Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Today, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) introduced the Stop Deceptive Advertising in Women's Services Act (SDAWS), which would crack down on crisis pregnancy centers, or fake clinics that claim to offer women all their options, but fail to provide abortion services or referrals of any kind. From their press release:
"Although I may disagree with their views, many crisis pregnancy centers are forthright and respectful. Unfortunately, some take a more underhanded approach to lure in women seeking abortions by using tactics that should be illegal," Representative Maloney said. "An unintended pregnancy is an especially difficult time to encounter deception, and deceptive practices should be outlawed. Women shouldn’t have to face the added stress of deciphering whether or not the clinic they choose offers legitimate medical services."
Senator Menendez said, "This legislation would simply help ensure truth in advertising related to reproductive health services. Women's reproductive health choices are very personal decisions, and they should never be influenced by deception or pressure."
Essentially, the Act directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish rules declaring it illegal for an establishment to advertise as a provider of abortion services if they do not provide such services. I wonder if it would crack down on other deceptive tactics CPCs use, such as deliberately placing themselves across the street from a real family planning clinic, so that women might accidentally wander into an anti-choice establishment instead. Probably not.
Read the full text of the act here (PDF).