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Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Hearing on Bill Targeting Pregnancy Centers 

Last night I attended, along with about 250 others, a County Council hearing here in Montgomery County, MD on a bill targeting prolife pregnancy help centers by requiring that they post disclaimers that the information they provide to clients is not medical advice. The usual suspects are pushing this bill.
The bill was supported by Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, the Maryland chapter of the National Organization for Women and NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland.

Representatives of the affected centers and a large number of other witnesses pointed out that the centers already disclose that they do not provide or refer for abortions or contraceptives, that the bill creates a double standard since it does not require abortion providers to post any disclosures, and that such "compelled speech" could raise serious First Amendment issues.

A similar bill was just recently enacted in Baltimore. It will be seen if the large turnout and compelling arguments presented at the hearing cause the council to reconsider their intent to pass this dubious legislation.

UPDATE: Another post including some video of selected portions of the hearing is up at Restore-DC-Catholicism.

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