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Under attack...again

"Under attack...again" Continued...

Happily, a counterattack commenced. South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon sent a letter to Spitzer criticizing the New Yorker's "ill-advised course of action." Condon noted that pro-life volunteers "freely give of themselves with a helpful hand and a loving heart," and that "the heavy hand of the government investigation ... will inevitably discourage community service and volunteerism." The American Center for Law and Justice and other legal groups came to the defense of the pregnancy resource centers, calling Spitzer's action "clearly a case of discrimination and harassment." Spitzer eventually withdrew the subpoenas, realizing he did not have much of a case, but in the meantime he had smeared the centers.

The fourth onslaught came in 2006, fueled once again by pro-abortion organizations working alongside politicians: In this instance Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) played a key role, charging that pregnancy resource centers provided "false and misleading information" on the effects of abortion on women. Waxman's report contended that visitors to "pregnancy resource centers are often vulnerable teenagers, who are susceptible to being misled and need medically accurate information to help them make a fully informed decision." He and abortion providers particularly objected to concerns about the psychological effects of abortion.

Waxman did not get much traction, in part because of the greater distribution and qualitative improvement of ultrasound equipment. Mothers wondering about abortion now can get not only medically accurate information but high-resolution pictures of their unborn babies. Five states (Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah) now require an ultrasound before an abortion can legally occur, and in two states the mother must be able to see the screen.

The fifth attack, now under way in Austin and other cities, is also moving against a pro-life tide that courts seem reluctant to oppose. Injunctions last year stopped abortion advocates in New York City and Montgomery County, Md. Matt Bowman of the Allied Defense Fund, which has represented many of the pregnancy centers under attack, said, "The reason these laws are not holding up is because they single out people with pro-life beliefs and force them to deliver the government's message."

Next month the Texas battle may be resolved. It began last April when the Austin City Council passed an ordinance to restrict what it called "Limited Service Pregnancy Centers." (The service that was limited: abortion.) The Council said pro-life centers must "prominently display" two signs declaring that they not only fail to facilitate abortion but also do not send clients to "providers of U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved birth control drugs and medical devices." The Council specified the colors, black and white, and the languages, English and Spanish.

Next month's judicial wrangling will show whether Austin liberals have overplayed their hand. But even if abortion proponents have to back off once again, another attack is likely. Their goal remains curtailment of free speech for those who bring up the inconvenient facts of life.

Read articles from past Roe v. Wade issues from our archives.

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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