Target: The City of Baltimore
Goal: Require deceptive “pregnancy crisis centers” without trained medical staff to have a visible disclaimer.
In June of 2012, a federal judge struck down a court case from the City of Baltimore intended to promote transparency surrounding certain clinics within their jurisdiction. The judge in this case ruled that pregnancy crisis clinics without medical staff, most of which are manned by religious groups trying to manipulate women into not getting abortions, could not be forced to portray a disclaimer that they have no medical professionals on staff.
In many cities around the country, including Baltimore, there are fake pregnancy counseling centers which only serve to deceive women. Anti-reproductive freedom groups set up these clinics in order to deceive women and prevent them from getting abortions. Lies which have been perpetrated by such groups include, but are not limited to, the specious correlation between abortion and breast cancer, the claiming that fetuses feel immense pain, and that abortions cause permanent sterility. These clinics are staffed by anti-choice activists and religious ideologues, yet they market themselves as women’s health workers – in many case, these people will even dress as doctors and nurses in order to perpetuate this illusion.
The city of Baltimore took the admirable step of attempting to regulate these deceptive clinics, yet an appeals court ruled that these regulations are a violation of speech rights. Apparently, according to these judges, it is not only unconstitutional for the government to stop people from opening fake clinics, dressing up as doctors, and spreading lies (many of which could deceive women to make decisions which compromise their health) in service to an extreme agenda, but also to force them to post warnings saying that they aren’t staffed by medical professionals.
Please sign this petition in order to send a message to the city of Baltimore that they should continue this legal fight up to the Supreme Court, if necessary. We, as a society, cannot allow religious extremists to play doctor with the lives of innumerable women. If the people who work at these clinics want to portray themselves as doctors and give medical advice to women, they should go to medical school first.
Dear City of Baltimore,
Over the past year, your city has been engaged in a legal fight to stop deceptive groups from opening “pregnancy crisis centers” which are nothing more than fake clinics operated by religious anti-abortion activists pretending to be medical providers. This effort is admirable and should be an example for many cities across the United States.
Fake women’s health clinics attempt to trick women during their most vulnerable time and seek to take away their reproductive choices. At the very least, this constitutes deceptive advertising, and it may even be criminal fraud or negligence. The lawyers working for the city of Baltimore make this case very well, yet they recently suffered a defeat in a federal appeals court.
In the face of your defeat in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, I implore you not to give up your court case. Religious and anti-choice groups cannot be allowed to intentionally deceive women and feed them lies about their reproductive choices. Not only is such a scheme unethical and wrong, but it could lead to women compromising their own health out of fear over false issues (ex. getting cancer because of an abortion). Please continue your legal fight for as long as it takes, even up to the Supreme Court if necessary.
[Your Name Here]