Attempted hatchet job on Pregnancy Help Centers falls flat

By Dave Andrusko

The headline to Mackenzie Mays’s story in the Los Angeles Times tells you all you need to know about where this article is coming from: “Even in blue California, attempts to regulate controversial antiabortion centers continue to fail.”

Understand it’s not for lack of effort. Some individual cities and the state of California are doing their best to pass laws and issue fines so draconian that Pregnancy Help Center will be put out of the business of helping women with unplanned pregnancies.

But darned if they haven’t survived—indeed thrived— even in a state that is as unabashedly pro-abortion as California.

The story follows the usual pro-abortion narrative. Everything Pregnancy Help Centers do is misleading, Mays tells the readers. The information they hand out to women is false, or at best half-truths; the after-effects of abortion on some women is spun out of whole cloth; and (particularly annoying to Mays) one new atypical pregnancy help centers about to open “looks more like a high-end salon than a medical clinic.”

So only deception accounts for how “at least 165 crisis pregnancy centers in California, and they outnumber abortion clinics,” right?

And only half-truths account for how “antiabortion pregnancy centers appear to be untouchable despite repeated attempts to rein them in,” right?

And only by telling the made-up after-effects of abortion to the abortion-minded women could explain how “some [Pregnancy Help Centers] are even expanding, boosted by an influx of donations from abortion opponents who object to the enhanced protections enacted in California in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

So what does account for the increase in Pregnancy Help Centers?  “The industry has gotten harder to regulate as it has moved away from the ‘egregious’ misrepresentations that it was built on, [Attorney General Rob] Bonta said. ”They’re moving into more of a gray and ambiguous space, where they’re saying things like, ‘Come in and talk to us about abortion options,’ “Bonta said. It’s not necessarily false, it might be misleading, but it’s not a black or white violation.”

In other words, try as they may, the entire weight of the California government has not proven strong enough to destroy Pregnancy Help Centers.

The entire story is worth reading. But the best (and most telling) response of pro-abortion Democrats comes at the end of Mays’s story.

She interviewed Heidi Matzke, who “has positioned herself as the face of California’s modern pregnancy center movement.” [Underlining added]:

Matzke is a tireless debater; for every scientific study that casts doubt on her services, she holds up another more obscure study that supports them. It’s Planned Parenthood, not pregnancy centers, that are judging their patients, she insists.

“They want to choose life but they need help and they need support,” Matzke said of her clients. “And so when they find a clinic like ours to support them … then a lot of them will step up and choose life.”

California’s leading Democratic lawmakers have ignored Matzke’s invitations to visit her clinics, leery of giving a microphone to her cause. But the license granted to her from the state they represent hangs clearly in her lobby, framed with gold prongs to match her new decor.

“We have nothing to hide,” she said.