Friday, April 9, 2010

Baltimore Archdiocese Suing Over New Law

Recently, the City of Baltimore has changed it's laws to require crisis pregnancy centers to post signage out front stating that they will not perform abortions. Planned parenthood locations or other clinics which do perform abortions are not required to post signage stating that they do provide abortions. This clear case of discrimination has, understandably, angered many in the pro-life community in Maryland. The Baltimore Archdiocese appears to be the first willing to stand against it - and is filing suit against the City of Baltimore on behalf of one of the oldest crisis pregnancy centers in the nation, the Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns. The Washington Times has more on the situation. Here's an excerpt from the article:
The Archdiocese of Baltimore has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the country's oldest crisis pregnancy center, claiming the city has enacted a biased ordinance that discriminates against pro-life organizations.

In a lawsuit filed last week in federal court, the archdiocese took on a new city ordinance - which had heavy backing from pro-choice and feminist groups - that requires crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to post prominent signs stating they do not dispense contraception nor perform abortions. According to the archdiocese, it is the first such ordinance in the country...As the country's oldest CPC founded in 1980, the Greater Baltimore Center has two other locations: its main offices at 2418 St. Paul St. downtown and a third at St. Rita's Church in Baltimore County, which is not affected by the ordinance. According to archdiocesan spokesman Sean Caine, the center's three locations see a combined 1,200 visitors a year, in addition to about 8,000 people annually via a hot line.

The ordinance was introduced in 2009 by then-City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake who has since become the mayor of Baltimore and is one of the defendants named in the lawsuit. She will also be the honored guest at Planned Parenthood of Maryland's gala fundraiser Thursday night at the Tremont Grand Hotel in Baltimore.

The ordinance requires that a "limited-service pregnancy center" posts an easily readable sign in English and Spanish stating that the center does not offer abortion and birth control services, nor does it provide referrals.

Centers that fail to comply within 10 days of being cited could be fined up to $150 per diem.
For the record, the CPC's website is pretty clear where they fall on the issue of abortion. I don't see any deception there. The City of Baltimore has no reason to force them to post signs that they clearly know will turn people away from the CPC.


Nulono said...

CPCs should post these signs with pride.

I'd also put up another sign listing all the other things they don't provide, from dental care to managing your stock portfolio.

Matthew Newman said...

It bothers me mostly because it's a double standard. They'd never dare to force Planned Parenthood to post signs saying, "We perform abortions." It's solely used as a scare tactic in inner city neighborhoods. And the fine is just ridiculous. said...

More to the point, they would never force Planned Parenthood to put up a sign saying "We cover up statutory rape, provide counseling biased in favor of abortion, and offer none of the abortion alternatives programs that the CPC down the road provides."