Pregnancy centers that don’t offer or refer clients to abortion services or birth control services will now have to say that on signs posted at their facilities, the Austin City Council decided in a unanimous vote this morning.
Council Member Bill Spelman [pictured left] proposed the idea because he said it can be unclear to visitors to the centers what services they offer. The centers are not medical clinics and typically offer adoption counseling, pregnancy tests and financial assistance to women with unplanned pregnancies, but not other services, Spelman said.
Baltimore is the only other city in the nation that has passed a similar law…. It won’t affect Planned Parenthood clinics or local or state health clinics that provide or refer clients to abortion and birth control services….
[C]enter operators won’t be arrested if they violate the law. They could be cited for a code violation – a Class C misdemeanor that would be handled through municipal court – and face fines of up to $450 per offense.
What Class A jerks. How much clearer can it be that pro-aborts have a preborn death wish?
Meanwhile, bravo to Baltimore’s Catholic Church leadership. Reported the Washington Times today:
The Archdiocese of Baltimore has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the country’s oldest crisis pregnancy center, claiming the city has enacted a biased ordinance that discriminates against pro-life organizations.
In a lawsuit filed last week in federal court, the archdiocese took on a new city ordinance – which had heavy backing from pro-choice and feminist groups – that requires crisis pregnancy centers to post prominent signs stating they do not dispense contraception nor perform abortions….
The archdiocese calls the ordinance a violation of free speech and exercise of religion and calls the language on the sign a “government-mandated disclaimer.” The lawsuit claims that pro-life groups are targeted by this ordinance which “targets for speech regulation only one side of a contentious public, political debate.”…
“Filing a federal lawsuit against the city is a big step and we wish the city had not put us in this position,” [archdiocesan spokesman Sean] Caine said. “However, the principles at issue are so important and the ordinance so clearly violates the law that we felt we needed to file the lawsuit. We believe the ordinance targets these centers because of their pro-life mission.”
The archdiocese also asserts the signs are forcing the CPCs to lie. The CPCs do provide birth control – in a fashion – it said in the lawsuit, in terms of abstinence and natural family planning, a system by which couples time their sexual intimacy according to a woman’s monthly cycle. It quotes a federal DHHS Web site as asserting that NFP and abstinence both constitute birth control.
Interesting last paragraph. I hope Austin pccs sue, too, and these cases are fast-tracked to the US Supreme Court to nip these unconstitutional pro-abort ordinances in the bud.
As a commenter wrote at Statesman.com, “Does this city council have any common business sense? Next they’ll be requiring McDonald’s to post signs that they don’t serve pizza.”
[Top photo via Statesman.com; bottom photo via ABC2news.com]