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NARAL Pro-Choice New York Statement on Court Ruling on New York City Law Regulating Crisis Pregnancy Centers
NEW YORK—Today a U.S. District Court judge issued a preliminary injunction against New York City Local Law 17 (2011), which requires crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to be truthful about who they are and what services they provide. This setback means that the law, passed by City Council and signed by Mayor Bloomberg earlier this year, will not go into effect tomorrow as expected.
"We are deeply and profoundly disappointed by this decision,” NARAL Pro-Choice New York Interim Executive Director Andrew Stern said. "As demonstrated by our undercover research, CPCs deliberately disguise their true agendas by posing as full-service reproductive health care facilities. The threat they pose is real, and the danger to pregnant women in need of real reproductive health care is enormous. New York City simply cannot allow the coercion and deception to continue unregulated.”
The dangers posed by CPCs are detailed in a report issued by NARAL Pro-Choice New York, which cited manipulative tactics such as posing as full-service reproductive health care facilities, positioning their facilities in close proximity to abortion providers to foster confusion, and lying to women about the dangers of abortion.
Indeed, the ruling even stated, "This court recognizes that the prevention of deception related to reproductive health care is of paramount importance,” and that "[l]ack of transparency and delay in prenatal care can gravely impact a woman's health.” Specifically, the judge stated that CPCs providing ultrasounds are "the most potentially deceptive” in that "a woman visiting a facility that performs and/or interprets ultrasounds could reasonably form the impression that she has received medical treatment.”
"This law was crafted to balance ensuring that women are not being deceived into visiting false clinics when seeking real health care with protecting the right of CPCs, or any ideological organization, to exercise their freedom of speech. Regardless of your position on abortion, it is never okay to lie to women,” Stern said. "CPCs have made deception their business model. This law is about truth in advertising, plain and simple, and we are confident that the final decision in this case will uphold Local Law 17 as a whole. We look forward to working with the City Council and other advocates to see that this law goes into effect. New York City's women deserve nothing less.”