Guest / Limited Access /

Disclosing information to pregnant women—an established pro-life legal strategy—is now cutting both ways.

Pro-life groups have long fought for laws that require doctors to give women seeking abortions an ultrasound and children to get parental permission for an abortion. In April, Oklahoma passed a bill requiring doctors to conduct a vaginal ultrasound at least one hour before an abortion and explain the results. Nebraska passed a law requiring doctors to evaluate and disclose to patients whether they face risks that could result in physical or mental problems after an abortion.

Now abortion supporters are emphasizing disclosure in their efforts against crisis pregnancy centers. In April, the Austin City Council in Texas passed an ordinance requiring centers that do not offer or refer clients to abortion or birth control services to disclose this on signs posted at their facilities. Violators could be fined up to $450 per offense.

Pro-life groups are crying foul.

"It would be like forcing an abortion facility to say, 'We don't refer to adoption agencies,'" said Mary Spaulding Balch, director of state legislation for the National Right to Life Committee.

In February, the Montgomery County Council in Maryland approved a regulation that requires pregnancy centers that do not have a licensed medical professional on staff to notify clients by posting a sign in the waiting room.

Pro-life groups say the new disclosure laws are different from informed consent laws requiring that women be given an ultrasound.

"This information is typically provided in one-on-one counseling sessions with patients," said Denise Burke, vice president of legal affairs for Americans United for Life. "There's a big difference between counseling and ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
The Face-to-Face Gospel and the Death of Distance
Al Erisman says we need to think about ministry in the digital culture the way missionaries think about the culture of the people they serve.
RecommendedWhen the Abortion Doctor I Protested Was Killed by a Sniper
Subscriber Access Only When the Abortion Doctor I Protested Was Killed by a Sniper
The shaken conscience of a pro-life activist.
TrendingChristians Can Hold Their Bladders and Still Shop at Target
Christians Can Hold Their Bladders and Still Shop at Target
Consider the missional implications before you boycott.
Editor's PickReading Esther in the Shadow of ISIS
Reading Esther in the Shadow of ISIS
A Jewish philosopher’s perspective on how God delivers his people from radical evil.
Christianity Today
Information Overload
hide thisJune June

In the Magazine

June 2010

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.