On Tuesday, the New York City Council held a hearing on whether or not to require crisis pregnancy centers to post signs at their entrance saying they do not offer abortions or give out contraception. (They would also be required to include such a disclaimer on advertising).
Similar ordinances have been recently proposed in Austin, Texas and Baltimore, Maryland.
Predictably, pro-choice groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL are behind the push. As The Wall Street Journal reported, Kelli Conlin, president of NARAL Pro-Choice New York, said: “Unfortunately when a woman enters a crisis pregnancy center…she is confronted with bias counseling, anti-abortion propaganda and deception…”
This strikes me as interesting for a few reasons.
First, the name “Planned Parenthood” is, of course, a misnomer. NARAL, whose acronym originally stood for “National Abortion Rights Action League,” was, perhaps, more honest (which is probably why they dropped their full name). As such, it is ironic that these groups are accusing crisis pregnancy centers of misleading the public.
But I’m willing to suggest a modest compromise here. If crisis pregnancy centers are forced to post signage at their front door saying they don’t offer abortions, then Planned Parenthood should also required to post a similar signs saying they do offer (or encourage, as the case may be) abortions.
After all, if a woman entering a crisis pregnancy center can be confronted with biased counseling, isn’t it also possible — or likely — that a woman entering a Planned Parenthood might also receive biased counseling? My hunch is that many women who go to a Planned Parenthood have no intention of seeking an abortion … until after their counseling.
If a woman wants an abortion, and a crisis pregnancy center will not perform it, she can simply go to a facility that will. The only thing that might happen to her at the crisis pregnancy center is that she might hear an argument for keeping her baby, or for adoption. Nobody there can force her to keep her baby. So why would pro choice groups want to limit the amount of information a woman has before making that choice?
Of course, the real answer here is that Planned Parenthood and NARAL aren’t just pro-choice … they are really pro-abortion.