Something to celebrate: A free-speech, pro-life victory in New York City

posted at 3:30 pm on July 15, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Found it — the something hopeful I’ve been scouring news feeds for. A federal judge yesterday temporarily blocked New York City from enforcing a new law that would hinder the effectiveness of crisis pregnancy centers.

Judge William Pauley III called the new law “offensive to free-speech principles” and halted its enactment while a lawsuit filed on behalf of two pregnancy-care centers and a maternity home by the Alliance Defense Fund continues.

The law, titled Bill 371-A, was passed in March and backed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council speaker Christine Quinn.

The measure obligated pregnancy centers to notify women whether the center offered abortions or had licensed medical providers on staff. It also required the centers to encourage women to consult with alternate medical providers. Failure to comply with the law could result in thousands of dollars in fines, shutdown of the centers or imprisonment.

In contrast, the law did not require abortion or family-planning businesses to make any disclosures about abortion alternatives.

Judge Pauley held that the First Amendment protects both the right to speak and the right to refrain from speech. Proponents of the law made the odd argument that crisis pregnancy centers engage in commercial speech — which is significantly less protected by the First Amendment — because they provide goods (e.g. advice, diapers, etc. which they provide freely!) in exchange for something of economic value (the chance to speak to an audience). Pauley called that argument “particularly offensive” because it made an assembly of people an economic commodity.

Recent statistics show 41 percent of pregnancies in New York City end in abortion. That means 41 percent of pregnancies in New York City could be classified as “unwanted” or “crisis” pregnancies — exactly the sort of pregnancies the pro-life centers targeted by the law aim to address. No laws require pregnant women to seek the comfort and solace of a crisis pregnancy center — but it seems safe to assume those who do don’t go to a care center to hear whether they have the option of abortion.

But if they do, then presumably women also go to abortion centers to hear whether they have the option of adoption. The total lack of reciprocity in the law’s requirements illustrates just how ideologically motivated it was/is. If information dissemination alone were the goal, the requirements would, of course, apply in a two-way direction. That Judge Pauley blocked the law should be an encouragement to anyone who wants women facing a crisis pregnancy to be able to find help, acceptance and hope somewhere other than an abortion center (especially given the sort of “help” abortion centers provide). It should also be an encouragement to anyone who would like to be able to work to help those women without having to speak in favor of a practice they oppose.


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Save the seals, kill the babies.

BobMbx on July 15, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Thank Heaven! A positive note on a Friday afternoon.

oldleprechaun on July 15, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Recent statistics show 41 percent of pregnancies in New York City end in abortion.

The majority of these are black children. Tell me, liberals, what do you have against black children?

CurtZHP on July 15, 2011 at 3:34 PM

That a legislature passed this and a mayor supported it is totally chilling.

rrpjr on July 15, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Activist Judge.

Oops, can’t be-he was appointed by Bill Clinton.

Del Dolemonte on July 15, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Save the seals, kill the babies.

BobMbx on July 15, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Save the seals, and the babies!

annoyinglittletwerp on July 15, 2011 at 3:40 PM

CurtZHP on July 15, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Nationwide half of all pregnancies to black woman end in abortion. I am not sure if Margaret Sanger would be proud or upset because it’s not 100%. But blacks are so screwed. They have so many broken homes, exterminating themselves into irrelevance and broken communities with the worst education systems so they don’t know better than to keep electing the worst of the worst to represent them.

Beware Hispanics. When the leftists use up the blacks you’re next.

NotCoach on July 15, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Save the seals, kill the babies.

BobMbx on July 15, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Save the babies so some of them can become Navy Seals.

SouthernGent on July 15, 2011 at 3:46 PM

Come on, guys. How can Bloomberg his fellow travelers control the message if speech is allowed to be “free”?

Extrafishy on July 15, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Save the seals, kill the babies.

BobMbx on July 15, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Save the seals, and the babies!

annoyinglittletwerp on July 15, 2011 at 3:40 PM

Save the seals. Killer Whales gotta eat too.

Extrafishy on July 15, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Bloomber his = Bloomberg and his
(long week)

Extrafishy on July 15, 2011 at 3:49 PM

On topic-sort of: I accidentally found myself in front of Lubbock’s Murder Inc. Planned Parenthood.
Since it’s only a mile from me maybe i could-you know-start a prayer vigil by it or something. Hmmm.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 15, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Save the seals. Killer Whales gotta eat too.

Extrafishy on July 15, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Great Whites like seal snacks too. LoL

annoyinglittletwerp on July 15, 2011 at 3:52 PM

meh, Bloomber is better

DanMan on July 15, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Sanity found in a New York State of mind

Kini on July 15, 2011 at 3:56 PM

Progressivism: Aborting black babies since 1920.

slickwillie2001 on July 15, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Great Whites like seal snacks too. LoL

annoyinglittletwerp on July 15, 2011 at 3:52 PM

They use the whiskers as toothpicks.

Extrafishy on July 15, 2011 at 3:58 PM

When I was 18 and pregnant, I thought the best place to go was Planned Parenthood. I didn’t have insurance and had no clue what to do.

When they offerred to suck the baby out of my womb, into a tube and throw it in a garbage can, I left.

I Thank God for that.

Key West Reader on July 15, 2011 at 4:16 PM

The majority of these are black children. Tell me, liberals, what do you have against black children?

CurtZHP on July 15, 2011 at 3:34 PM

margaret Sanger the founder of Planned parenthood called them unwanted weeds.
She was afraid if their population grew to fast, she could be outvoted.

seven on July 15, 2011 at 4:16 PM

How bout. Failure to comply with our civil rights in government resulting in thousands of dollars in fines, shutdown of political offices or imprisonment.

For each politician and each count.

Speakup on July 15, 2011 at 4:17 PM

This case really gives the lie to the “women’s groups” who say they are just interested in helping women. Why would they feel the need to attack a pregnancy center? Well, if you’re a abortion mongering troll, then it makes perfect sense.

AbaddonsReign on July 15, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Save the seals, kill the babies.

BobMbx on July 15, 2011 at 3:33 PM

I made basically the same statement years ago in response to a billboard telling me I “should be ashamed to wear fur”. Our driver (who was also our boss), recognizing my sarcasm and displaying his own, asked my if I thought our society had its priorities mixed up. Some people get it (he did). And some people don’t.

tgharris on July 15, 2011 at 5:08 PM

Recent statistics show 41 percent of pregnancies in New York City end in abortion.

The majority of these are black children. Tell me, liberals, what do you have against black children?

CurtZHP on July 15, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was very racist.

itsnotaboutme on July 15, 2011 at 5:12 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on July 15, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Go, stand on the sidewalk. Pray. Others will join you. Pray for the doctors and the staff at Planned Parenthood. Whenever we are in the neighborhood of our local PP, we stop and pray. We pray with whoever is there, mostly Catholic women (we are Christian). There are reports in my area of babies saved by those who stand in front of PP.

kringeesmom on July 15, 2011 at 5:14 PM

kringeesmom on July 15, 2011 at 5:14 PM

Ironically, there’s an ‘abortion alternative’ pregnancy center kitty corner from it.
The PP is small-this is Lubbock after all- but it’s still there…and it shouldn’t be.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 15, 2011 at 5:36 PM

kringeesmom on July 15, 2011 at 5:14 PM

I’m Catholic-so I could always pray the Rosary-though being that I’ve only been Catholic for a little over a year I still don’t know it very well-or do Hail Marys.

annoyinglittletwerp on July 15, 2011 at 5:38 PM

Pray, stand, talk, use pictures.

AnotherOpinion on July 15, 2011 at 5:39 PM

If you are going to stand, pray, protest, whatever, near a PP, be sure somebody is filming you from afar. You will eventually get the deranged pro-abortion fanatic who will taunt (and yes even strike at you) if you are there long enough. It’s happened before. Be careful out there. Be smart. Video. It’s your friend.

65droptop on July 15, 2011 at 6:37 PM

So abortion centers are not required to tell you that this could happen?

Gwillie on July 15, 2011 at 8:05 PM

These so-called “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” were simply being required to acknowledge up front that they don’t offer abortion services. Why? Because they’ve made it a practice of deceiving women seeking abortion services.

These centers are not medical facilities and they are not bound by any kind of privacy requirements. They are propaganda bases dedicated to interfering with a woman’s decision to have a legal medical procedure.

chumpThreads on July 15, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Go, stand on the sidewalk. Pray. Others will join you. Pray for the doctors and the staff at Planned Parenthood. Whenever we are in the neighborhood of our local PP, we stop and pray. We pray with whoever is there, mostly Catholic women (we are Christian). There are reports in my area of babies saved by those who stand in front of PP.

kringeesmom on July 15, 2011 at 5:14 PM

Nothing fails quite so regularly and predictably as prayer.

chumpThreads on July 15, 2011 at 9:30 PM

NotCoach on July 15, 2011 at 3:45 PM

And all because of liberal democrat policies. So tell me again why do blacks continue to support democrats when it is against their best interest? I’d really like to know the answer to that one.

abcurtis on July 16, 2011 at 9:53 AM