By Dave Andrusko
Just a few weeks ago pro-lifers in Washington State faced the grim possibility that the legislature would follow in the steps of places like the city of Baltimore and pass a bill intended to harass, if not put out of business, women-helping crisis pregnancy centers under the transparently false label of “transparency.”
But as Care Net reported in a press release we carried yesterday, time ran out on the Planned Parenthood Votes Washington-inspired anti-pregnancy center bill HB 1366 when the full House did not bring it up for a vote by Monday. Naturally supporters vowed to come again next year with a proposal similar to the one that threatened to shut down 56 pregnancy centers in Washington.
“Care Net commends the Washington State legislature for recognizing the truth about HB 1366 – that it was a biased attack by one industry on its competition,” said Care Net President Melinda Delahoyde “Women in Washington deserve to make their own choice of where they go for help with an unexpected pregnancy. This bill would have eliminated that choice and pointed them solely to abortion providers.”
Pregnancy centers in Washington State provide an estimated $18.6 million dollars worth of free services to women facing unplanned pregnancies and their families.
Opponents of the proposal made their case at a well-attended January 24 hearing of the State Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee. The irony was not lost, at least not on pro-lifers, when just a few days later a U.S. District Court of Maryland declared a similar (but less onerous) Baltimore law unconstitutional.
Like similar laws elsewhere, Washington’s proposed law would place burdensome regulations on women-helping center—but not on abortion clinics—and expose the centers to harassing lawsuits.