New legislation targeting pro-life pregnancy centers in the United States has sparked concerns about its vague and subjective language. The law accuses these centers of providing misleading information to pregnant individuals considering abortion and making false medical claims about various reproductive health topics. However, it does not offer clear definitions of what qualifies as false or misleading. Julia Payne, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, argues that the lack of clarity leaves pregnancy centers uncertain about what the law considers misleading. This ambiguity potentially allows government officials to arbitrarily target and penalize these centers. Violating the law could result in a fine of $10,000 per offense.
The fear of substantial fines has prompted some pregnancy centers, such as Branches Pregnancy Resource Center, to curtail the information they provide. This cautious approach aims to protect the centers from potential legal consequences. Jean Marie Davis, the executive director of Branches Pregnancy Resource Center, explains that the center prioritizes working with law enforcement to combat human trafficking, offering support through parenting classes, referrals to OB-GYNs, and information regarding the abortion reversal pill. Additionally, the center provides essential items such as diapers, formula, clothes, and high chairs free of charge. Davis expresses concerns that the fines imposed by the law could ultimately lead to the closure of pregnancy centers like Branches.
The legislation’s subjective nature and potential financial impact on pregnancy centers have raised concerns among pro-life advocates. The lack of clear definitions regarding misleading information leaves these centers unsure of what actions may be deemed illegal. These laws clearly were made purposely ambiguous to attack pro-life centers which help prevent abortions from occuring.