Pregnancy Support Centers Harassed

A proposal requiring Baltimore pregnancy support centers to post a disclaimer telling clients they do not provide abortion or contraceptive services is harassment of the pro-life centers, say Catholic leaders. Baltimore’s Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien said abortion clinics are not being similarly required to list all the services they do not provide, such as infant clothes, formula and parenting classes. The president of the Baltimore City Council, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and 10 other members are sponsoring the bill, which if passed would levy a fine of $500 per day on centers that do not comply with the requirement. In a letter to Rawlings-Blake on Oct. 16, Archbishop O’Brien said the bill targets nonprofit organizations whose mission is to help women carry pregnancies to term. He said it is “well known” that pregnancy support centers are focused on assisting women in their choice for childbirth and do not provide abortions or contraception. “To fine a center $500 for not posting a sign that states as much is nothing short of harassment,” Archbishop O’Brien said.

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