Abortion Group Colludes with MD County to Close Pregnancy Center

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta
AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Emails uncovered through a Freedom of Information request have shown a close collaboration between a pro-abortion group and Maryland government officials in an attempt to shut down a crisis pregnancy center.

LifeSiteNews has published emails between NARAL Pro-Choice America and officials of Montgomery County that show the abortion group pushing the county and offering advice on how to hamper the work and even close Centro Tepeyac Silver Spring Women’s Center, a crisis pregnancy center that does not do abortions but rather tries to help women keep their unborn babies.

Over the past quarter century, roughly 1300 abortion clinics have closed. At the same time, crisis pregnancy centers, also called pregnancy care centers, have exploded in growth. Some estimates have the total number now hovering around 4,000, many of them established next door or across the street from abortion clinics.

Pregnancy care centers have come under attack from city, county, and state officials who, with the support of abortion groups, charge them with false advertising because they do not make it clear that they do not do abortions. Abortion advocates say these centers must make it clear in advertising and signage that they do not offer abortions.

In 2010, Montgomery County passed an ordinance demanding that Centro Tepeyac post signs that they do not have doctors on staff. The ordinance lost three times in court, the last time being March 2014 when a US District Judge wrote that those making charges of misinformation “were universally volunteers from a pro-choice organization sent to investigate” the centers.

LifeSiteNews reports “…unbeknownst to the pubic, Montgomery Country dropped the case after conferring with NARAL. The county stopped defending the law the month after NARAL recommended that very action…”

Upon recommending the country stop defending the law, Maryland NARAL president Jodi Finkelstein recommended to country officials that they adopt a seven point plan to stop crisis pregnancy centers including prosecuting volunteers for “consumer protection violations,” blocking advertising that is “untrue or misleading,” denying tax money to the centers, and directing country health officials not to refer women to crisis pregnancy centers.

Of particular annoyance to the abortion groups, expressed in one email, is that “they are clearly very artful at devising strategies to avoid violating the law.” One pro-life leader pointed out that this is just another way of describing efforts to follow the law.

Also galling to Montgomery County officials is the fact that by following NARAL’s advice, they had to pay Centro Tepeyac $375,000 in legal fees. Matt Bowman of Alliance Defending Freedom said, “NARAL’s response to that is to give more bad advice. Even one of NARAL’s best friends on the county council says that his colleagues probably would not adopt NARAL’s proposed ‘truth-in-advertising’ law after NARAL had caused this court debacle.”