Target: Saundra Brown Armstrong, federal judge of Northern California
Goal: Applaud San Francisco for becoming the first city to prevent pregnancy clinics from misleading women
A San Francisco judge recently upheld a law that requires pregnancy clinics to be straightforward about the services they provide. The bill was introduced in response to the growing number of Crisis Pregnancy Centers, which use vague wording in their advertising intending to mislead pregnant women into thinking they will be provided a variety of options for dealing with the pregnancy. These clinics, however, only discourage women from getting abortions, and refuse to provide recommendations for finding such resources as emergency contraception and abortions. Thank San Francisco for being the first city in the U.S. to uphold this type of law and prioritize women’s health.
Crisis Pregnancy Centers, which outnumber abortion clinics in the United States, use ads aimed at attracting women with unplanned pregnancies, claiming they will be provided medical care and counseling for dealing with the pregnancy. The ads are intentionally vague, meant to lead pregnant women to believe that the clinic will give them a variety of options so they can receive the care they need. Many of the clinics also give inaccurate information about the effects of abortions, suggesting an association between abortions and an increased risk of cancer and infertility.
The lawsuit against the original bill claimed that the law was unconstitutional and would disallow clinic personnel from voicing their opinions on abortion. The judge argued that the bill clearly states that pregnancy clinics are only required to be upfront about the services that they provide, and does not forbid them from expressing their anti-abortion views. The clinic that filed the lawsuit is clearly not interested in providing medical care, as they openly admit that their goal is to end abortion in their community.
San Francisco is now the only city in the U.S. with a law requiring pregnancy centers to honestly state the services they provide in their advertising. Women with unplanned pregnancies deserve to be given honest and complete information about their health, and it is the job of government to ensure that personal political beliefs are not allowed to take the place of accurate medical information.
Dear Judge Armstrong,
In pregnancy centers around the country, anti-abortion advocates are permitted to trick pregnant women into entering their clinics and torment them with anti-abortion propaganda, instead of giving them the medical information they need. San Francisco is now the only city in the country that does not allow these clinics to lie to women and take away their freedom to make decisions about their health. Women have the right to be given unbiased information so that they can receive the appropriate medical care, and this law ensures that this will be the case in San Francisco.
Thank you for ensuring that clinics in San Francisco will no longer display this type of dishonesty. I hope that other cities will follow your lead and make sure women’s health is protected around the country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: ProgressOhio via Flickr.