[Today’s post was originally published at LifeNews.]
senate is considering an unconstitutional bill that would interfere with the
vital work of pregnancy resource centers—and if the legislation passes, it
could create a precedent for even worse attacks on pro-life charities and
groups have been attempting to legislate against pregnancy centers for years,
usually through laws that require pregnancy centers to disclose that they do
not provide abortions. Such legislation
never requires abortion facilities to disclose what services they don’t offer (e.g., support for
women who give birth). The pro-abortion
objective is to give pregnant women the false impression that abortion centers
offer everything that pregnancy centers do and more. By driving women away from supportive
pregnancy centers and toward abortion businesses, they hope to increase
courts have held that these laws are unconstitutional. Under the First Amendment, states can only
require disclosures in a commercial context, to protect people from fraud. Since pregnancy resource centers aren’t trying
to part anyone from their money—they are charities that offer all their services
free of charge—the government has no legitimate reason to interfere with their
stopping abortion advocates in Oregon, who have proposed yet another bill, SB
490, attacking pregnancy centers. On top
of its unconstitutionality, SB 490 has three provisions that are especially
would require pregnancy centers to give disclosures not once, not twice, but up
to five times for every client: on
advertisements, on the center website, at the door, in the waiting room, and
once more before she can receive services. Abortion supporters are arguing that SB 490’s five-time disclosure rule
merely implements “standard,
uncontroversial health-care requirements.” These are, of course, the same abortion
advocates who abhor informed consent laws that require just one disclosure of abortion’s nature and risks
before a woman undergoes an irreversible procedure.
is full of vague language that will put pregnancy centers in constant fear of
legal problems. Disclosures must be
“conspicuous” enough for regulators. And
if the pregnancy center gets it wrong, there are fines of up to $10,000 a week!
490’s purported exemption for medical centers is practically non-existent. To qualify, the center must “employ” a
medical professional, even though pregnancy centers typically rely on
volunteers so that they can offer free services.
non-volunteer medical professional must be on site whenever a medical service
is administered, and SB 490 defines “medical services” to include pregnancy options counseling. That’s right: simply talking to someone about parenting, adoption, and abortion—what
caring pro-life people across the country do on a regular basis—is a “medical
service” requiring the presence of a doctor or nurse!
attempted anti-pregnancy-center legislation before. But this time around, it is dangerously close
to passage. SB 490 has left the Health
Care and Human Services Committee and is now in the Senate Rules Committee,
which has the authority to work on Senate bills outside of the usual timeframe.
United for Life will continue to keep a close eye on this legislation and work
alongside other pro-life organizations to defeat it. You can help by contacting
Oregon state senators in opposition to SB 490.
United for Life’s complete analysis of SB 490, click