus curiae brief in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals case, Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore. AUL filed the brief on behalf of Care Net, Heartbeat International, the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, and PCCs in Maryland, whose free speech rights are being violated by the abortion lobby through its attempt to brand PCCs.

The Baltimore City Council passed a law in 2009 requiring PCCs to post signs indicating that they do not perform abortions or provide contraception.  In January of this year, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland ruled that the Baltimore ordinance forcing PCCs to post signs that they do not refer for abortion is an unconstitutional violation of their free speech rights.  U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis stated in his opinion: “Whether a provider of pregnancy-related services is ‘pro-life’ or ‘pro-choice,’ it is for the provider — not the government — to decide when and how to discuss abortion and birth-control methods.”  The case is now set to be heard by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In its amicus brief filed this week, AUL defended the PCCs, pointing out that the abortion industry has “no legitimate reason—let alone a compelling one—to restrict the free speech of PCCs in Baltimore.”  The abortion lobby should not be allowed to censor PCCs’ speech simply because it disagrees with the pro-life viewpoint.

But this attack on PCCs contains a silver lining.

The abortion activists’ attack highlights the positive effect PCCs continue to have on women’s lives – through the emotional and financial support they offer, their dedication to empowering women with life-affirming options, and their educating women on the adverse health consequences of abortion.

As AUL’s amicus brief points out, PCCs are overwhelmingly supported by the women they serve.  In a 2009 survey by Care Net, 97 percent of client exit surveys were positive about the client’s experience at the center.  Less than one (0.5) percent of clients registered a complaint with the center, while 96 percent indicated that they would recommend the center to a friend.  These numbers evidence the constructive experience women have at PCCs, and underscore the value of the vital support and services PCCs offer to women facing difficult and challenging situations.

The abortion lobby may try to continue its assault on PCCs and attempt to impede their ability to serve America’s women.  But the truth endures: the life-affirming work the thousands of PCCs across the country provide to women is invaluable.  Americans United for Life will continue to defend PCCs’ vital work and their freedom of speech rights against the abortion industry to ensure women have compassionate and life-affirming support available to them.