NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The New York City Council passed a bill Wednesday that would force pregnancy counseling centers to disclose whether they provide abortions, emergency contraception and prenatal care.
Advocates including Speaker Christine Quinn said the landmark legislation targeted deceptive practices in centers run by anti-abortion groups attempting to dissuade women from ending their pregnancies.
“The goal of this bill is to ensure that women are fully informed and not deceived when they are walking into offices that present themselves as medical offices when they are not,” Quinn told reporters including 1010 WINS Senior Correspondent Stan Brooks.
1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports from Quinn’s news conference
The bill would force any center that looks like a medical facility or provides ultrasounds, sonograms or prenatal care to include the abortion information in its advertising and on signs in its entrances and waiting rooms. The centers also would need to give the information verbally whenever asked in person or over the phone about those services.
The measure is expected to spark a court challenge. Opponents say it infringes on their right to free speech.
Quinn said the measure was not an effort to close down the centers, but about what she called truth in advertising. Quinn also believes the measure would withstand any legal challenge.
“We just want them to be honest and to say what their services are and not to deceive women and make women believe based on all logical information that they are in a doctor’s information when they are not.
The mayor is expected to sign the measure.
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)