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Maryland: Did You Know?

Did you know that Maryland was the first state in which cities passed laws requiring fake anti-choice “clinics” to post signs disclosing that they do not provide certain reproductive-health services?

Women deserve to know whether they are at a legitimate health-care facility or an ideologically-based, unlicensed “clinic” that does not provide medically accurate information regarding the full range of women’s reproductive-health options.   Maryland is at the forefront of the movement to ensure that women have this information.

In 2009, the city of Baltimore – with crucial backing from NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland – became the first-ever city to require anti-choice “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) to post signage indicating that they do not provide or refer for contraception or abortion services. The bill, the “Limited-Services Pregnancy Disclaimers Bill,” was signed into law by Mayor Sheila Dixon in December and is believed to be the first of its kind.

Subsequently, in March 2010, the Montgomery County Council passed a similar measure requiring all pregnancy centers – not just anti-choice CPCs – to post a disclaimer if they are not staffed by medical personnel.  (This amended version will, as a practical matter, only apply to non-medical CPCs and will not sweep in providers of comprehensive reproductive-health services or information.)

Abortion Sign Ordinance Prompts Archdiocese Lawsuit, WBAL-TV (March 29, 2010), available at http://www.wbaltv.com/health/22989641/detail.html; Press Release, NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland Applauds Signing of the Limited-Service Pregnancy Centers Disclaimers Bill (December 4, 2009).

 


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