Pro-life group fights disclosure law

May 24, 2010

By Julia Duin, The Washington Times

A crisis pregnancy center in Silver Spring has become the second group in Maryland to sue a Washington-area government over laws that pro-lifers say are part of a national campaign to snuff out anti-abortion speech.

Centro Tepeyac Women’s Center, a 20-year-old Catholic agency on Apple Avenue, sued Montgomery County last week at U.S. District Court in Greenbelt over a Feb. 2 vote by the County Council that created a law requiring crisis pregnancy centers to post certain signs in English and Spanish.

The signs must say that a licensed medical professional is not on staff there and that the county health department advises seeking a licensed health care provider. Failure to post a sign results in a fine of at least $500.

Centro Tepeyac v. Montgomery County is similar to a lawsuit filed by the Archdiocese of Baltimore against the city of Baltimore in March after the city required its crisis pregnancy centers to post signs saying they don’t offer abortions.

“No other business is required to do this,” said Thomas Schetelich, chairman of the board of the Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns crisis pregnancy center. “I am a lawyer. I don’t put on my wall what services I do not provide.”

Both lawsuits say Planned Parenthood and other facilities that provide abortions are not required to post similar notification when women visit and don’t receive medical services.

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