As the Connecticut state legislature prepares to vote on a bill that attacks life-affirming pregnancy help centers, one center director is calling out the bill’s false premises.
“Even though there is no risk of abortion access ever being overturned here in Connecticut, zealous supporters are attempting to manufacture a crisis that doesn’t exist,” Lisa Maloney, president of the Connecticut Pregnancy Care Coalition, wrote in a recent op-ed for The Connecticut Mirror. “That’s why the proposed HB 7070 should never become law.”
The bill, which aims to control how so-called “limited services” pregnancy centers advertise their services, prohibits centers from using what the government determines to be “false, misleading or deceptive” advertising—a prohibition so strong it could restrict the words “Pregnant? Need Help?” from being used.
Maloney says that by targeting the speech of faith-based organizations, the bill is “discriminatory.”
“HB 7070 defines ‘Limited Services Pregnancy Centers' as ones that ‘do not refer for abortion,’” writes Maloney. “No other entity is included in this bill, but only faith-based centers. By HB 7070’s logic, if a faith-based pregnancy center decided to conform its religious belief to that of the State Attorney General’s, and decide to now refer for abortions, the center would then be exempt from HB 7070 and be free to practice any deceptive advertising they want, without penalty.”
Disproving the notion that the services of pregnancy help centers are in any way “limited,” Connecticut pregnancy centers have provided thousands of clients with free services and support that go well-beyond the costly “quick fix” of an abortion. In 2018, the Connecticut Pregnancy Care Coalition’s 11 member centers served nearly 3,000 clients with free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, material items, and educational classes. That’s an estimated community cost savings of about $1.2 million.
Tweet This: In 2018, #prolife pregnancy centers served nearly 3,000 clients in Connecticut with free services, a community cost savings of $1.2 million.
As Connecticut’s pregnancy help centers continue to make a positive impact on their communities, Maloney says the legislature has yet to bring up one case of actual deception.
“Currently, Connecticut’s Consumer Protection laws are in place to process and handle deceptive advertising if it were to ever happen,” Moloney writes. “However, in all the years that pregnancy centers have been actively serving women here in Connecticut, not one complaint has ever been lodged or attempted to be filed against such centers. There has never been an actual instance where by a woman who went to a pregnancy center in Connecticut felt deceived, and tried to file a complaint. No client, politician, or even abortion activist has been able to cite a specific example where this happened.”
That is why she says the bill is based on nothing but a “manufactured crisis.”
Tweet This: "This is a manufactured crisis—a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist."
“[The bill’s supporters] share vague stories and use broad generalities, always carefully not to name a particular center, particular place or particular person,” she writes. “This is a manufactured crisis—a solution in search of a problem that simply does not exist. HB 7070 is a threat to freedom of speech and religion being controlled by state. The City of Hartford is currently being sued for enacting a similar discriminatory ordinance, on which HB 7070 is based, and Connecticut should pay careful attention and not waste tax dollars compelling speech of faith-based institutions. Every Senator and Representative should vote no on HB 7070, and protect the rights of all its residents.”
Click here to read the full op-ed.