December 11, 2017 – This evening Hartford City Council passed an ordinance regulating the false advertising practices of “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs). The ordinance was originally proposed by Mayor Luke Bronin and passed the Council with seven votes in favor, one recusal, and one abstention.
CPCs are fake clinics that outnumber licensed family planning clinics in Connecticut. CPCs use deceptive tactics to try to stop patients seeking genuine reproductive healthcare from accessing abortions. One aggressive crisis pregnancy center has moved in on the same premises as the last independent abortion clinic in Connecticut, Hartford GYN Center, in order to target patients of the clinic. The CPC has lured patients in by claiming their appointments are with the CPC, and has given them misleading information. Patients have been told things such as they are “sinning” and risking death by seeking a straightforward medical procedure.
The ‘Pregnancy Information and Disclosure Protection Ordinance’ will prohibit crisis pregnancy centers from disseminating false, misleading, or deceptive information about the services they provide. It also requires crisis pregnancy centers to tell people who enter their facilities whether or not there is actually a licensed medical provider on the premises and available to provide medical services. This ordinance is intended to protect the rights of women in Hartford who right now are being lied to, misled, and deceived when they are seeking reproductive healthcare.
Sarah Croucher, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut said, “We are delighted that council members have responded so strongly to this threat to women’s health and passed the ordinance proposed by Mayor Bronin. This ordinance is a common sense measure to protect healthcare access. We are proud to have worked with the Mayor, the City Council, and numerous others, in crafting a reasonable solution to protect women’s health.”
The administrator of Hartford GYN Center said, “We are grateful to the City Council for passing this ordinance. Since 1981, Hartford GYN Center has served the Hartford community by providing abortion care by licensed physicians and practitioners, as well as well-woman visits and the full range of reproductive health care, always based on accurate, trustworthy medical information. We've seen firsthand the dangers that CPCs pose by luring in patients and doing whatever it takes to convince them not to have an abortion -- even if that means lying to them about their pregnancies. This ordinance will protect our patients and the wider Hartford community from CPCs' deceptive practices.”
Andrea Miller, President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) said, “In passing this ordinance, the Hartford City Council took a stand for a woman’s right to accurate, trustworthy, medically accurate information, and against the lies and manipulation pedaled by crisis pregnancy centers. Hartford now joins the ranks of cities across the country that are regulating CPCs, and NIRH was proud to work with NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut and other advocates to pass this critical legislation.”
About NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut, Inc.
The legislative arm of NARAL works to pass pro-choice legislation and defend against anti-choice legislation at the State Capitol, believing strongly that all women have the right to access the full range of reproductive choices including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion.