Documents obtained by LifeSiteNews uncover a disturbing pattern of public officials colluding with NARAL to hinder the efforts of pro-life pregnancy care centers. But the greatest find is on pages 5-7 of the exchange: A two-page document, on official letterhead, revealing NARAL's seven-point plan to harass CPCs.
LifeSiteNews filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with Montgomery County, Maryland, to obtain the emails, which can be read in their entirety here.
At the time, county officials were locked in a legal battle with Centro Tepeyac Silver Spring Women's Center, which they had targeted with an ordinance forcing the pro-life facility to post signs designed to discourage women from using its (free) services. The legal case was open-and-shut – so much so that a Clinton-appointed federal judge fined the county $375,000 for violating the center's free speech rights.
As council members were deciding their next steps, emails show that they danced to the tune of the abortion lobby. NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland suggested dropping the court case – which Centro had won – and instead implementing seven other measures to harass its pro-life competition.
“NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland strongly suggests that the council consider the following options instead of moving forward with further litigation,” Jodi Finkelstein, the NARAL chapter's president, wrote in an email to then-council president Craig Rice. (All emphases in original unless otherwise noted.) She added that “[r]esources will be better used exploring and implementing the options listed below.”
The seven steps included:
“Prosecute centers for consumer protection violations,” such as allegedly practicing medicine without a license.
Deny pro-life women's centers free speech by banning any ads that violate “truth in advertising” – as defined by Democratic politicians and the abortion lobby, naturally. Finkelstein said she had “a great example of this from San Francisco.”
Deprive pregnant women of the ability to get a free ultrasound by not referring them to pregnancy centers. At a minimum, NARAL recommends the county “list their ideological position” and their “limitations,” like the fact that they do not perform abortions.
“Deny funding to CPCs.” Finkelstein offered, “We are happy to provide a copy of legislation from a county in another state that created this requirement.”
Have the county engage in a “public awareness campaign” – a publicly financed propaganda effort against pro-life centers. NARAL believes this “would be an effective educational tool” for the county's women.
Create a private right of action for women who say they were “harmed” by CPCs, allowing them to sue. “NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland suggests first trying to prevent such harm from occurring.”
“The FDA has clear regulations regarding ultrasounds that are not currently enforced.”
“I would be happy to meet with all of you discuss [sic] the options listed in further detail,” Finkelstein volunteered.
A list of this sort is not produced by a local or state affiliate. It draws on the counsel and experience of the national organization. It would seem fair to say this document embodies NARAL's national strategy for combating CPCs in every city and county across the United States.
The documents show that public officials immediately acted upon their specific suggestions. (Read the full story here.)
The emails betray politicians walking in lockstep with Big Abortion's lobbyists. “It is our hope that the Montgomery County Council (Council) will once again partner with us to ensure Montgomery Council citizens are aware of the misleading tactics used by crisis pregnancy centers,” Finkelstein wrote, while thanking the council for its “passionate defense of reproductive health.” (Emphasis added.)
They show the chummy relationship between liberal politicians and their constituency groups, as the principals discuss meeting at friends' homes and opportunities to attend pro-abortion events.
Bill Allison, a senior fellow at the Sunlight Foundation, told LifeSiteNews, “If government officials are using outsiders to make decisions and policies – giving them access to and influence, and allowing them to impact decisions that effect the public – the public should know about it.” But no one in Silver Spring seemed interested in telling the public that council had outsourced its abortion policy to NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland.
The communications also display NARAL's blatant hypocrisy. Finkelstein demands that FDA regulations be used for ultrasounds. The FDA also has a clear protocol for the use of RU-486, which is not currently enforced – a fact NARAL's allies have sued to assure. Never mind that eight women have died from sepsis after off-label use of the drugs. Flouting the law gives abortionists an extra $200 profit per abortion.
Ironically, this story is breaking just days after NARAL sued the state of Ohio for all communications with Ohio Right to Life, expressing its civic-minded concern that Ohio RTL exerts “improper” influence over the state's public servants.
Maybe NARAL was just thinking about what it would do if it were in the same position.
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Whatever NARAL does with its national campaign to shutter and silence women-centered pro-life activity, its plan is now available for all to see thanks to the investigative journalism of LifeSiteNews. We wish to thank Matt Bowman of ADF for fighting NARAL's legal tactics in the Centro case.
And thank you, our readers. Your support – through prayers, sharing our stories, and donating to our cause – helps make exposes like this possible.