The health risks of abortion, warn many of these crisis pregnancy centers, include increased likelihood of depression, suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, death by violent accident, breast cancer, and miscarriage, to name a few. Much of their information has been criticized, with claims of being misleading, from outdated sources, based on shame and fear tactics, or flat out wrong. The World Health Organization explicitly states, for example, that abortion does not cause breast cancer.
In some cases, the centers have given pregnancy tests to young women and informed them that they were not pregnant, when in fact they were. The implied tactic here is that the girls will end up not having the abortion because their is no need due to the fact that they are not pregnant. Counselors often bring up God, asking women if they believe in an afterlife: at a center in Oklahoma, a woman was told that abortion “risks the loss of your eternal salvation.”
Although crisis pregnancy centers are rarely staffed by medical professionals, they often place themselves next to medical clinics and hospitals, to project an image of professional care. Many are located either next to college campuses or in low-income communities, where rates for unintended pregnancy are highest.
But now the Archdiocese of Baltimore is suing the city, claiming the mandatory signs constitute a violation of their first amendment right to free speech and free exercise of religion. Their argument is that the city government has no business forcing them to make a statement that is contrary to their faith, especially since the centers are staffed and run by volunteers who choose to counsel against abortion based on their religious and moral beliefs.
Aside from a constitutional violation, the pro-life community feels unfairly harassed and singled-out by the City Council. Baltimore Archbishop Edwin O’Brien has said that the new law targets “only one side of a contentious public, political debate.” Why is the government supporting the pro-choice community? Why aren’t abortion clinics required to put up signs stating, for example, that they do not offer baby bottles or adoption services?