New D.C. Law Could Force Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers to Hire Abortion Practitioners

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 12, 2018   |   5:14PM   |   Washington, DC

Pro-life advocates have raised serious concerns about a new District of Columbia bill that could force pro-life pregnancy centers to hire abortionists and abortion activists.

The Christian Post reports the legislation (B22-0571) would amend the D.C. Human Rights Act to include abortionists and abortion activists among protected classes of people. This would mean healthcare providers and pro-life pregnancy centers could not refuse to hire someone because they advocate for abortion or choose to abort unborn babies.

“If it becomes D.C. law, it would force pro-life crisis pregnancy centers and healthcare providers to comply or face a mountain of discriminatory, mean-spirited lawsuits for not hiring someone who supports the practice of abortion,” attorney Katie Glenn wrote Tuesday in an opinion piece for the Washington Examiner.

She likened the proposal to forcing Planned Parenthood to staff its front desk with a pro-life advocate. If it passes, Glenn, a First Amendment Partnership attorney, said it almost certainly will be struck down as unconstitutional.

“If the D.C. Council passes this bill, it would send the message that only one viewpoint on abortion and sterilization is acceptable in the District,” she wrote. “Rather than forcing the faith-based healthcare providers to hire against their conscience or shut down, the D.C. Council should recognize the profound contribution these organizations make to our community.”

D.C. Council member David Grosso, a leading advocate of the legislation, claimed it is their response to the “demonization of medical professionals” who provide abortions.

“A doctor, nurse, or other health practitioner should not have to fear for their job based on their support for the right to choose or their willingness to participate in abortion services,” Grosso said. “We pride ourselves as a jurisdiction that staunchly defends the right to an abortion …”

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Other council members who also support the pro-abortion bill include Brianne K. Nadeau, Jack Evans, Charles Allen, Robert C. White, Jr. and Anita Bonds, according to the report.

Over the past several years, abortion activists have been targeting pro-life pregnancy centers with everything from smear campaigns to legislation to protests.

This summer, pregnancy centers won a major victory at the U.S. Supreme Court when the justices ruled against a pro-abortion California law that forces them to advertise abortions. The law was just one of many attempts by abortion activists to shut down pregnancy centers and the help that they provide to mothers and babies.

Most pregnancy centers are small nonprofits that are largely run through donations and volunteers. They provide services to pregnant and parenting mothers and young children. Many provide free counseling, ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, parenting classes, maternity and baby supplies and other types of support to help mothers choose life for their babies.