Tonight is an important meeting in my county. A county council member, backed by the initiatives of Planned Parenthood and NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League), has proposed a bill that targets the four nonprofit pregnancy centers here in Montgomery County offering free services to women. (The four centers outnumber the three full-service family planning clinics in Montgomery County, which are funded partially with county dollars.)
According to a local report, the four pregnancy centers in Montgomery County that don't provide abortion services would be required to tell potential clients that they should go elsewhere for medical advice. The bill's sponsor, Duchy Trachtenberg, claims the private centers often provide false and misleading medical information about the dangers of abortions or contraceptives in attempts to convince women not to abort their pregnancies.
However, Gail Tierney, the director of one of the targeted centers, the Rockville Pregnancy Center, wrote supporters and said, "We have been a licensed medical clinic since 1999 with doctors, sonographers, and nurses. The medical team does give medical advice during the scope of their duties whether it be performing sonograms, STD testing and treatment, or Pap smear testing. We will continue to do so for as long as I am the director here."
I know many members of my church are going to the hearing tonight because we support two of these centers through our donations and our volunteer time. What surprised me, however, was the support of the Washington Post's editorial team, who wrote that this legislation is "flawed and should be rejected."
The Post added, "The proposed disclosure is too cryptic to be an effective alarm bell for many women and yet is suspect because it singles out pregnancy centers while absolving abortion clinics of any disclosure requirements regarding adoption or parenting options."
Completely true and I'm grateful they pointed out the discrepancy. Your prayers in this matter are greatly appreciated.
(Photo: Garrison Photography)