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« on: April 16, 2008, 09:09:48 PM »

Pregnancy Centers Defeat Hostile Legislation in Maryland

by Staff
April 16, 2008

LANSDOWNE, Va., (christiansunite.com) -- Care Net President Melinda Delahoyde applauded the defeat of legislation in Maryland that sought to disparage the work of pregnancy centers and deter women from going to pregnancy centers for help. "We are glad to see that legislators in Maryland truly understand the good work of pregnancy centers and the tremendous service they provide to communities throughout the state," said Delahoyde. "What was perhaps intended to hurt our work actually turned out to be a great educational opportunity for legislators."

HB 1146 and SB 690 were initiated by NARAL Pro- Choice Maryland and would have forced pregnancy centers to provide a disclaimer to all clients upon first contact. The disclaimer would have said, among other things, that "we are not required to provide medically accurate information." If approved, the disclaimer would defy the very purpose of pregnancy centers -- to empower women with accurate information about abortion risks and abortion alternatives so they can make an informed choice.

Both bills received hearings in the Senate Finance and the House Health and Government Operations committees. Care Net led a coalition of pregnancy centers, former clients, medical professionals, research experts, attorneys, organization leaders and local officials -- 48 in all -- who testified against the bills in both chambers.

As of April 7, the legislature has adjourned and the legislation was defeated, having never received a vote.

Despite attempts by some abortion advocacy groups to promote a negative view of pregnancy centers, these centers continue to grow in impact and increase in number across the country. Pregnancy centers are opened and supported by local communities seeking to provide a safety net of support to people who feel that abortion is their only option. Most clients find pregnancy centers by word-of-mouth, and exit surveys show that clients are highly satisfied with pregnancy center services. Care Net Pregnancy Center of Frederick, Maryland reports that 99% of their clients provide overwhelmingly positive feedback.

Care Net is a faith-based, non-profit organization that supports a network of 1,100 pregnancy centers that provide practical help and emotional support to people facing unplanned pregnancies and related sexual issues.


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