Democrats Seeking Crackdown on Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers


Democratic lawmakers are looking to crackdown on Maine’s pro-life pregnancy centers.

The push for greater scrutiny on pro-life centers comes as Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and Democratic legislative leaders seek to expand legal abortion in Maine right up to birth.

Rep. Lori Gramlich (D-Old Orchard Beach) has submitted a bill that would empower the Attorney General’s office to police the speech of pregnancy centers to ensure that the facility isn’t tricking women into becoming moms rather than getting abortions.

“An Act to Prohibit Deceptive Advertising in Limited Pregnancy Services Centers” (LD 1137) would create an online portal for anyone to submit evidence that a pregnancy center was behaving deceptively to the Attorney General’s office.

[RELATED: Maine Democrats Want to Legalize Abortion At Anytime in Pregnancy Despite Mills’ Campaign Stance…]

The AG would then investigate to determine whether the center in question had violated the law.

If the AG finds a pregnancy center guilty of engaging in deceptive practices, the State can fine them up to $500.

Under the proposal, it would be a crime not only to make deceptive or misleading claims.

The bill would also criminalize the dissemination of “partial information,” though the bill doesn’t clarify exactly what constitutes “partial information.”

The bill states:

“A limited pregnancy services center may not, in connection with providing a medical or health counseling service related to pregnancy or pregnancy prevention, provide, disseminate or cause the dissemination of information, or provide only partial information, about pregnancy, pregnancy prevention or abortion that it knows or reasonably should know is deceptive or misleading. The prohibition in this subsection includes, but is not limited to, verbal statements and written statements in a newspaper, journal, pamphlet, publication or other written, recorded or electronic medium.”

Rep. Grayson Lookner (D-Portland) has introduced a similar bill, but the text of that proposed law has not been released yet.

Pro-life pregnancy centers in Maine offer a variety of services for expecting mothers. Many of them offer services completely for free. The Zoe Women’s Center in Rockport one such non-profit that serves people in Knox County, Waldo County, and parts of Lincoln County.

“We listen to people about the fears and obstacles they have around a pregnancy. If they want an ultrasound, we offer them an ultrasound. We show them how we can support them, how people in our community could support them,” said Leah Carle, Zoe’s executive director.

“We don’t force, manipulate or deceive. We just don’t do that,” she said. “But we do show them that they’re smarter and stronger than they might feel. We give them the hope that they can do it.”

Zoe operates under the supervision of a licensed physician and has a registered nurse on site to perform medical grade pregnancy testing. The center offers parenting classes, life coaching, and financial education. Expecting moms can also get free maternity clothing, kids’ clothing, diapers, toys, wipes, and other essential items for new parents.

Carle said the paperwork new clients fill out makes it clear that they do not provide abortion.

In addition, the center’s website offers information about abortion.

“We don’t refer them to go somewhere to get an abortion. We don’t do that,” she said. “And they know that from the first time they come in. We can give them information on that.”

Pro-life pregnancy centers across the country have been vilified by national political figures in recent years, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

Warren announced last summer that she would introduce a bill that would empower the Federal Trade Commission to crackdown on the pregnancy centers because they do not offer abortions.

“These are deceptive outfits that front for groups that are trying to harass or otherwise frighten people who are pregnant to keep them from seeking an abortion, and they do so under the cover of pretending to offer abortion services,” Warren said in July.

New York’s Attorney General Letitia James has also targeted the pregnancy centers, telling Google last year that it should exclude pro-life centers from Google Maps searches for “abortion.”

The targeting of pro-life pregnancy centers comes amid a broader crackdown on pro-life activists by Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice.

In September, more than 20 FBI agents came to the house of Mark Houck, guns drawn, to arrest him for an alleged violation of the “Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.”

Houck, who is the founder of a Catholic men’s organization in Pennsylvania, was standing in front of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic praying when a pro-abortion activist confronted him and his 14-year-old son.

According to Houck, he shoved the pro-abortion activist to get him out of his son’s personal space.

For that transgression, the Justice Department wanted to lock him up for up to 11 years.

Houck was acquitted and has said he plans to sue the FBI.

In October, another 11 individuals were arrested because they protested at an abortion clinic in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee in March of 2021.

At the same time the DOJ has aggressively targeted pro-life activists, pro-life pregnancy centers across the country have been targeted by vandals.

In most of those cases, the FBI has failed to identify or apprehend a culprit, leading many conservative commentators to question the FBI’s priorities.

Mike McClellan, the policy director for Maine’s Christian Civic League, said pro-abortion groups are trying to gain a monopoly over health services offered to pregnant women by making it harder for pro-life centers to operate.

That pro-abortion lawmakers are working to limit the health care options available to Maine mothers shows their policies aren’t about women’s health.

“I call abortion a religion because this is clearly not about the health of women,” he said. “Where else in life would you not want options? The Abortion religion takes any other option other than abortion to be an attack.”

“I would ask readers of The Maine Wire to go check out their local Pregnancy Center and even support them,” said McClellan.

“Also, consider attending the April 4th LIFE Day at the Maine State House,” he said.


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