by Kelvey Vander Hart
Pro-lifers in Connecticut are rejoicing after a bill that would have targeted pro-life pregnancy centers failed in the State Senate on Wednesday.
No limited services pregnancy center, with the intent to perform a pregnancy-related service, shall make or disseminate before the public, or cause to be made or disseminated before the public…any statement concerning any pregnancy-related service or the provision of any pregnancy-related service that is deceptive, whether by statement or omission, and that a limited services pregnancy center knows or reasonably should know to be deceptive.
Limited service centers are centers that do not offer abortions, abortion referrals, or emergency contraception. While the debate for the bill emphasized that these centers are deceiving people, the examples were unconvincing. One such advertisement under scrutiny by NARAL for being deceptive simply read “Pregnant? Need help?” before listing the pregnancy center.
While Connecticut is a blue state, the bill failed to pass after Senate Democrats thought it would take too long to get it past their Republican colleagues. Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano argued that many in his caucus find the bill unnecessary, stating:
It’s being pushed by a certain group and we don’t agree with their policies…I think it’s, once again, government trying to get involved where government doesn’t belong.
Connecticut Democrats and NARAL are determined to revisit the bill in the future. It is questionable whether their motivation is actually to end “deceiving” advertising, or whether it is to drive pro-life pregnancy centers out of business. Testimony provided by Sarah Croucher, head of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, earlier this year seems to support the latter:
For someone using the internet to look for help with an unplanned pregnancy…there is a high chance that their search results may send them to a limited service pregnancy center.
HB 7070 was defeated! The Anti-Pregnancy Center Bill made it out of committee and made it through the House, only to die last night in the State Senate!
The first thing to say about this is Thank you, God! https://t.co/oCyLvMuHOb
— Family Institute CT (@FICAction) June 6, 2019
The battle over this bill is certainly not over, but pro-life groups like the Family Institute of Connecticut are happy with this year’s results and are calling the outcome a “victory on every level.”