NARAL, Maryland Government Collude to Target Pro-Life Pregnancy Center

NARAL, Maryland Government Collude to Target Pro-Life Pregnancy Center

Yesterday, LifeSiteNews‘ Dustin Siggins broke a story involving collusion that will shock you.

After obtaining email exchanges between NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland’s Executive Director Jodi Finkelstein and Montgomery County Council (Council) staff members through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, LifeSiteNews revealed the two were colluding to try to close down Centro Tepeyac Silver Spring Women’s Centerthrough legal means last year. Although this failed attempt happened recently, its origins date back to 2010.

Five years ago, Montgomery County Council (Council) passed an ordinance that made NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland giddy: requiring all crisis pregnancy centers in the state to post signs outside of their doors stating they do not have doctors on staff. Groups like NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland were happy about this since it not only targeted their opposition through government force. It also paved the way for them to falsely paint crisis pregnancy centers as places that intentionally mislead pregnant women and make it easier for them to obtain more clients for their abortion services. In response to this unjust ordinance, which was not equally applied to abortion clinics, Centro Tepeyac Silver Spring Women’s Center worked with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) to sue the county, which ultimately stopped defending the law on April 30, 2014, after a court ruled against it the month before.

Thankfully Centro Tepeyac v. Montgomery County ended in victory since Centro Tepeyac Silver Spring Women’s Center won its suit, the ordinance was struck down by the court, and the county had to pay $375,000 to Centro Tepeyac’s lawyers in “attorneys’ fees, costs, and nominal damages.” Now, you may wonder, if it was a victory, why did the targeting occur? Before the Montgomery County Council (Council) stopped defending the controversial ordinance, Finkelstein urged them to drop the case and implement its big government, seven-part plan advancing crisis pregnancy center targeting in the state. Here is the plan in its entirety, as listed in the emails LifeSiteNews obtained (see pages 5-7):

  • Prosecuting volunteers and employees of pregnancy care centers for “consumer protection violations”;
  • Forbidding Centro from “participating in advertising” that county officials deem “untrue or misleading”;
  • Allowing women who claim they were “harmed by limited-service pregnancy centers to collect monetary damages” from women’s centers;
  • Denying taxpayer funding to crisis pregnancy centers;
  • Instructing county officials not to refer women to CPCs for ultrasounds or to “very clearly differentiate the centers from legitimate medical providers”;
  • Having the county undertake a “public awareness campaign”  against pregnancy centers; and
  • The regulation of ultrasound practices.

Trending: The 15 Best Conservative News Sites On The Internet

To back up her plan, Finkelstein had this to say (see page 5):

The CPC field has changed radically since the Council first worked to expose CPCs–and continues to evolve very quickly. In the early years, it was very easy to oppose obviously fake “clinics.” As a result, we recommended requiring CPCs to disclose that they do not have medical personal on staff. However, across the country, CPCs are rapidly medicalizing–consistently acquiring more medical equipment and staff. Nowadays, such an approach often backfires: in many cases, CPCs simply will not be affected by these requirements. Doing so also creates an incentive for them to accelerate this trend toward medicalization–which makes it harder and harder for women to distinguish CPCs from legitimate health centers, and conveys a seal of approval that we never want to be complicit in allowing CPCs to claim.

Most importantly, this strategy detracts from our core objection to CPCs. It does not matter if CPCs hire doctors or house state-of-the-art equipment: they are still manipulating  women with lies and misleading information. 

Can’t you just feel the rage of her passionate disdain for crisis pregnancy centers in that? It’s amazing how groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America are seeking to quash dissent through desperate cries for help to government officials.

While I agree no non-profit, including crisis pregnancy centers, should receive taxpayer money, the plan in its entirety is a disgusting proposal that would have promoted selective government targeting of private conservative entities. That would have essentially made the state only friendly territory to liberals, a dangerous goal to advance in our nation since freedom is our golden standard. Although the council’s president George Leventhal initially urged his staff to follow up on Finkelstein’s request, he ultimately told Finkelstein this: “I doubt my colleagues or the County Attorney will be interested in pursuing a truth-in-advertising statute.” In the end, the council never implemented her plan.

This instance of targeting reminds me of how the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and the IRS colluded to monitor churches for alleged political activity. Essentially, the IRS helped FFRF satisfy its desire to target and quash its opposition through government force. Thankfully, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit late last year asking for “any and all [communications] records” between these two entities on this targeting. Hopefully, JW will obtain those records soon, so more Americans can learn about this anti-First Amendment collusion.

These two instances are not surprising, since liberals, fiscal and social, often use big government tactics–including increasing the size and scope of government and government intimidation and fear–in an attempt to silence dissent and quash any opposition from having a voice in our nation. Yes, there are many social conservatives who unfortunately propose big government solutions to protect and advance cultural conservatism in the public square (we speak out against that here at Counter Cultured), but conservatives never stoop to the level of invasive big government legal tactics, like the Left does, to advance conservatism.

So much for being pro-choice and pro-free speech, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Freedom From Religion Foundation!

This blog post was written by Anna Maria Hoffman at Counter Cultured.

Share this!

Enjoy reading? Share it with your friends!