Baltimore City Council Passes Crisis Pregnancy Center Accountability Bill

Jodi Jacobson

"Crisis pregnancy" centers in Baltimore must now display signs stating they do not provide abortions or birth-control referrals under a measure approved by the City Council Monday night and thought to be the first of its kind in the nation."

The Baltimore Sun reports that "crisis pregnancy
centers in Baltimore must display signs stating they do not provide
abortions or birth-control referrals under a measure approved by the
City Council Monday night and thought to be the first of its kind in
the nation."

So-called crisis pregnancy centers regularly provide misleading and inaccurate information on birth control and abortion, and often espouse religious ideology.  Rewire has published a number of articles analyzing the role of crisis pregnancy centers in misleading clients on reproductive and sexual health issues, a list of which can be found here.

The Sun reports that Baltimore City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a Democrat who was lead
sponsor of the initiative, called the measure a victory for women’s
well-being. She cited a study by an advocacy group indicating that
women have been misled at pregnancy centers that provide counseling,
clothing and food for expectant mothers – but not abortions.

"It’s a step towards making sure that women have the information they
need to make the right decision for their health and their future,"
Rawlings-Blake said.

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Similar measures have failed in the legislature in several states,
including Oregon and Texas, Meister said. A similar bill is being
considered by the Montgomery County Council.

The bill, notes the Sun, passed the City Council on a 12-3 vote, and now awaits a decision by Mayor Sheila Dixon,
who could either sign or veto the measure, or allow it to become law
without her signature. A supporter of abortion rights, Dixon has not
indicated whether she backs the plan.

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