(Here's the text of the House Bill HB1366. Senate Bill is here.)
The Family Policy Institute of Washington has provided a good summary of the effects of the legislation:
1. It creates two classes of medical/pregnancy centers based on whether or not they provide abortion services.Most craftily, for purposes of seeking damages against CPCs and shutting them down, it defines "person" as "counties or other municipalities". No doubt the City or Seattle and King County would quickly move to shut down all CPCs that didn't have a huge 30-point font size sign in Laotian, Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Arabic stating they don't pass out the sacred condom or offer babies for live sacrifice.
2. Requires centers that do not provide abortion services to disclose that fact in five different languages (English, Spanish, Chinese, Cambodian, and Laotian) in 30 point font on the front door of the centers, and on any advertisement or notice promoting the centers services.
3. Creates regulations and liabilities associated with medical records that do not apply to any other medical/pregnancy centers in Washington State.
4. Creates a private cause of action (lawsuit) against pregnancy centers for violations of any of the above regulations. In lawsuits against pregnancy centers: (1) anyone can be an aggrieved party even if you have never been in or even seen a pregnancy center; (2) there is no need to prove damages; (3) those who sue a pregnancy center can collect legal fees from the center if they win; (4) but pregnancy centers cannot collect legal fees if they win.
In summary, this bill creates significant liability for non-profit, faith-based, pregnancy centers that receive no tax dollars and provide at least $16 million in free services to communities in Washington simply because they do not offer abortion services. The stated reason is that they are afraid that women who are looking for an abortion will go to one of these centers. Why the attention of the Washington State legislature is required to prevent that from happening is something each of us can ponder for ourselves.
Jill Stanek, who is following similar efforts in NYC, doubts that such a radical bill will pass even in the abortion capital of America. She sites the bad PR from NARAL's recent granting of an A- to NY for abortion advocacy, the report from the New York City Department of Health that a staggering 41 percent of all pregnancies in NYC ended in abortion in 2009, and the fact that abortions are on the rise after a 20 year decline.
How's that compare with Washington?
Well, for starters Washington has an A+ from NARAL. Basically, nothing stands in the way of the state's abortion industry when it comes to pushing abortion on women. They also get lots of help from the state government in the form of financial assistance, promotion of sexual activity in the public schools, and support for the lie that abortion is safe and beneficial to women.
Also, Planned Parenthood, the state's largest chain of abortion outlets, has claimed more and more of the state's abortion business and in fact performed 50% more abortions over the three years from 2006 to 2008. As of 2008, almost 60% of all pregnancy visits at a Washington state Planned Parenthood end in abortion.
Abortion rates, however, are on the decrease in the state. This seems to be the great urgency to go after the CPCs. The state's abortion industry is scared. The success of 40 Days For Life in reaching out to women who just need to see that someone cares about them has surely put a dent in business. We also know that about 50 percent of all abortions are repeats. To the abortion industry every lost abortion is a lost opportunity for repeat business. Every woman who carries her baby to term is also in no need of contraceptives, putting a further dent in income. It's difficult for morally sane people to understand this kind of 'logic', but understand it you must, because they control your government.
So while NYC's bill may not pass due to abortion fatigue and shock at the grotesque numbers of abortions committed there, Washington's anti-CPC bill could pass as desperation hardens the resolve of the industry to shut down even the slightest competition from pro-lifers and the Democratically-controlled Legislature refuses to look at who is really helping and hurting women with unplanned pregnancies.
The fact is this law will mean more dead babies. And the Democrats pushing it know this full well. Everyone needs to think about that.
What can you do? Take action now: Attend a hearing on Monday, January 24th, at 1:30 pm in House Hearing Room B. If you want to attend the hearing, please show up by 11 a.m.
Call your legislators at 1-800-562-6000 and ask them to oppose HB1366 and SB 5274, especially if they are on the Health Committee.
And one more thing...Pro-life Democrats now is your time to shine! If you are one of those pro-life legislators who took to the stage at the March for Life in Olympia on Tuesday, here's your chance to show the pro-lifers of Washington you really do care about the unborn and tell your party to lay-off the kids.
If you are one of those pro-life democrats in a local Catholic Church, or other Christian church, a social justice type that just can't do enough to end the death penalty, here is your chance to put on the seamless garment and call that beloved Democratic legislator you voted for in the last election and tell him enough is enough.