What’s airing today on Pro-Life Perspective? “Pregnancy Resource Centers Win in Maryland”
By Dave Andrusko
National Right to Life President and Pro-Life Perspective Host Carol Tobias picks up on a theme often discussed on these pages: the pro-abortion offensive against Crisis Pregnancy Centers also known as Pregnancy Centers.
The bad news is that the NARAL-led assault continues apace. The better news is that courts are seeing through these blatant attacks on First Amendment rights. (Courts understand that free speech is not just about what you can say but what you cannot be forced to say!)
Today at www.prolifeperspective.com Mrs. Tobias talks about a recent decision that overturned ordinances of the Montgomery County Maryland Council and the Baltimore City Maryland Council passed in 2010. The Montgomery County ordinances required what were described as “limited service pregnancy centers” to post notices that they had no licensed medical staff and advising women to find “a licensed health care provider.”
Writing for himself and Judge G. Steven Agee in the Montgomery County case, Judge Paul V. Niemeyer said, “The government-mandated statement … suggests to potential clients that the center is not to be trusted and that a pregnancy center’s services, like religious counseling or job placement assistance, will usually be inferior to those offered by medical professionals.” He added that while the county can express its views that a pregnant woman should seek medical attention, it cannot force others to express that view.
He added, if Montgomery County “wishes ‘to encourage women who are or may be pregnant to consult with a licensed health care provider,’ it must, at a minimum, first do so using its own voice.”
The Baltimore City Council ordinance was even more odious. Its law required pregnancy centers to display signs stating they do not offer abortions or birth control. The Council offered a rationale favored by NARAL which is on a campaign to harass women-helping centers: that such centers had provided misleading information and the Council had a vested interest in protecting the public health by ensuring honest advertising of services.
In upholding a lower court decision, Judge Niemeyer made short work of this. To wit, there is no evidence the Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns misled anyone!
According to newspaper accounts, Officials in both Montgomery County and Baltimore City are considering whether to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. There are other challenges to similar laws working their way through the legal pipeline. One is from Austin, Texas, another from New York City, and a third from San Francisco.
Be sure to listen to Mrs. Tobias at www.prolifeperspective.com. You can also hear yesterday’s broadcast if you missed it. Be sure to pass this URL along using your social networks.
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