Ensuring Truth in Pregnancy Counseling

When MYD attended Planned Parenthood’s Rally for Women last weekend, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said in a few days the Council would pass legislation to strengthen protections for women seeking reproductive healthcare in New York City. The Council delivered on that promise.

On Wednesday, March 2nd, the City Council approved legislation to ensure that woman are not deceived at pregnancy service centers in New York City — specifically, this legislation would regulate “crisis pregnancy centers that masquerade as licensed medical facilities but are, in fact, fronts for anti-abortion groups that interfere with the ability of women to make timely, well-informed decisions about their reproductive health.”

“This bill is a truth in advertising measure,” said Council member Jessica Lappin, who sponsored the bill. “To be clear, it only regulates centers that are deliberately trying to deceive women into thinking they are in a medical facility when they are not. What those centers are doing is not only dishonest, it is incredibly dangerous.”

The new legislation requires centers to inform their clients whether or not they have a licensed medical provider on staff; disclose the kind of pregnancy-related services provided by the center; and provide confidentiality protections for clients’ personal and health information.

Let’s hope this is a message to Washington that all women must have the right to become educated and make their own decisions about their bodies. The debate has gone on for decades, and this is a step towards making complete reproductive rights a reality.

Thanks Jovana Rizzo and Heather James, Women’s Issues Committee Chair, for contributing to this post.

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