Last week Maryland's Senate Finance Committee heard testimony on a bill that would require the state's pro-life pregnancy resource centers (PRCs), or crisis pregnancy centers, to post a disclaimer about their services. SB 690 would force pregnancy resource centers to tell women who contact them that the centers are "not required to provide factually accurate information to clients."
Representatives from NARAL, who lobbied for the bill, cited a recent report conducted by young women who visited pregnancy centers posing as girls with unplanned pregnancies. In reality, the report was a weak attempt to disgrace the good work of PRCs. Senators were quick to question its validity based on its small numbers, and due to the fact that no real clients had been interviewed for feedback.
FRC's Director of Women's and Reproductive Health, Moira Gaul, testified on the negative impact the bill would have on women's health. In particular, she elaborated on how it would undermine the effectiveness in linking women to vital community, healthcare, and support services. Attorneys from the Thomas More Society, Care Net, and others spoke against the bill, citing its unconstitutionality and stating that it would never hold up in court of law. Scores of pregnancy center personnel also testified, including registered nurses, licensed social workers, medical doctors, and licensed psychologists to show that it would violate their professional ethics to provide factually inaccurate information to clients.
In total, over 45 people came to testify against the bill. NARAL's weak attempt to devalue the amazing services PRCs provide was clearly evident as the professionalism, compassion and care of PRC workers shined throughout the lengthy hearing.