Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Proposed Legislation Would Require NYC "Crisis Pregnancy Centers" to Disclose Stance on Abortion
The New York Times: The True Mission of ‘Crisis Pregnancy Centers’, by Susan Dominus:
Imagine a young woman riding the subway, consumed by her thoughts: she is pregnant, considering abortion, but unsure of where to turn. She looks up midcommute and notices a sign with three bold words, one beneath the other: “Free abortion alternatives.” At the bottom of the sign are several phone numbers that will lead her to any one of 12 E.M.C. FrontLine Pregnancy Centers around New York City.
The centers — crisis pregnancy centers — provide support for women who would like to continue their pregnancies but are in dire financial straits. They provide useful social service referrals and offer a sympathetic ear for women continuing their pregnancies.
They do not, however, provide a full range of alternatives (like the morning-after pill) or condone all choices. To the contrary, they oppose abortion, and their staff members try their hardest to talk women out of having one, even if that means, according to Planned Parenthood of New York City, showing them graphic images and telling them that “God will never forgive you.”
A yearlong investigation by Naral Pro-Choice New York found that crisis pregnancy centers — in addition to the E.M.C. centers, there are at least four others in the city — feed women information that has been medically refuted (including an old standby, rejected by the National Cancer Institute, that abortions cause higher rates of breast cancer).
Partly in response to findings in that report, Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, and Councilwoman Jessica S. Lappin, Democrat of Manhattan, are proposing legislation that would require the stance of these crisis pregnancy centers to be clear to all women who visit them — either intentionally, or by accident while seeking a Planned Parenthood clinic across the street, or because the word “abortion” loomed much larger to them on that subway sign than the word “alternative.” . . .