City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who has since become mayor, introduced the measure.
She had been approached by NARAL and Planned Parenthood with a request to craft the legislation, the womensenews.org article said.
Ms. Rawlings-Blake, whose office did not respond to several requests for comment, has since been feted for her stance by both organizations.
On April 8, she was the keynote speaker at a Planned Parenthood of Maryland gala at the Tremont Grand Historic Venue. On May 16, she was the special guest at NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland’s annual Mother’s Day brunch at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum. The brunch, which was open to the public, was advertised on NARAL’s website.
But a Washington Times reporter who signed up for the lunch was turned away at the door. Executive Director Jennifer Blasdel told the reporter that NARAL’s national headquarters was not involved with her organization’s campaign against Maryland crisis pregnancy centers.
When asked Thursday to confirm the report in womensenews.org, NARAL’s headquarters in the District would only release a statement saying that crisis pregnancy centers “mislead women about their health care options.”
“Our affiliates in Maryland, Texas, Virginia, and other places are working to ensure that women in their communities aren’t misinformed or manipulated,” according to spokesman Ted Miller. “If a CPC is not engaging in these harmful tactics, then it has nothing to worry about.”
Buoyed by their success in Baltimore, pro-choicers have similar campaigns planned nationwide. In April, Austin, the Texas state capital, became the second city after Baltimore to pass a law regulating crisis pregnancy centers. Called the Limited Service Pregnancy Centers Disclosure Ordinance, it mandates crisis pregnancy centers to post signs saying they don’t provide abortions or birth control. Failure to do so could mean a $450 fine.
NARAL took credit for the law, saying in an April 8 press release that it was enacted after its Texas affiliate investigated three crisis pregnancy centers in Austin, “all of which provided misinformation about abortion or birth control and none of which would provide a referral, even for birth control.”