Some council members and abortion advocates are heated over a bill that would regulate “crisis pregnancy centers” in New York.
The legislation would require those centers to list services they don’t offer, including abortion, prenatal care, and contraceptives.
The measure is sparking a lot of debate over whether the law conflicts with First Amendment rights. Chris Slattery, the founder of Expectant Mother Care pregnancy center in the Bronx, said the measure in front of the city council is discriminatory and only targets those with a pro-life view point. He also said the bill would “completely discredit us in the eyes of clients” and steer them towards abortion clinics.
Councilwoman Jessica Lappin is the prime sponsor of the bill, and says it’s simply about transparency. She said the bill would prevent women from being deceived by the centers. “We want women to know and to make sure it’s clear walking in the door."
Councilman Daniel Halloran says the law is unbalanced and fails to address both parties related to this topic. He said, “I wouldn’t mind if we had a bill that talked about regulating both Planned Parenthood and crisis pregnancy centers.” Halloran also said under the law, if the center fails to list the services they don’t offer, it’s considered a criminal offense.
There are more than twenty “crisis pregnancy centers” in New York City.