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New York Lawmakers Push for Pregnancy Center Regulation

by Katharine O'Marra
A A
NY lawmakers push for pregnancy center legislation.

Katharine O'Marra, WFUV

A group of NY legislators are pushing for a federal law to regulate pregnancy center advertising tactics.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Council Member Jessica Lappin, and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney gathered with advocates today to push for legislation ensuring transparency in advertising for Crisis Pregnancy Centers or CPCs. They say that CPCs use underhanded and dishonest tactics to deter women from having abortions.

The proposed Stop Deceptive Advertising of Women’s Services Act (SDAWSA) would give the Federal Trade Commission the authority to regulate claims made by CPCs about the services they provide.

Congresswoman Maloney says CPCs take advantage of vulnerable women by dishonestly advertising their services. “No woman deserves to be lied to or deceived” Maloney said. “Especially when it’s something as important as planning her family or medical services."

This push for legislation comes after a 2010 City Council Law that required Pregnancy Service Centers to be more transparent in advertising their services. That law is currently pending in court.  Pro-life groups say the law infringed on their First Amendment Rights.

One plaintiff in that case is Chris Slattery, founder and president of the Expectant Mother Care organization. He argues that the claims of deceptive tactics against CPCs are false. “The claim that our advertising is deceptive is completely bogus” he said. “It's an effort to restrict and regulate the First Amendment protected free speech of pregnancy centers”.

The City Council will vote on a resolution this week that would push for the legislation’s swift passage in Congress.

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