HomeoldNew England City Sides with Abortion Industry in Free Speech Crackdown

New England City Sides with Abortion Industry in Free Speech Crackdown

Published on

In a Monday night decision, the City Council of Hartford, Connecticut, approved a new ordinance that will force the city’s only pro-life pregnancy centre to post signs designed to steer women away from its life-saving services.

The ordinance, which threatens to fine the Hartford Women’s Center $100 per day for non-compliance, would require the centre to identify itself as a non-medical facility, despite the fact that its team includes licensed medical professionals who work under the supervision of a physician.

With the ordinance set to take effect on 1 July 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on a similar case in 2018, which will likely affect whether the Hartford ordinance stands or falls.

The case before the Supreme Court, National Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, is likely to have a significant impact on the outcome of the Hartford ordinance. Previous attempts to target the work of pregnancy centres have been unsuccessful at the state and local levels. One such attempt in Baltimore and its encompassing county cost taxpayers north of $330,000 in damages.

This factor appears to have been overlooked by the city council in their hasty decision on Monday night, particularly given that they also voted at the same meeting to apply for a $40 million state bailout fund in order to avoid declaring bankruptcy.

“It is the province of the state and local governments to refrain from interfering with a woman’s right to choose life for herself and her child,” said Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International, a 2,400-plus member affiliation network that includes the Hartford Women’s Center. “Every woman should be afforded the full range of options, assistance, and support necessary to make the most informed decision for herself and her unborn child.”

The Hartford Women’s Center, which operates under the non-profit licence of St. Gerard’s Center for Life, opened its doors in May this year next door to Hartford GYN, which advertises its mission with the slogan “Abortion: 100 Percent of What We Do.”

The abortion mill, which has been in business since 1981, sent a woman to the hospital in October this year after she suffered excessive bleeding during a procedure, according to emergency call records, Life News reported.

While that incident went completely unreported by local media and uninvestigated by city officials, the council’s action Monday night comes at the behest of Hartford GYN and its upstairs neighbour, NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, which has been campaigning against pregnancy centres for the past two years.

In 2015, NARAL vilified Connecticut’s more than 50 pregnancy centres in a “report” that used the word “deception” 21 times in just 30 pages. Backed by rabidly pro-abortion US Senator Richard Blumenthal, the hit piece was later used in an unsuccessful attempt to introduce legislation in the state house in early 2017.

Offering free ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, options counseling, material assistance, parenting education and post-abortion care, the privately funded pro-life center has been serving women in the community free of charge since 2006.

Since the Hartford Women’s Center closed its doors on the property next door to the abortion clinic late last November, it has been a constant target of the abortion lobby and its prized business interest next door – which local pro-lifers say aborts up to 60 babies a day.

Even before it began serving clients at its new location in May, the centre was accused of false advertising by NARAL and the abortion clinic, leading to Monday night’s council decision. Though unfounded and unproven, Leticia Velasquez, executive director of the Hartford Women’s Center, says she expects such accusations in the fight to save lives from abortion.

“We are strangers in this world, we have to remember that,” Velasquez said in May. “If we get too comfortable, we can’t go over the target, but we’re being attacked, so we have to go over the target.”

Although efforts to force pregnancy centres to post similar signs are still in play in San Francisco, Oakland, and Seattle, parallel efforts have been rejected as unconstitutional violations in Austin (TX), New York City, Baltimore (MD), and Montgomery County, Md. – which was ordered to pay pregnancy centres $330,000 in legal fees after colluding with NARAL.

This summer, Missouri passed a protective measure to prevent municipalities in its state from targeting pregnancy centres after pro-abortion activists in St. Louis tried to prevent all religious organisations from holding their own employees to a pro-life code of conduct.

Other, more onerous laws forcing pregnancy centres to speak a government message have come under scrutiny in Illinois, California and Hawaii, with a judge permanently halting the Illinois law and the U.S. Supreme Court taking up the pro-life challenge to the California law in early November.


Daniel Miller is responsible for nearly all of National Right to Life News' political writing.

With the election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency, Daniel Miller developed a deep obsession with U.S. politics that has never let go of the political scientist. Whether it's the election of Joe Biden, the midterm elections in Congress, the abortion rights debate in the Supreme Court or the mudslinging in the primaries - Daniel Miller is happy to stay up late for you.

Daniel was born and raised in New York. After living in China, working for a news agency and another stint at a major news network, he now lives in Arizona with his two daughters.

Order Now!


Latest articles

The EU’s plans for the abolition of the secrecy of digital letters

Surveillance of private chats without suspicion could soon become mandatory in the EU. This...

Lloyd’s: Government behind Nord Stream sabotage

About a month ago, Zug-based Nord Stream AG filed a lawsuit against its insurers....

More like this

Biden urges hostage deal

US President Biden has called on Qatar and Egypt to do everything possible to...

Trump trial: ex-president rushes from court to campaign trail

Update, 11:00 a.m.: In the U.S., experts are surprised that Judge Juan Merchan has...

Donald Trump Ignores Court Gag Order

Trump can't talk about those involved in the New York trial. The ex-president can,...