The State Senate and House of Representatives Pass Legislation Detrimental to Pro-life Pregnancy Resource Centers in Connecticut.
Urge the governor not to sign "S.B. 835," An Act Concerning Deceptive Advertising Practices
of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers."
Click on the link below to send the governor an email. You may edit the pre-written email with your own comments.
Serious flaws in S.B. 835:
S.B. 835 is based on completely inaccurate and misleading information about pregnancy resource centers in our state and is part of a national campaign to discredit the work that these centers perform. This legislation is not actually driven by concerns over false and misleading advertising, but by an ideological conflict between pregnancy resource centers, that do not provide abortion services, and centers that do provide or refer for abortions. The word "abortion" is the linchpin in determining who is covered by this proposed legislation and who is not.
Proof of this statement can be found in Section 1(7) where "limited services pregnancy center" is defined as centers that do not provide referrals for abortions or emergency contraception. This automatically excludes any center, such as Planned Parenthood centers, from being covered by this proposed legislation because they perform or refer for abortions. If any pregnancy care center in Connecticut added abortion referrals to its list of services it to would no longer be covered by this proposed legislation.
What constitutes deceptive advertising under the proposed legislation is not defined and open to interpretation. The legislation leaves what constitutes deceptive advertising open to broad interpretation. Proponents of the legislation have stated they believe even a sign that says "Pregnant, Need Help, Call... " is deceptive advertising because pro-life pregnancy care centers that use that phrase do not offer abortions.
The narrow definition of "limited service pregnancy center" focuses this legislation on a particular subset of centers that adhere to Christian teachings and are opposed to abortion based on deeply held religious beliefs. This raises many questions on the constitutionality of such legislation. Especially, with no evidence of actual deceptive advertising or of anyone injured by deceptive advertising by the pro-life centers. This legislation clearly contains "viewpoint discrimination" against religiously based entities.
The proposed legislation gives the Attorney General excessive power to take legal action against pregnancy care centers. Who determines what is deceptive advertising under the law? The Attorney General. Does there have to be a complaint filed by a prospective client? No, the Attorney General can act on his own or at the encouragement of pro-abortion advocacy groups, such as NARAL.