An arguably unconstitutional effort in San Francisco at regulating the speech of pro-life crisis pregnancy centers was portrayed by New York Times reporter Jesse McKinley as an effort to “stem… misleading advertising”:
Seeking to stem what they call misleading advertising, San Francisco officials on Tuesday began a two-pronged attack on ‘crisis pregnancy centers,’ which are billed as places for pregnant women to get advice, but often use counseling to discourage abortions.
McKinley noted that the “first element was a bill introduced to the city’s Board of Supervisors that would make it illegal for such centers to advertise falsely about their pregnancy-related services,” noting that Supervisor Malia Cohen wrote the bill “to protect low-income women who are drawn into the centers, which often offer free services.”
Yet McKinley failed to note that the pro-abortion rights lobby NARAL Pro-Choice California took an active role in helping Cohen craft the proposed ordinance.
As the National Partnership for Women & Families noted in a June 7 press release:
Supervisor Malia Cohen is working with NARAL Pro-Choice California on legislation that would mirror laws in Austin, Texas and New York City, where centers are required to post signs that disclose whether they have medical professionals on staff and provide abortion care, contraception, or offer referrals for such services.
Also omitted from McKinley’s story, but reported by the liberal San Francisco Chronicle, was the presence and vocal concern of crisis pregnancy center supporters at yesterday’s press conference (emphasis mine):
Supervisor Malia Cohen and City Attorney Dennis Herrera today announced a joint effort to combat what they view as deceptive marketing at crisis pregnancy centers - and were peppered with questions from pro-life activists who attended the press conference.
Several pro-life activists in the audience pressed Herrera on the subject, including Audrey Richter of Oakland who held her 2-year-old son, Exodus, in her arms. She said places like First Resort are important because they show women with unplanned pregnancies that they have the choice to keep their baby.
"I want to make sure women have a choice," she said afterward. "If they're getting that at Planned Parenthood, great. If they're getting that at First Resort, great."
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