On Friday, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced legislation that would allow the government to investigate crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) that falsely advertise abortion services. The "Stop Deceptive Advertising For Women's Services Act," introduced in both the House and the Senate, would allow the Federal Trade Commission to investigate reports of CPCs advertising as providing abortion care without offering any such services just as any other consumer complaint. The bill would not affect CPCs that accurately advertise as not providing abortion services.
Maloney and Menendez were joined by cosponsors Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) in announcing the bill. In a released statement, Maloney said, "Deception has no place when a woman is seeking information about her health or a pregnancy. Women shouldn't be deliberately misled or coerced when they seek legitimate medical services... While I will defend crisis centers' First Amendment rights even though I disagree with their view of abortion, those that practice bait-and-switch should be held accountable so that pregnant women are not deceived at an extremely vulnerable time in their lives." Menendez echoed her sentiments, "We have worked too hard to expand the availability of women's health care services to have any confusion created by those who would deliberately deceive a woman to suit their own purposes. I am proud to be an original sponsor of this legislation that is aimed at reducing the risk of women encountering unnecessary worry, anxiety and interference with getting the health care they need."
Crisis Pregnancy Centers, or CPCs, are often owned and operated by churches or anti-abortion groups that pose as legitimate health centers in an attempt to trick pregnant women seeking abortion care. CPCs will provide medically inaccurate information and convey religious beliefs in an attempt to convince women to carry their pregnancies to term. To learn more about CPCs visit the Choices Campus Leadership Program's Campaign to Expose Fake Clinics.
Media Resources: The Hill 5/20/2013; ThinkProgress 5/20/2013; Statement of Frank Lautenberg 5/17/2013
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .