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New York City to require crisis pregnancy centers to disclose whether they perform abortions

While the Florida Department of Health declines to answer questions about oversight of state-funded anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law last week a bill to require similar centers there to disclose information about their practices to patients.

The Wall Street Journal reported:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed into law a bill that will require crisis pregnancy centers to disclose whether or not they offer abortions, a move that abortion-rights opponents vowed to challenge in court.

The Journal added:

“In terms of the intent of the bill, I’m not in favor of abortion — I’m in favor of a woman’s right to choose. Period,” Bloomberg said. “I have the same moral questions that I think any rational person would have. But, in the end, you have to make a decision, and I’ve always been pro-choice.”

The new law, which takes effect in 120 days, requires all pregnancy-services centers to disclose whether they provide abortions, emergency contraception and prenatal care or make referrals to organizations that do. The information would have to be posted in English and Spanish, both at the centers and in any advertisements.

The Florida Independent reported last week that, according to state Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed budget would continue to give $2 million of taxpayer dollars to more than 70 publicly funded crisis pregnancy centers each year.

The Independent reported last October that Department of Health documents show it has minimal oversight procedures to monitor the use of public funds in these crisis pregnancy centers.

Those documents also show that at least 27 crisis pregnancy centers needed to develop a procedure to guarantee the medical accuracy of information given to clients.

The pregnancy centers distribute information that links induced abortion to severe mental health outcomes, ignoring research by the American Psychological Association that questions any causal link between abortion and trauma. Pregnant women seeking help are being misled, and Florida taxpayers are footing the bill.

Last week, state Reps. Plakon and Rachel Burgin, R-Riverview, stated their support for the pregnancy centers, while state Rep. Elaine Schwartz D-Hollywood, called the pregnancy centers part of the legislature’s “war against women.”

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