Court Stops Baltimore City Council From Harassing Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers

State   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   Aug 19, 2015   |   10:54AM   |   Baltimore, MD

Last week, a federal court upheld a district court’s decision to allow three pro-life organizations, Care Net, Heartbeat International and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, to keep their internal files confidential in Baltimore.

In a press release, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) explained that in 2014, the pro-abortion law firm, Center for Reproductive Rights, demanded they be granted access to thousands of pages of internal files that belonged to the pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) in order to help the city of Baltimore defend ordinances that forced pregnancy centers to post signs discouraging citizens from visiting their clinics.

However, last December a judge ruled that the city’s request was “grossly excessive.” Senior Counsel with ADF, Matt Bowman, said the following about the case, “Pro-life pregnancy centers offer free help and hope to women all over the country in almost 2000 more centers than Planned Parenthood has. They should be free to keep their internal files out of the hands of hostile government officials, just like all other organizations. The court was right to put a stop to this outrageous fishing expedition. It is bad enough that Baltimore passed an egregious ordinance against the free speech of local pro-life centers. The city has no authority to abuse court rules against pro-life groups nationwide.”

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ADF Senior Council, Kevin Theriot, added, “The First Amendment protects the constitutional freedoms of all groups, including pro-life organizations. The court did the right thing in quashing most of these subpoenas and allowing pro-life organizations to freely continue their mission of advocating for and helping pregnant women without having to face a government inquisition.”

As LifeNews previously reported, this lawsuit against PRCs proves that the abortion industry feels threatened by pro-life groups that offer abortion alternatives to women. The Vice President of Americans United for Life, William Saunders, said, “Clearly, the abortion industry feels threatened by the success of PRCs. After all, every time an abortion-minded woman changes her mind and carries her child to term, the abortion industry loses money and loses the hearts of minds of more Americans.”

Saunders also pointed out that PRCs are often able to change women’s minds about abortion, which in turn hurts the abortion industry’s bottom line. He explained, “In 2004, Focus on the Family (Focus) initiated a program to help convert PRCs into medical clinics that offer ultrasound – a window into the womb. Focus estimates that at least 133,000 babies have been saved since that time. Planned Parenthood estimates that an abortion costs between $300 and $950 in the first trimester. Assuming Focus’ estimate is correct and assuming even the lowest cost, Focus’ success represents a loss of almost 40 million dollars for the abortion industry.”

Additionally, statistics show that 78% of women who see an ultrasound of their baby at a PRC rejects abortion and goes on to have their child. In fact, former abortionist Joseph Randall once said abortion facilities didn’t show women ultrasounds of their baby because they knew it discouraged them from going through with the procedure. He explained, “They [the women] are never allowed to look at the ultrasound because we knew that if they so much as heard the heart beat, they wouldn’t want to have an abortion.”