Connecticut Lawmakers May Bar Anti-Choice Clinics From Lying to Pregnant People

Connecticut legislators advanced a bill that would curb deceptive advertising by the state’s anti-choice pregnancy centers.

The legislation, known as An Act Concerning Deceptive Marketing Practices of Limited Service Pregnancy Centers, passed the Public Health Committee on March 29.

Conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that a California effort to regulate anti-choice clinics, commonly known as crisis pregnancy centers, was unconstitutional, though the Connecticut legislation isn’t nearly as far reaching. The Connecticut bill would ban advertising “any statement concerning any pregnancy-related service … that is false, misleading or deceptive.”

Reproductive rights advocates expect Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D), a strong proponent of abortion rights, to sign the bill if it clears the Democratic-held legislature. Around 25 anti-choice pregnancy centers operate in Connecticut, which has only 18 licensed family planning clinics, according NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut.

“I’m really excited about the momentum we have for this,” Sarah Croucher, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, told Rewire.News. “We found that we have pro-choice Republicans in Connecticut who understand that the centers are a problem in the way they present themselves to people. So we are excited about this moving forward with strong political support, including some bipartisan support, and we are excited that Connecticut can set policy for the nation on this issue.”

Croucher testified in favor of the bill, which is aimed at limited service pregnancy centers (CPCs) that use deceptive practices, like appearing to offer unbiased counseling and abortion services when they do not. Cases like this often pit right-to-know health-care advocates against anti-choice activists who claim free speech. This measure is modeled after San Francisco’s 2011…

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