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This proposed New York City law could be a model for national legislation. But will NARAL get its way?
BY THERESA BONOPARTIS
Along with several others, I testified the other day at a hearing of the New York City Council in consideration of a bill that would regulate crisis-pregnancy centers.
Such centers, staffed by volunteers and people of good will, try to give women options other than abortion when facing unexpected pregnancies.
In a political payback of grand proportions and under the usual guise of care for women, the council is seeking to pass legislation based on a report done by NARAL Pro-Choice New York titled “The Lies, Manipulations, and Privacy Violations of Crisis Pregnancy Centers in New York City.” Key to the report is the claim that CPCs pose as medical facilities and mislead pregnant women since they do not provide abortions or contraception. CPCs who advertise themselves under “Abortion Alternatives” must now advertise what they do not offer. Are other nonprofits forced to operate this way?
One has only to read both the report and the legislation (Int. 0371-2010) to see this as an attempt to take away the First Amendment rights of CPCs, and — no matter how much they deny the obvious — to eventually close them. In fact, NARAL representatives call it “bold” new legislation and say they are calling on Congress to pass similar legislation nationwide.
The council, it appears, is more concerned with signs in CPCs than it is with regulating abortion businesses where women are injured and die from “safe, legal” abortion. (Abortion facility injuries and deaths were documented in attachments to my testimony.)
When I was finally called after hours of waiting, the four council members still present during my testimony talked to each other the entire time I was speaking. No matter what their position on abortion, this was an embarrassing display by public officials towards citizens who were told their testimonies mattered to the council’s decision-making.
The blatant bias of the majority of the council, and the legislation itself, would be comical if it were not so serious. As a post-abortive woman who suffered for years as a result of abortion and was denied access to the truth about it — and as the director of Lumina, a post-abortion ministry in New York that sees 200 new people each year — I found myself in confused disbelief listening to the testimony supporting this legislation. The entire hearing, in my opinion, was a sham orchestrated by NARAL, Planned Parenthood and sponsoring members of the New York City Council who complimented each other during the proceedings promising further collaboration in restricting CPCs.
For years I have heard from Planned Parenthood and NARAL that an abortion does not cause trauma to women, yet now CPCs cause trauma to women because they do not provide abortions or contraception? Abortion is not trauma-inducing, but walking into a CPC is?
We were also told that women can develop mental-health problems from delay in care, an unsubstantiated statement. Nor did they back up allegations of confidentiality breaches and many other accusations in their legislation.
We heard that women are smart and capable of making their own abortion decisions, until they step into a CPC, and then, according to the pro-legislation side, we all become dumb and incapable of decision-making. It seems women are only smart enough to make their own choices when they are choices that promote the agenda of Planned Parenthood, NARAL and, unfortunately, the majority of the council.
If “truth in advertising” is the proclaimed agenda, I would like to see the council pass legislation for the other side — like maybe changing the statement on the Planned Parenthood site saying abortion is “safe” and legal to “Abortion can cause injury and death to women.” Or, how about its “safe and effective” contraception offer being changed to “Contraceptives are not 100% effective. You can still get pregnant!” The CDC recently stated oral contraception is 92%-99% effective and condoms 95%, but actual effectiveness is 85% due to improper usage. Or, how about this: “Statutory rape is not a reportable crime here.”
As a post-abortive woman who has suffered and has personally heard the great suffering of countless other women that were lied to and injured regarding abortion, I am tired of the lies and manipulation of the abortion lobby who disregard us while claiming to care for all women. No one forces anyone to stay in a CPC; if a woman decides for abortion, she can walk out. When challenged yesterday regarding free-speech rights, we were told by a representative from the ACLU that the “right to free speech was not absolute” — a telling statement indeed.
Women have been gravely injured from abortion in countless ways; some women have also died. CPCs provide some women with the support they need to have their children. I say Where is the crime in that? And so should the New York City Council. If you ask me, they are singing the same old pro-abortion song to a different tune.
Theresa Bonopartis is the director of Lumina, a post-abortion ministry in New York City.