Maloney, Quinn fight for truth in advertising for ‘crisis pregnancy centers’

This is one of the ads that Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn say mislead women seeking medical advice and services. Credit: Bess Adler
This is one of the “crisis pregnancy center” ads that Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn say mislead women seeking medical advice and services. Credit: Bess Adler

Rep. Carolyn Maloney is pushing for Congress to pass a federal bill that would regulate the advertisements and practices of “crisis pregnancy centers.”

The bill would give the Federal Trade Commission oversight of the centers, which Maloney said target women seeking abortions and use manipulative tactics to intimidate and deter them.

“No woman deserves to be misled or lied to about legal medical family planning services,” Maloney said.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Councilmember Jessica Lappin, along with a host of women’s health advocates, are backing Maloney’s push. Lappin is sponsoring a resolution in the City Council that would officially call on Congress to pass the bill.

This is not the first time the council has taken up this issue: A similar law passed in the City Council in March 2011, and was set to take effect on July 14, 2011, until it was blocked by a federal lawsuit that alleged it was unconstitutional on the grounds that the ads and the clinic practices were protected as free speech.

The bill is currently in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Quinn said because of that bill being blocked, and the Women’s Equality Act failing last week, Maloney’s legislation is particularly important for New Yorkers.

Quinn said that crisis pregnancy centers specifically target areas where Planned Parenthood clinics are located, sometimes even renting space in the same building.

Maloney added that they often use the same colors as Planned Parenthood, to further confuse women seeking abortion services. She said the ads seek to make women believe they will be offered medical services, but when the women arrive at the clinic, they are fed misinformation.

But the national director behind the largest and longest-standing crisis pregnancy center networks in New York City, Expectant Mother Care/EMC Frontline Pregnancy Centers said that is not the case.

Chris Slattery described the copy on his ads, which refer to “abortion alternatives.”

“What’s deceptive about that?” he demanded.

According to the advocates backing Maloney, one common assertion women reportedly hear at crisis pregnancy centers is that abortion causes breast cancer. In a report produced by NARAL, a “volunteer investigator” who went to the Bridge to Life center in the Bronx said her friend was asked “if her breasts felt different or sore” since becoming pregnant and was told abortion could cause breast cancer.

“That’s absolutely true,” Slattery declared, citing a Baruch College professor, Joel Brind, who has released reports supporting that notion.

But the NARAL report said that the National Cancer Institute conclusively found no correlation between abortion and even an increased risk of breast cancer, let alone actual instances of cancer.

Maloney and Quinn noted that this sort of legislation has faced difficulty before, but Quinn said Maloney is up for the challenge: “If you take a list of things that they said wouldn’t happen in Congress but did, like 9/11 healthcare, they were led by Carolyn Maloney.”

Maloney in turn praised Quinn, saying she wished she was a Speaker in Washington, D.C.

“More would get done!” an impatient Maloney declared.

She then added: “Congress needs to stop wasting time on Benghazi and other things and focus on passing this bill.”

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…