New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, a loyal water boy for pro-abortion groups, has launched a crackdown on crisis pregnancy centers. This is a direct assault on the front lines of compassionate conservatism.
An estimated 3,000 crisis pregnancy centers offer abortion alternatives nationwide. Most are non-profit and affiliated with Catholic charities. Radical feminists, who push abortion as the only acceptable choice, call these life-affirming pregnancy centers "deceptive." The National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) sells a guide to sabotaging the centers' missionary work. Spitzer, a Democrat, promised NARAL three years ago that his tax-subsidized "reproductive rights unit," staffed by abortion activists, would carry on the campaign.
He delivered. According to Chris Slattery, the founder of Expectant Mother Care, which provides the most comprehensive crisis pregnancy services in New York City, Spitzer issued subpoenas last Friday to pregnancy resource centers in Staten Island and Manhattan demanding documents related to their services. Spitzer's office refused to provide me with any information on his legal maneuvering, but more subpoenas are expected.
Spitzer's move "is a triple attack on the First Amendment -- on our freedom of assembly, religion and speech," Slattery told me. Why now? "This is a politically motivated witch hunt in an election year for Eliot Spitzer," Slattery said. According to online campaign finance data, Spitzer has received $2,900 from New York's NARAL political action committee over the past three years.
This is not an effort to protect the public. It's payback to the abortion monopoly. NARAL wants the government to crush growing competition by private, faith-based pregnancy centers that are winning over women's hearts and saving babies' lives.
NARAL and its allies accuse the centers of "luring" women under false pretenses. But, as required by law, the advertising of crisis pregnancy centers makes clear that they do not offer abortions or abortion referrals. With typical condescension, NARAL leaders argue that anxious women thumbing through the Yellow Pages might not understand the plain disclaimer. Interesting how these feminist champions of letting women control their bodies have such little trust in women's minds.
Crisis pregnancy center volunteers assist their clients not by might nor by power, but by the Lord's spirit (Zechariah 4:6). These centers provide free pregnancy tests and discuss all options, including adoption, abortion and parenthood. Unlike abortion mill propagandists who refer to unborn babies as "uterine material," crisis pregnancy counselors are upfront about abortion's physical and psychological damage.
The centers also help expectant mothers of all races, religions and income levels with a wide range of services -- from shelter, nutritional guidance, and parenting classes, to drug abuse, AIDS, and domestic violence counseling, legal assistance, adoption, and post-abortion therapy. An increasing number of crisis pregnancy centers are converting to licensed medical clinics, which offer ultrasound and Doppler screenings, and other health services. The Life Choice Project, sponsored by the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), provides ultrasound equipment and training, technical assistance and insurance to such clinics.
In New York City, Expectant Mother Care offers 3-D sonogram technology that provides a powerfully persuasive window to the womb. The center has also teamed up with the director of obstetrics and gynecology at Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center in the Bronx -- where there are more abortions than live births -- to provide prenatal and postnatal care, pro-life counseling and hospital referrals.
NARAL and company are doing their best to discredit those who promote a culture of life through peaceful means. NARAL's California chapter recently succeeded in shutting down one Bay Area crisis pregnancy program, First Resort, which had teamed with Kaiser Permanente and boasted a 99.3 percent client satisfaction rate.
In New York and elsewhere, the abortion lobby will continue to drag crisis pregnancy centers through costly court proceedings. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood and the government-backed abortion empire continue their business of massive human disposal fraudulently marketed as a fully informed "choice." Where are those who pay lip service to compassionate conservatism when the movement's foot soldiers need help?