I urge you to support H.R. 5052, the Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women's Services Act, sponsored by Rep. Carolyn Maloney.
Those who seek to restrict or eliminate access to safe, legal abortions in this country are making progress toward their goal with the expansion of their network of anti-abortion centers. These clinics entice women facing unintended pregnancies under the pretense of providing the full range of reproductive options.
Called "crisis pregnancy centers," they pose as women's health clinics and sources of unbiased pregnancy counseling, using neutral-sounding names and advertisements. They lure unsuspecting women with the offer of free pregnancy testing or HIV tests. Once inside, the "clinic" staff -- usually volunteers with no training -- try to dissuade women from exercising their right to choose by subjecting them to inaccurate, anti-choice propaganda and intimidation. According to a recent New York Times article ("Some Abortion Foes Forgo Politics for Quiet Talk", 1/16/2006), there are 2,300-3,500 centers nationwide, compared with about 1,800 abortion providers.
H.R.5052 would declare it an unfair or deceptive act for an entity, such as a so-called "crisis pregnancy center," to advertise as a provider of abortion services if the entity does not provide abortion services.
If you already support the legislation, I hope you will make a special effort to promote it among your colleagues. We must put a stop to the deceitful practices of "crisis pregnancy centers."