Dems look to crack down on anti-abortion 'crisis pregnancy centers'

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the House sponsor of the Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women's Services Act (H.R. 2030), said CPCs should not be allowed to deceive women who are seeking information about their pregnancy.

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"Women shouldn't be deliberately misled or coerced when they seek legitimate medical services," she said when she introduced the bill last week. "While I will defend crisis centers' First Amendment rights even though I disagree with their view of abortion, those that practice bait-and-switch should be held accountable so that pregnant women are not deceived at an extremely vulnerable time in their lives."

Her bill would give the Federal Trade Commission the ability to investigate reports of misleading claims from CPCs, just as it can investigate other consumer products and services.

The bill is supported by the National Abortion Federation, whose president, Vicki Saporta, said that CPCs "have a long history of intentionally misleading women to prevent them from accessing abortion case."

Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, added that she is "thrilled that Rep. Maloney is acting to hold these fake 'clinics' accountable."

Maloney's bill has 12 House co-sponsors, all Democrats, and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) has introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

"No one should ever be subjected to misleading information when they are seeking health care, especially during pregnancy," Menendez said. "We have worked too hard to expand the availability of women's health care services to have any confusion created by those who would deliberately deceive a woman to suit their own purposes."