UPDATE 5/21/21: The Connecticut House has passed a discriminatory bill against pro-life pregnancy centers to control how the centers advertise their services. The bill gives the Attorney General’s office the power to seek a court order to remove any advertising deemed “deceptive.” Though not a single pregnancy center client has come forward with complaints about the centers in the years that this law has been repeatedly introduced, the pro-abortion group NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut insists that women have been harmed by the pregnancy centers. The group has been fueling the efforts to pass this anti-pregnancy center bill.
The bill will now head to the governor’s desk.
5/8/21: The Connecticut Senate voted on Wednesday, May 5, to approve a discriminatory bill that targets pro-life pregnancy centers. Senate Bill 835 was spearheaded by NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut and aims to prohibit the alleged and unsubstantiated deceptive advertising of these pro-life centers. It passed 21-15, with three Democrats voting against it.
The bill insinuates that pro-life pregnancy centers deceive women through misleading advertising, NARAL’s real concern appears to be the fact that pregnancy centers are advertising free services — not including abortion — to women. That is the real concern of NARAL. These centers exist to empower women to choose life for their babies with confidence and provide the mother with everything from diapers and baby clothes to car seats and parenting classes. Despite these free services, the Connecticut government is claiming that pregnancy centers offer “limited services” because they do not offer abortion.
Pregnancy centers exist to be a safe place for women to learn about their pregnancy options without being pressured by a business that profits from the sale of an abortion. Many women choose abortion only because they feel they have no other choice, and abortion businesses do not make money when women choose life-affirming options instead.
The bill bans so-called deceptive advertising by pregnancy centers in print publications, online postings, public statements, or “any other manner” and applies to both the centers themselves and anyone who is advertising on the center’s behalf. The word “deceptive,” however, is not defined in the bill, and the Attorney General’s office will have the power to seek a court order to end any advertising that it subjectively determines to be deceptive. Centers found to be in violation of the law will face fines of up to $500 along with attorney’s fees.
“This bill affirms that Connecticut women have the right to seek reproductive health care in an honest, straightforward manner,” said Sen. Mary Daugherty Abrams (D), a proponent of the bill. “It makes clear that Connecticut will not allow deceptive advertising practices. It reinforces that in Connecticut, women will be treated with respect, honesty and dignity when they are seeking reproductive health care, including abortion services and emergency contraception. Ultimately, this bill is simple: tell the truth, regardless of one’s beliefs about a woman’s right to choose.”
However, not a single woman who had visited a pregnancy center in Connecticut came forward with accusations of deception against the centers. It was the opposite, with women coming forward in support of the centers.
“There has yet to be any evidence of deception,” said Sen. Heather Somers (R). “We have heard countless testimony year after year. … There have been no complaints submitted to Connecticut. Zero. None. … Not one person has come forward [to the state consumer protection department] and talked about themselves being delayed or a deceptive practice that they witnessed.”
Many women have come forward, however, accusing the abortion industry of deception.
The bill will now go to the House for final approval.
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