There are different types of CPCs, but many are run by anti-abortion extremists which intentionally appear to look like abortion clinics from the outside but in actuality will dissuade women from ending a pregnancy through any tactic at all. The city council demanded that CPCs inform women on advertising and signs in entrances and waiting rooms that they do not actually provide abortions, emergency contraceptives or prenatal care. CPC employees will also be required to provide that information if asked about it over the phone or in person. NYC’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to sign the bill into law.CPCs purposefully seem like actual health clinics because they have an ultrasound machine, but they do not have actual doctors on staff. In an HBO documentary about CPCs, “12 & Delaware” (watch the trailer at the link), employees at a CPC did everything from show women grisly anti-abortion videos about the procedure to lie about how far along in her pregnancy she is.
City legislatures regulating CPCs are slowly sweeping the nation: Baltimore passed a similar law (though it was declared unconstitutional on the grounds of “free speech” by a court and is currently being battled), as did Austin, Texas. According to The Wall Street Journal, New York’s archbishop and Brooklyn’s bishop have already condemned the NYC law, releasing a statement which reads:
“This legislation is designed to prevent pro-life advocates from speaking freely merely because their speech is considered unwelcome by some powerful interest groups that favor abortion. Ultimately, this legislation will deprive some women of valuable services and information before they make their decision as to whether or not to have an abortion.”
The NYC law is expected to be battled out in court as well. Bring it on! Does free speech include the freedom to lie to someone about her health? It shouldn’t. Pop some popcorn, ladies, because this is one court battle we’re going to watch.