Federal bill Puts Crisis Pregnancy Centers in the Crosshairs." A quick read of the bill itself makes it sound innocuous enough. The bill purports to prohibit "advertising with the intent to deceptively create the impression that such person is a provider of abortion services if such person does not provide abortion services."
Makes sense, right? Advertising a service that is not being offered is deceptive advertising. So here's the big question. Why write this bill at all? False advertising is already covered under law. Shouldn't we just appeal to existing law? For that matter, if you feel deceptive advertising isn't covered by the law, why not make this bill generic. Take out the word "abortion" and the bill reads just fine.
The reason the bill was written, and the reason it mentions abortion is because it is meant to be broadly interpreted in order to put crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) out of business. We have already seen this happen at the local level, in Baltimore. Rather than passively prosecuting false advertising, the law was used to force CPCs to post large prominent disclaimers discouraging women from entering.
But maybe this law is different. Let's hear what the bill's sponsor has to say about it. Carolyn Maloney's web site has a post "Maloney Cracks Down on Deceptive Anti-abortion Centers". From the article:
“New York City has seen firsthand how crisis pregnancy centers deliberately confuse women by establishing themselves near legitimate reproductive health care centers. These fake clinics have opened in close proximity to our Brooklyn and Bronx centers, misleading clients seeking the unbiased care that Planned Parenthood provides."
And so we see that being in the same neighborhood as a Planned Parenthood clinic is considered "deceptive advertising". Let's see what unbiased care Panned Parenthood provides. Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the US. Abortion is its single largest source of income. It does not derive any income from women who choose adoption. This sets up an inherent conflict of interest. In 2007, Planned Parenthood performed 305,310 abortions, and made just 4,912 adoption referrals. Since 2007 Planned Parenthood has not released any information on how many adoption referrals they have provided.
As for unbiased, medically accurate information, check out Live Action's web site for numerous documented examples of what Planned Parenthood provides. The fact is, if Planned Parenthood were actually interested in women getting all the information they can to make an important life or death choice, they would welcome CPCs, which have no financial interest in the decision the mother makes.
In short, this bill is nothing but an attempt by Planned Parenthood to eliminate any alternative source of information about pregnancy, which they see as potentially cutting into their lucrative abortion business.