Legislators frequently propose things that I find redundant, wasteful, or counterproductive. Then sometimes they propose things that make me wonder if I live in America or Iran. A host of legislators led by Sen. Rodney Tom and Rep. Judy Clibborn are sponsoring bills (SB 6452 and HB 2837) aimed at harassing crisis pregnancy centers and revoking the first amendment rights of anyone in them.
Crisis pregnancy centers provide baby items, referrals to adoption agencies and other social services, pregnancy tests, friendship, and sometimes ultra-sounds free of charge. The women they serve are usually unmarried and frequently very young. Those serving in crisis pregnancy centers are usually unpaid. They frequently serve their communities in this way because their own experiences allow them to relate to the challenging life situations the clinics deal with.
Proving once again that no good deed goes unpunished, the supporters of these bills claim these clinics are a threat to public health. How? Well, apparently they don’t immediately disclose that they don’t provide abortions. I have no idea how that is a threat to public health. Nevertheless, the bills would require a center to disclose that it does not provide abortion services and does not give referrals to abortion providers “upon first communication”. So essentially it would be illegal to try to help a pregnant girl without immediately telling her you oppose abortion. Failure to comply would be a violation of the state’s consumer protection act and punishable by a fine of no less than $2,000 per occurrence.
The bills also require clinics to provide “medically and scientifically accurate information.” The clear implication of this provision is that clinics currently provide inaccurate information. I called Sen. Rodney Tom’s office to ask about what kind of medically and scientifically inaccurate information was currently being given that represented a threat to public health and safety. I thought they might still be doing bloodletting or something. However, I was told the real crisis is that individuals in the clinics have told people that abortion causes cervical cancer and breast cancer, ”and that’s not true”.
I’m not a scientist. I have no idea if abortion causes cancer. But I might start telling everyone I know that it does just to exercise my first amendment right to do so. The idea that a handful of legislators are going to decide what is scientifically and medically accurate and fine those who say otherwise is not what free societies do. Someone call the ACLU.
The proponents of this bill will tell you that crisis pregnancy centers are giving medical advice and need to be regulated like hospitals. Don’t believe it.
People working in crisis pregnancy centers don’t claim to be doctors. If someone is practicing medicine without a license, we can deal with that in existing law. This bill is a speech code—nothing more, nothing less. This is the brainchild of the abortion industry that loses money every time someone chooses to give their unborn child life. This is what bully’s do. They use their power to beat up people they don’t like.
If you like freedom you should hate this bill regardless of how you feel about abortion. If they can fine you for saying abortion causes cancer, they can fine you for telling your child their eyes are going to go bad for sitting too close to the T.V.
Unsurprisingly, a press release by NARAL Pro-Choice Washington and Planned Parenthood said that this legislation is long overdue. The irony is that just last year Planned Parenthood of Spokane was audited and ultimately fined $700K for overbilling taxpayers. So who do gets regulated? The crisis pregnancy centers of course. Maybe we can go after food banks next. I’m sure they pass out processed sugars and trans fat.
To help stop this bill, please contact your legislator through the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000.
Note: You’ll need to become familiar with the term “medically and scientifically accurate” because it is new leftist speak for “I want to punish people for saying things I don’t like.” It is language the state legislature used to make it illegal for a school to bring a speaker to an assembly to talk exclusively about the benefits of abstinence. And this is yet more evidence that we need to be careful when using the word “liberal” to reference the political left. Many of them despise individual liberty.