A bill to “intimidate, silence and shut down” pro-life pregnancy centers and the vital support that they provide to moms and babies is moving through the New York state legislature this week.
The pro-abortion bill appears to be the latest attempt by so-called “pro-choice” lawmakers to reduce access to any pregnancy choice other than abortion.
Both the New York Catholic bishops and leading pro-life advocates in the state are asking New Yorkers to call their state lawmakers and urge them to oppose it.
The legislation (S6311/A8212) would establish a taskforce, including abortionists and abortion activists, to help the New York State Commissioner of Health inspect and report on the actions of pro-life pregnancy centers. It also would require pregnancy centers to submit huge amounts of paperwork to the state, including information about the women whom they are serving.
The Catholic News Agency reports the goal of the bill is for the health commissioner to determine whether pro-life pregnancy centers are “offering accurate, non-coercive health care information and timely access to a comprehensive range of reproductive and sexual health care services.”
The state Assembly passed the bill Tuesday and immediately sent it to the state Senate, according to the report.
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“The pre-determined outcome of the ‘study’ is that such services are too ‘limited’ in denying pregnant women access to abortion,” the bishops said in a statement. “… it appears the intention of the bill is to intimidate, silence and shut down pro-life pregnancy centers.”
The New York State Right to Life Committee also slammed the legislation as “dangerous,” raising concerns about client confidentiality and “grossly unreasonable levels of paperwork” for primarily volunteer-run organizations.
The Catholic bishops said the legislation is extremely biased against pregnancy centers (“limited service pregnancy centers,” according to the bill) and the support that they provide to families in need.
“This legislation will force such centers, which rely primarily on volunteer workers, to turn over to the state voluminous data including funding sources, services, staffing, operational guidelines, client demographics and more, even if they receive no state subsidies. The majority of pro-life pregnancy centers do not receive government funding,” the bishops said.
Pro-life pregnancy centers serve about 2 million mothers and babies each year in the U.S., providing free counseling, ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, diapers, cribs, clothing and more. Most are small, non-profit organizations that primarily rely on volunteers and donations to provide community-based services. Unlike abortion facilities, very few pregnancy centers receive taxpayer funding.
Seemingly, “pro-choice” activists would support pregnancy centers, as well as pro-life advocates, because they provide prenatal, parenting and adoption support that abortion facilities do not – and they do it for free. But increasingly, pro-life pregnancy centers are being attacked by abortion activists and pro-abortion lawmakers through legislation and bordering-on-slanderous “educational” campaigns.
The bill is sponsored by state Assembly Member Deborah Glick and state Sen. Brad Hoylman.
Action: Contact New York state senators and urge them to oppose S6311/A8212.