The New York legislature passed legislation that will effectively empower the state to investigate pro-life pregnancy centers for not offering abortions, effectively punishing them for their reason for existence.
The bill, S470/A5499, tasks the New York Commissioner of Health to “conduct a study and issue a report examining the unmet health and resource needs facing pregnant women in New York and the impact of limited service pregnancy centers” – meaning centers that do not provide abortions – “on the ability of women to obtain accurate, non-coercive health care information and timely access to a comprehensive range of reproductive and sexual health care services in alignment with their health care needs and that supports personal decision-making.”
The commissioner would be empowered to obtain from pregnancy centers a range of information about their operations, including their tax status and whatever government subsidies they receive. A nine-member temporary task force would then make “recommendations for solutions to address any service gaps or negative impact in the state identified through the study.”
“The commissioner shall issue a report to the governor and the legislature, and publish the report on its public website, containing the findings and policy recommendations no later than 18 months following the effective date of this act,” the bill concludes. “The report may include de-identified patient information in the aggregate, but shall not include personally identifiable information.”
“This bill weaponizes the power of government against groups whose only wrong is that they disagree with the political positions of the powerful,” New York-based CompassCare Pregnancy Services says. “If legislators can conspire to use the power of government to target their chosen ideological enemies, will this miscarriage of justice stop with pro-life pregnancy centers?”
Such far-ranging pro-abortion measures appear to be part of a broader nationwide trend from pro-abortion activists to fortify abortion-on-demand where they can, in anticipation of the potential overturn of Roe v. Wade this summer.
Last month, a draft was leaked of a majority opinion by conservative Justice Samuel Alito for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which concerns Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. The draft, which is authentic but not confirmed to reflect the U.S. Supreme Court’s final decision in the case, overturns 1973’s Roe as “egregiously wrong from the start,” and if it is ultimately what the Court decides will have massive ramifications for the abortion debate.
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