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ABORTION: Women’s right-to-choose services threatened

Letter by Kim L. Triller, Tacoma on Feb. 14, 2011 at 10:45 am | 56 Comments »
February 14, 2011 10:45 am

House Bill 1366 passed out of Health Care and Wellness Committee. It targets and threatens the existence of pregnancy centers in Washington. Rep. Troy Kelley was absent and Reps Tami Green and Laurie Jinkins voted in favor of HB 1366.

Pregnancy Support Centers are nonprofit, faith-based organizations that don’t receive federal or state funding. All services are free to our clients. Last year $18.6 million of free services were provided for women in our state.

Care Net of Puget Sound’s Centers are licensed medical clinics that specialize in pregnancy diagnosis. Services include pregnancy testing, consultations, ultrasound exams and STI screening under the direction of board-certified and licensed OB/GYNs; 32 medical professionals provide our medical services.

In 2010, 99.7 percent of our clients stated they would refer a friend to Care Net. They aren’t complaining.

HB 1366 requires arduous disclosures and allows any person “aggrieved” for any reason to bring a lawsuit against a pregnancy center. This bill only applies to pregnancy clinics that do not provide or refer for abortion or birth control. This is unconstitutional and violates the Equal Protection Clause by singling out one group for unequal treatment based on their beliefs. It also violates the First Amendment. Laws already exist to provide protection for patients. This bill is backed by Planned Parenthood, Legal Voice, NARAL, NOW and the ACLU.

It is incomprehensible to eliminate the network of services available for pregnant women who desire to continue their pregnancies. Please urge your representatives to vote against HB 1366.

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