Of course, fraud or coercion would merit legal response. Perhaps Spitzer knows something we do not. But open up the Yellow Pages. All pregnancy centers are clearly labelled Abortion Alternatives. Abortion providers have their own listings ("Abortion to 24 weeks. Accepting Cash, Credit Cards, HIP, Medicaid, Insurance, HMOS," trumpets one, along with the ever helpful reminder, "Minors welcome.").
The effect of Spitzer's broad strong-arm legal tactics is obviously chilling. "The staff (especially the medical professionals) are very on edge and terrified," says Chris Slattery, founder and president of Expectant Mother Care (www.expectantmothercare.org), whose five crisis pregnancy centers are among those under attack.
At the 1999 NARAL luncheon, Spitzer intoned his goal was "a suitable framework for public debate in New York. I want to be clear that I am not attempting to curtail anyone's right to free speech, but I do intend to stop those who would use violence and intimidation to achieve their political goals."
No one, of course, accuses either the attorney general nor crisis pregnancy center workers such as Valerie of violence. But intimidation to achieve political goals? With all due respect, Mr. Attorney General, look in the mirror.
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.