The pro-life community in Connecticut will rally Tuesday to protest a bill passed last week by the Democrat-led State House of Representatives that would subject the advertising of faith-based, pro-life pregnancy centers to the oversight of the state attorney general.
“The Anti-Pregnancy Center Bill is the first abortion-related legislation to pass a chamber of the Connecticut General Assembly in nearly thirty years,” warned Family Institute of Connecticut (FIC) president Peter Wolfgang. “Our last chance to stop it from becoming law is in the State Senate.”
URGENT: PRO-LIFE RALLY Tuesday, May 21, 2019, Noon, at State Capitol **More Details to Follow**https://t.co/K4WDE1Z1zU
— Family Institute CT (@FICAction) May 18, 2019
These centers honestly and openly serve hundreds of women in our state seeking assistance and an alternative to abortion. Litigation created by this bill, even if using false claims, could easily put these centers out of business. The centers are not able to recover legal costs under this bill, even if a court rules the claim is false.
H.B. 7070, an Act Concerning Deceptive Advertising Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers, makes the claim that the pro-life centers engage in “deceptive advertising practices” that give pregnant women the impression they offer abortions.
During a public health committee hearing of the bill in February, Democrat State Rep. Liz Linehan said the faith-based centers “operate with the appearance of a medical facility and advertise to people as though they offer abortion and emergency contraception, when they are actually opposed to these services,” reported CT Mirror.
Linehan added the faith-based facilities “lure” women who are “in a vulnerable state, looking to receive time-sensitive, sensitive health care information from qualified individuals.”
The Democrat lawmakers moved ahead with the legislation despite a lawsuit filed in April by a pro-life pregnancy center against the capital city of Hartford.
Pro-life ministry Caring Families Pregnancy Services filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court, seeking an injunction to stop enforcement of the city ordinance that compels the pregnancy center and its Mobile Care ministry to post signs and messages stating, “This facility does not have a licensed medical provider on site to provide or supervise all services.”
In the complaint filed by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the non-profit litigation firm representing Caring Families Mobile Care ministry, the pregnancy center observed:
These compelled statements incorrectly imply that Mobile Care is not qualified to provide the free services it offers.
No other entities are required to post the signs or make the verbal statements. Hartford exempts abortion clinics, community health centers, and all other health care entities from the Ordinance.
Hartford exempts all other entities besides pro-life pregnancy resource centers, even if those other entities meet all the criteria that Hartford is purportedly concerned about.
The complaint noted as well that the ministry offers many services and faith supports that “do not require supervision by a licensed medical provider.”
“The ordinance is similar to portions of a California law that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down last year in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra,” ADF said in a press statement.
Kevin Theriot, ADF senior counsel, said Hartford “has no business steering women away from life-affirming help.”
“The U.S. Supreme Court ruled just last year that pro-life pregnancy centers should be free to serve women without unjust government punishment,” he continued. “Hartford’s law only makes it harder for women to seek out all of their options and obtain support. That’s why we’re filing a lawsuit to protect pregnancy centers from hostile regulation that singles them out.”
Wolfgang said in a statement to Breitbart News that State House Democrats have reacted to the lawsuit against the city of Hartford “by saying they want the legislature to pass the same law in the hope that the State of Connecticut will be sued too.”
“Other jurisdictions have had to pay huge fines to pregnancy centers after losing similar cases but the House leadership does not care,” he added. “With leadership like this, it’s no wonder our state is a fiscal disaster.”
Letter says HB 7070, the anti-pregnancy center bill, could cause CT to be penalized bc Weldon Amendment: "The Connecticut Senate should avoid the huge loss of federal funds, or paying the legal fees of pregnancy centers, by simply letting this bill die." https://t.co/BGxPsFgT43
— Family Institute CT (@FICAction) May 21, 2019
Journal Inquirer columnist Chris Powell wrote in February the anti-pregnancy center legislation “is largely a mechanism by which the pro-abortion side aims to intimidate the anti-abortion side and to frighten legislators into striking pro-abortion poses.”
“[T]he more the left practices intimidation here, the less it may persuade the country that there is nothing questionable about abortion, not even abortion of late-term, viable fetuses and infanticide,” he wrote. “Indeed, the Democratic Party, the party of the left, is already giving the impression that it considers abortion the highest social good.”
In keeping with Powell’s observation, on Monday, Connecticut’s Democrat Gov. Ned Lamont and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz published an open letter urging women who own businesses around the country to move to Connecticut – where having an abortion is viewed positively.
CT Mirror reported that Lamont and Bysiewicz urged women in states that have passed pro-life legislation to look to Connecticut, promising them assistance with relocating their businesses and an abortion-friendly climate.
“If you are as concerned as we are about this issue, we would urge you to relocate your operations to a state that supports the rights of women and whose actions and laws are unwavering in support of tolerance and inclusivity,” Lamont and Bysiewicz wrote.
The Democrat leaders’ invitation to women business owners comes as the state’s “fiscal disaster,” as noted by Wolfgang, continues to make headlines regularly. Businesses have left the state and homeowners have responded similarly in the wake of continued tax increases, most recently of which are proposed tolls on state highways.
Connecticut is considered a “sinkhole state,” without enough assets to cover its debt, says Truth in Accounting. The state ranks as number 49 for fiscal health in the nation, with only New Jersey ranking below it.
“Because Connecticut doesn’t have enough money to pay its bills, it has a $69.8 billion financial hole,” the financial watchdog states. “To fill it, each Connecticut taxpayer would have to send $53,400 to the state.”