Catholic leaders oppose city council effort
Local Catholic leaders are opposing a Baltimore City Council proposal that they say unfairly harrasses pro-life pregnancy support centers, the Catholic Review reports.
The bill, sponsored by council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and 10 other council members, would require clinics that don't provide contraception or abortion to post signs saying so, or be fined $500 per day.
The Catholic Review quotes from a letter by Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien saying that the proroposal targets non-profit organizations whose mission is to help women carry pregnancies to term.
"To fine a center $500 for not posting a sign that states as much is nothing short of harassment,” Archbishop O’Brien said, “especially when nothing in a pregnancy support center’s yellow page advertisements or Web pages would lead a woman to believe these centers provide abortions or abortion-related services.”
The Catholic Review also quotes from a letter from Rawlings-Blake: “I believe this measure is needed to secure women’s access to accurate and safe medical information. ... Of course, I support efforts by nonprofit organizations to assist future mothers. This ordinance does nothing to hamper those efforts.”