California Pregnancy Centers May be Forced to Promote Abortions

State   Steven Ertelt   Apr 13, 2015   |   6:20PM    Sacramento, CA

Thousands of pregnancy centers across the nation are the counterbalance to the abortion industry by providing women with tangible help and real alternatives to abortion. But pregnancy centers in California may soon find themselves forced to promote abortions under legislation pending in the California legislature.

AB 77, the Pregnancy Counseling Discrimination Rule, would require all pregnancy centers to promote abortions to their clients. There is no conscience clause or opt out for centers that provide pregnant women assistance without abortions or abortion referrals. Failure to comply carries a $500 fine for first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense. The bill authorizes the Attorney General, city attorney, or county counsel to impose the civil fines.

The bill will be heard in Assembly Health committee on Tuesday and the California Pro-Life Council is concerned it will pass and be sent to the state Assembly floor.

Lori Arnold of the California Family Alliance emailed her concerns about the bill to LifeNews.com.

“California’s grisly abortion industry is in the midst of a government-sponsored boon. In 2013, the state waived safety regulations for abortion clinics (AB 980) and reduced the medical standards required to perform abortions by allowing certain nurses to do the surgeries (AB 154),” she said. “And last year, the California Department of Health cut all medical reimbursements by 10 percent while increasing taxpayer funding of abortions providers by 40 percent.”

“But abortion profiteers like Planned Parenthood and NARAL are still not content with state taxpayers as their sugar daddy. They are now pushing new discriminatory regulations that would force local Pregnancy Care Centers and Clinics (or PCCs, which provide free and confidential support services to pregnant mothers) to advertise and promote chemical and surgical abortions,” Arnold added. “Under the provisions of AB 775 (Chiu, D-San Francisco), PCC’s that provide medical services such as ultrasounds would be required to refer all clients to Medi-Cal programs that provide free abortions. In addition, any non-medical centers that offer free counseling, pregnancy support, and parenting classes would be required to post signage stating they are “not licensed facilities.” Both types of PCCs would also be coerced to include such statements in all advertising.”

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CareNet, one of the largest networks of pregnancy centers in North America, strongly opposes the legislation. In a statement on its website, Eve Marie Barner Gleason, director of Center Best Practices, said the measure is clearly biased in its approach.

“The abortion industry in California has a problem,” she said. “They have already ensured a steady income stream by getting abortion funded by taxpayers through Medi-Cal. But some women choose to seek information and assistance in making a pregnancy decision at centers where they receive accurate information about abortion risks and are empowered to choose life. They see every choice for life as money lost.”

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Arnold says market share is undoubtedly a primary motivation for AB 775. “But sadly, it goes even beyond money. The pro-abortion movement will not be satisfied until it silences all opposition to its cause. At the same time, it defiantly rejects its own hypocrisy

Unfortunately, if approved, AB 755 will become a dangerously powerful tool in the anti-life arsenal. As CareNet’s Gleason told her member operators, “You pay for your advertising. Now, they want you to pay for theirs too.”

Finally, the bill would also require the Attorney General to post on the Department of Justice’s Internet Web site a list of the covered facilities upon which a civil penalty has been imposed.

Contact members of the Assembly Health Committee to oppose the bill:

Chair Rob Bonta (D-Oakland)
Sacramento Office: (916) 319-2018
Fax (916) 319-2118
District Office (510) 286-1670
assemblymember.bonta@assembly.ca.gov

Vice Chair Brian Maienschein (R-San Diego)
Sacramento Office (916) 319-2077
Fax (916) 319-2177
District Office (858) 675-0077
assemblymember.maienschein@assembly.ca.gov

Susan Bonilla (D-Concord)
Sacramento Office (916) 319-2014
Fax (916) 319-2014
District Office (925) 521-1511
assemblymember.bonilla@assembly.ca.gov

Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood)
Sacramento Office (916) 319-2062
Fax (916) 319-2162
District Office (310) 412-6400
assemblymember.burke@assembly.ca.gov

Rocky Chavez (R-Carlsbad)
Sacramento Office (916) 319-2076
Fax (916) 319-2176
District Office (760) 433-7601
assemblymember.chavez@assembly.ca.gov

David Chiu (D-San Francisco)
Sacramento Office 916) 319-2017
Fax (916) 319-2117
District Office (415) 557-3013
assemblymember.chiu@assembly.ca.gov

Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles)
Sacramento Office (916) 319-2051
Fax (916) 319-2151
District Office (213) 483-5151
assemblymember.gomez@assembly.ca.gov

Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego)
Sacramento Office (916) 319-2080
Fax (916) 319-2180
District Office (619) 338-8090
assemblymember.gonzalez@assembly.ca.gov

Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina)
Sacramento Office (916) 319-2048
Fax (916) 319-2148
District Office (626) 960-4457
assemblymember.hernandez@assembly.ca.gov

Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale)
Sacramento Office (916) 319-2036
Fax (916) 319-2136
District Office (661) 267-7636
assemblymember.lackey@assembly.ca.gov

Adrin Nazarian (D-Van Nuys)
Sacramento Office (916) 319-2046
Fax (916) 319-2046
District Office (818) 376-4246
assemblymember.nazarian@assembly.ca.gov

Jim Patterson (D-Fresno)
Sacramento Office (916) 319-2023
Fax (916) 319-2023
District Office (559) 446-2029
assemblymember.patterson@assembly.ca.gov

Sebastian Ridley-Thomas (D-Culver City)
Sacramento Office (916) 319-2054
Fax (916) 319-2054
District Office (310) 342-1070
assemblymember.ridley-thomas@assembly.ca.gov

Freddie Rodriguez (D-Chino)
Sacramento Office (916) 319-2052
Fax (916) 319-2152
District Office (909) 902-9606
assemblymember.rodriguez@assembly.ca.gov

Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles)
Sacramento Office (916) 319-2053
Fax (916) 319-2153
District Office (213) 620-4646
assemblymember.santiago@assembly.ca.gov

Marc Steinorth (R-Rancho Cucamonga)
Sacramento Office (916) 319-2040
Fax (916) 319-2140
District Office (909) 466-9096
assemblymember.steinorth@assembly.ca.gov

Tony Thurmond (D-Oakland)
Sacramento Office (916) 319-2015
Fax (916) 319-2115
District Office (510) 286-1400
assemblymember.thurmond@assembly.ca.gov

Marie Waldron (R-Escondido)
Sacramento Office (916) 319-2075
Fax (916) 319-2175
District Office (760) 480-7570
assemblymember.waldron@assembly.ca.gov

Jim Wood (D-Eureka)
Sacramento Office (916) 319-2002
Fax (916) 319-2102
District Office (707) 445-7014
assemblymember.wood@assembly.ca.gov