Politics

Bill targeting pregnancy centers passes California legislature

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After more than two months of sitting on the state Senate floor, California’s Assembly Bill 775 passed Thursday afternoon with the 24 votes it needed to move along to the desk of Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.

Referred to as the Reproductive FACT Act by its authors, David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Autumn Burke (D-Marina Del Ray), the legislation singles out the state’s 150 pro-life pregnancy help locations—including the 73 that offer free ultrasound.

The law will force all of the state’s local pregnancy help non-profits to give each of its clients the following disclaimer, which includes the phone number of a county social services office where a client could obtain an abortion covered by Medi-Cal. The notice, which the law specifies must either be posted as a public notice in “22-point type,” “distributed to all clients in no less than 14-point font” or distributed digitally “at the time of check-in or arrival,” applies to all of the entities—even those licensed by the state.

California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [insert the telephone number].

“These centers and medically licensed clinics set the standards for true compassion and support for women,” Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., President of Heartbeat International, said. “Every woman deserves to have all the information and help she needs to make the healthiest choice for everyone involved in an unexpected pregnancy, and it is outrageous that the state—far from supporting these vital non-profits—is stacking the deck in favor of Big Abortion, even while this gruesome industry is being exposed for the evil it commits against Californian women every day.

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“Women deserve better than abortion. Women deserve real choices and real help.”

Meanwhile, pregnancy help centers that do not offer medical services will be required to post the following signage in two “clear and conspicuous” places—“in the entrance of the facility and at least one additional area where clients wait to receive services,” as well as in “any print and digital advertising materials including Internet Web sites”.

The font required is to be “in no less than 48-point type” and will read as follows:

This facility is not licensed as a medical facility by the State of California and has no licensed medical provider who provides or directly supervises the provision of services.

In an email to supporters of Marysville-based A Woman’s Friend Pregnancy Resource Clinic—a licensed medical facility—Executive Director Carol Dodds pointed out that the pro-life state senators who spoke against the bill on the floor Thursday offered three different amendments, “each of which would have required the abortion industry to be regulated in the same way that AB 775 would regulate the alternative clinics; all three amendments were tabled by the majority party.”

“Those pro-life senators who spoke clearly and truthfully against the bill… often referenced the recent videos released by the Center for Medical Progress that revealed the abortion industry’s harvesting of babies’ body parts for profit,” the email from Dodds said. “The comments made by these pro-life senators, and by inference, the videos themselves, were called [by senate Democrats] ‘graphic hysteria’ and ‘fantasy.’” (Emphasis original)

While the timeframe on when Gov. Brown will sign the bill into law has not yet been announced, a coalition headed by Dodds, Cathy Seapy of LivingWell Medical Clinic in Grass Valley and Marie Leatherby of Sacramento Life Center (all three state-licensed medical clinics) are urging the state’s citizens and clergy to sign petitions at www.StopAB775Now.com.

Editor’s Note: This article was first published at Pregnancy Help News on September 4, 2015, and is reprinted here with permission. You can subscribe to Pregnancy Help News here.

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