WASHINGTON, D.C., December 17, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In November, the New York City Council held a hearing on a piece of legislation that would advance the abortion industry to the detriment of New York City women. NARAL New York and New York City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin (D) and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D) spearheaded the effort by introducing legislation that would require non-profit pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) to post signs in their waiting rooms and in their advertising, indicating that they do not perform or refer for abortion.

NARAL Pro-Choice America, and specifically the New York chapter, is once again making expectant women the victim of their ideology. 

This legislation is part of the abortion industry’s strategy to undermine PRCs nationwide. Similar legislation was introduced and passed in Baltimore City and Montgomery County, Maryland, and Austin, Texas. It was also introduced but withdrawn in Virginia, where the doctor testifying in defense of the bill conceded that the NARAL study foundational to the legislation was biased and had methodological flaws to the extent that she would not alter her practices because of such a study. 

Imagine yourself a young, single woman who is facing an unexpected pregnancy. In the angst and turmoil, you might question where you can turn for real support. Should you choose to receive advice from Planned Parenthood or another abortion clinic, there would be a financial conflict of interest: abortion clinics make their money in procuring abortions.

Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the U.S., nets a decent profit annually – $85 million according to their latest annual report. Planned Parenthood’s percentage of adoption referrals to abortions is 2,405 to 324,008. That means that for every adoption referral made, 135 abortions are performed.

Clearly, abortion clinics have a bias when a woman seeks counseling. In truth, signs should be posted at abortion clinics explaining their financial incentive. But instead this legislation – which was driven by the abortion industry – does its best to cast doubt about PRCs’ credibility in the minds of women who would most benefit from the services offered.

On the contrary, PRCs serve some 1.9 million women (and men) annually – for free.  When a woman visits a PRC there is no financial incentive involved. In fact, 29 out of 30 PRC workers are volunteers.

Free assistance can include pregnancy support, free ultrasound, sex education, parenting and childbirth education, post-abortion counseling, medical services, community outreach programs and referrals, and public health linkages. But most importantly, women are deeply supported during a time of crisis and grateful for that help. Ninety-seven percent of clients’ exit surveys from Care Net pregnancy centers revealed positive approval ratings for the centers.

PRCs will never make a penny off of the clients they serve. They exist solely to support and help these women and men in need and their unborn babies. Moreover, PRCs actually serve the local and national economy by providing services that the government doesn’t provide.

In a city that’s been called “the abortion capital of the nation,” this bill does great damage by striking at those organizations that provide needed abortion alternatives. Regardless of a Council member’s views on abortion, they should be able to support entities that help to reduce it. As numerous other city and state legislatures have recognized, the reason pregnancy centers are being targeted is simply because of their viewpoint on abortion.

Melinda Delahoyde is President of Care Net, a network of 1,130 pregnancy centers in North America.  Care Net has been integrally involved in defending pregnancy centers against similar legislative initiatives across the country in more than ten states. Jeanne Monahan is Director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council and has worked with Pregnancy Resource Center Directors in the area of advocacy.