Dodging the Bullet of State Legislation

Its coming . . . more and more attempts to regulate pregnancy centers with State legislation. So far most of them have failed but the abortion industry is getting better at figuring out our internal weaknesses in an effort to limit women’s access to pregnancy centers. Some think that negative regulatory legislation aimed at Pregnancy Centers may happen as early as next year!

All the abortion industry needs is one State to pass restrictive legislation and it could pave the way for other States to follow in their steps. The last thing we want is for the State to begin regulating what Pregnancy Centers do. What we really need is to show the States that we follow standards of our own.

Up until last week Washington State was one of those States. From what I understand the legislation would have made it possible for a woman to sue a pregnancy center ‘for damages’ if she simply did not like what she was told while there. Also, if the Pregnancy Center for some reason were to win the lawsuit it would have made it illegal for them to recover their legal costs from the plaintiff. So not only could they be sued but if they won they would still have to pay for the cost of an expensive lawsuit themselves.

New York Pregnancy Centers have been the target of several pieces of legislation designed to hinder their ability to free speech in marketing as well as limiting their ability to provide limited medical services like ultrasound. In 2006 New York’s Representative Carolyn Maloney introduced a federal bill restricting the free speech of ‘Crisis Pregnancy Centers’ that was actually backed by the ACLU, an organization committed to the broadest interpretation of free speech.

Virginia just a few days ago let a bill die as the legislative session ended for the year without a vote. The idea was to set standards for pregnancy centers to follow informed by the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL). They even performed an undercover investigation and wrote a report on it (click here to see that report). See their YouTube video about it below.

What is the solution? We need a return to excellence. We need documented ethical standards of our own. Furthermore, we need documented processes outlining the way we serve every pregnant woman including what we say as well as when it is said and by whom. We need to show that the way we provide medical services to women facing unintended pregnancy is the highest and only standard of care and that even abortion-providers should follow our protocols . . . because they are right, they don’t just feel right. Do you know what is being said to each woman when the door to the counseling room is shut? Do you know for sure that your nurses are not using medical tools to intentionally manipulate women’s emotions. Do you know for sure that your counselors are not dispensing any type of information that could be considered medical in nature? Do have people without a medical license running pregnancy tests? What exactly is being said to women when they are scheduled for an appointment? If all you have to go on is one person who says something like, “We have good counselors . . . they would never say anything they are not supposed to say” then you as an executive can be fairly certain you’ve got problem.

Here is the Acid Test to know if your organization is doing the right things in the right way: Everything you do is written down in a book that everyone follows, parts of which are even memorized as scripts. If you can’t point to that book, and I’m NOT talking about a Policy manual, then it is impossible for your organization to consistently meet any ethical standard. If by some stretch of the imagination your organization is so well run that you hit the bull’s eye let’s say for 1 ethical standard you could not prove it in a court of law without that book and the documentation that each person was trained in doing their job exactly according to the book AND that you have documentation that they followed their training with each and every patient. That is standardization.

“But abortionists don’t do that why should we?” you might ask. It is because they don’t regulate themselves that it is imperative we do. Once we have a clear, well thought out, ethical application of information and medical services aimed at helping women facing unplanned pregnancy to make a truly informed decision then we will have the high ground, then we can begin to see legislation drafted and passed regulating the irresponsible, self-interested, unethical abortion industry. But this will take commitment on the part of the executive, a commitment to applying a linear services model, to changing the way things are done. To learn more about implementing a written, linear service model click on the new CompassCare Training Website here: www.compasscaretraining.org

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