Six years ago, when I was still writing for the Washington Times, I heard that the city of Baltimore was compelling crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to post notices saying they don’t do referrals for abortion or birth control services.
This struck me as a bit odd, in that how many businesses must post notices saying what they do not offer? I couldn’t think of any.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore, which operated some of those CPCs, sued the city and eventually won. I covered that debate and a similar law that was floated in Montgomery County, Md., just outside of Washington DC. The latter was also struck down in court. Similar efforts were mounted in Austin, Texas and in New York, but both also lost in court.
Which is why I was surprised that the same law was being proposed in California. Here is what the New York Times said:
EL CAJON, Calif. -- “Free Pregnancy Testing,” reads the large sign in front of the East County Pregnancy Care Clinic, on a busy intersection of this impoverished city east of San Diego.
Inside the clinic, a woman will not only receive a free pregnancy test, but she will also see a counselor to discuss her options. She will see models of fetuses at early stages of development, which show that “at Week 12, you see a recognizable human,” said Josh McClure, the executive director of the clinic. If she is pregnant, she can receive a free ultrasound and attend childbirth classes. If she gives birth, she may receive help with diapers and a car seat.
What she will not receive from this center is advice on where to obtain an abortion.