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No Signs for Crisis Pregnancy Centers, Only For Reproductive Health Clinics

No Signs for Crisis Pregnancy Centers, Only For Reproductive Health Clinics

A New York judge has blocked a law that was meant to force crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to post signs stating what sort of services they provide, that they do not have medical staff on site, that they do not provide or refer for abortions and that they do not have to adhere to HIPAA privacy codes or patient confidentiality. The signs, which state reproductive health groups had been rallying for, are meant to inform women who may enter these establishmentsbelieving that they are walking into a center that can provide them with birth control or abortions, as CPCs are often located in the same building, next door to, or across the street from reproductive health clinics and use similar names in the hopes of confusing potential users.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the judge blocked the law, saying the rules were “unconstitutionally vague,” and that “risk of discriminatory enforcement was high” because of the political and often religious natures of the clinics.

Writer Andy Kopsa lists the disclosure that would be required by the centers under law:

a. A pregnancy services center shall disclose to a client that the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene encourages women who are or who may be pregnant to consult with a licensed medical provider.
b. A pregnancy services center shall disclose if it does or does not have a licensed medical provider on staff who provides or directly supervises the provision of all of the services at such pregnancy services center.
c. A pregnancy services center shall disclose if it does or does not provide or provide referrals for abortion.
d. A pregnancy services center shall disclose if it does or does not provide or provide referrals for emergency contraception.
e. A pregnancy services center shall disclose if it does or does not provide or provide referrals for prenatal care.
f. The disclosures required by this section must be provided:
(1) in writing, in English and Spanish in a size and style as determined in accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner on
(i) at least one sign conspicuously posted in the entrance of the pregnancy services center;
(ii) at least one additional sign posted in any area where clients wait to receive services; and
(iii) in any advertisement promoting the services of such pregnancy services center in clear and prominent letter type and in a size and style to be determined in accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner; and
(2) orally, whether by in person or telephone communication, upon a client or prospective client request for any of the following services:
(i) abortion;
(ii) emergency contraception; or
(iii) prenatal care.

All of these seem like pretty clear, concise statements to be made and posted, and the only reason to not do so would be the desire to try and trick women into coming inside in order to talk them out of birth control or abortion.

We know full well that the anti-abortion faction has no issues with signage, after all.  They have spent all week praising the new law in Louisiana that will make reproductive health clinics post signs that “address the truth” that many women are pressured into abortion.  According to National Right to Life, the “Signs of Hope” law:

(1)     Requires a “Forced Abortion Prevention Sign” to be conspicuously posted in abortion clinics informing women that they can’t be forced to abort against their will; that the father is liable for support; that adoptive parents may pay costs of prenatal care and childbirth; that there are many public and private resources to help during and  after pregnancy as listed on a DHH website featured on the sign posted in the clinic.

(2)     Creates a DHH website and mobile/smartphone platform to deliver info about free ultrasound, pregnancy resources, abortion health risks, and the development of the unborn child. In addition to being posted on the sign, the web address must be given by phone or email at the initial contact seeking an appointment. This legislation enhances Louisiana’s current Woman’s Right to Know law.

So just so we are clear: signs that state that crisis pregnancy centers are not medical operations, they have no privacy code, and they cannot assist you with pregnancy prevention or termination is bad law.  Signs that tell women that she should not abort, that people will give you money for your birth, and that link to sites that provide often incorrect abortion health risks are good law.

Only in the war on women.

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Photo credit: Peaco Toons

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21 comments

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5:32PM PDT on Aug 20, 2011

Why do Republicans hate women so much?

The regressive Republican Party of No is obstructionist, mean-spirited, thuggish, religiously fanatical, scientifically ignorant, corrupt, hypocritical, xenophobic, racist, sexist, homophobic, evolution and global warming denying, oily, anti-environment, anti-consumer, anti-choice, anti-education, union busting, Medicare and Social Security slashing, authoritarian, selfish, greedy, out-of-touch, lacking compassion, warmongering, and otherwise dangerous.

NEVER vote for Republicans.

11:27AM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

I agree about the HIPPA law thing.
There are MANY of those signs here in Texas. Some of them have been vandalized with the words LIARS. It's a good thing that they did that.

4:28PM PDT on Aug 6, 2011

The only thing I disagree with is that they should comply with Hipaa and patient confidentiality. Pregnant women and teens should know all their options.

4:23PM PDT on Aug 6, 2011

The only thing I disagree with is that they should comply with Hipaa and patient confidentiality. Pregnant women and teens should know all their options.

4:15PM PDT on Aug 6, 2011

Sorry...hit return too soon and then had to do some stuff. But I thought any counseling center or business giving any sort of medical services or ideas (abortion, birth control, etc) was *required* to make all clients aware of what services are and are not offered via a written contract, as well as a statement as to its privacy practices (or lack thereof). Any time I've gone to a hospital, ER, doctor or therapist of any kind, I've had to sign such forms. Maybe it's not the law everywhere, but I would have thought that the information would be made known *inside* so as not to have to have big signs outside. But again, maybe the point isn't to educate people, but to embarrass them or make them feel bad about having an unwanted pregnancy to begin with. I guess some people don't realize that pro-life doesn't end at birth?

2:48PM PDT on Aug 6, 2011

Why isn't it enough for some people that the center inform clients of what services they do and don't offer in a flier given when someone sees a counselor, or in the form of a contract clients sign when going in for services? It's the same thing you might find at a hospital or doctor's office, when they give you the intake forms to fill out. I've seen disclosures like this, anyway. Why make huge signs if the same information can be given in a better way, unless they're trying to embarrass women into not consulting CPCs and go on with unwanted pregnancies that could even be dangerous to them?

9:01AM PDT on Jul 17, 2011

They want their white majority back!!!!! They HATE that our country is going Brown.

11:59PM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

For those of us who are pro-choice, NOW is the time to donate as much time, or money as we can to our sisters and the pro-choice organizations across our country. Otherwise the "small Republican Government" will be shining a flashlight up our crotches right alongside the TSA and our OB/GYNs. And believe me... monitoring ALL WOMEN who test pregnant will cost a helluva lot more money than allowing us the dignity to search our consciences and make our own decisions about whether we can, should, or do not want to carry a pregnancy to term.

8:20PM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

REpug WOW (War on Women) continues...

8:06PM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

How utterly ignorant! We can't feed people, or give them adequate health care - for that matter even guarantee a roof over their heads - but we can tell them to have more babies and God help em' if they don't want one.

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Colleen H. Colleen H. is an Online Campaigner with Care2 and a recent transplant to San Francisco from the East... more
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