FIC Fact Sheet for Public Hearing with Hartford City Council on 11/20/17
Proposed Ordinance: Pregnancy Information Disclosure and Protection
Ordinance proposed by: Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin
Ordinance championed by: Hartford GYN Center, NARAL Pro-Choice CT, Planned Parenthood Southern New England among other abortion rights organizations.
What does the Ordinance do:
- It compels Hartford Women’s Center (Pregnany center) to post negative signs mandated by the city in the entrance of it’s facility and waiting room designed to discourage women from seeking services at HWC. The signs would state HWC has no licensed medical providers. HWC offers limited ultrasound care and pregnancy diagnoses and licensed medical providers offer those services on certain days but are not on the premises everyday to supervise non-medical pregnancy options counseling.
- It intentionally discriminates against pro-life viewpoints by exempting abortion clinics from posting similar signs even when those clinics have completely unlicensed persons offering pregnancy options counseling, that the doctor in the building does not supervise. Why should pregnancy options counseling trigger pro-life center signage but not abortion clinic signage?
- It regulates the free speech of pregnancy centers such as in offering pregnancy options counseling to assist a woman in making a pregnancy decision and to offer education on all her options.
- It discriminates against pro-life speakers because of their viewpoints. The ordinance is written in such a way that it has the purpose and practical effect of only covering “pregnancy resource centers” that don’t provide or refer for abortion.
Why the ordinance is wrong:
- It violates the freedom of speech of pregnancy centers and due process by making Hartford Women’s Center post a message mandated by the City and impermissibly targets HWC based on the content and viewpoint of it’s speech.
- It is an example of unconstitutional compelled speech. It forces HWC and other pregnancy centers to post a sign communicating a message that they would otherwise not speak and burdens the conversation between HWC and their clients.
- Only evidence for this ordinance is from openly pro-abortion sources who target pro-life centers and equate “false & misleading” with saying negative things about abortion. Their claims of PRC’s being false and misleading in this case is a code word for the city’s disagreement with pro-life speech. The city of Hartford has cited no specific instance of “false and misleading” actions by a pro-life center located in the city.
Why the ordinance is bad for the state of CT:
- Costliness for the courts in Hartford, CT. In MD & TX similar cases cost the states a substantial amount of money. In MD costs were around $375K. MD & TX issued summary judgements against laws forcing non-medical pro-life centers to recite disclosures. A city teetering on the edge of bankruptcy having to be bailed out by state taxpayers, should wait for the Supreme Court to rule (they will hear a similar case regarding pregnancy centers in California) before passing this ordinance.
- Radical pro-abortion activists make false claims against pregnancy centers. They are already protesting PRCS, writing fake reviews online about them and sending in fake clients. They are spreading misinformation and lies about PRCs in our state who offer compassionate care and free services to thousands of clients in our states. PRCs save the state of CT tens of thousands of dollars yearly in the services they provide.
- Radical pro-abortion activists will continue their attacks against PRCs. In California PRCs are forced to refer for abortion. If this ordinance passed that could be the CT pro-abortionists’ next move as their ultimate goal is to shut down the work of pro-life faith based centers.
- This ordinance and its accusations could negatively impact the relationships PRC’s have in partnering with social service organizations by leading those organizations to believe in the false claim that PRCs are ‘fake clinics’ as the ordinance claims.
What can you do:
- Email the Hartford City Council Members
- Join FIC at 6pm on 11/20 at Hartford City Hall and wear yellow to support PRCS
- Spread the work on social media and make calls to alert others of this ordinance
- Pray for the mayor of Hartford, members of the City Council and those who champion this false ordinance.