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CITY OF HARTFORD ISSUES RULES REGULATING CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTERS

CITY OF HARTFORD ISSUES RULES REGULATING CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTERS

HARTFORD, CONN (September 19, 2018) – Today Mayor Luke Bronin and City Council Minority Leader Wildaliz Bermudez announced final rules enforcing the City of Hartford’s ordinance regulating crisis pregnancy centers. In December, the city enacted the ordinance introduced by Mayor Bronin to prohibit false, misleading, or deceptive advertising practices aimed at women seeing to obtain reproductive healthcare services.  The rules announced today specify that crisis pregnancy centers without a licensed medical provider must display signs informing clients of that fact in English and Spanish, must put the same notice on their website, and must tell clients who inquire about prenatal care, emergency contraception, or abortion by phone or in person that the facility does not have a licensed medical provider on site to provide or supervise all services. These rules are effective on October 1st, 2018.

“Our ordinance is based on the simple principle that women should be told the truth when they’re making decisions about their bodies, their health, and their lives,” said Mayor Bronin.  “We have seen young women, often young women with few resources who don’t have access to regular medical care, deceived and ‘lured’ away from women’s health centers that offer the full range of reproductive healthcare.  We should all agree that’s wrong, no matter how you feel about abortion.  These common-sense rules say that if you don’t have a licensed medical provider on site, you should disclose that fact.  I’m proud that as a city we’re taking this step, within the bounds of the law, to protect young women from deceptive practices.  I want to thank the City Council and Minority Leader Bermudez for their support and work on this issue, and I hope that the state will pursue similar legislation because we know that these deceptive practices aren’t just limited to our city.”

In March, Mayor Bronin testified in favor of House Bill 5416, “An Act Concerning Deceptive Advertising Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers.”  The bill was similar to the ordinance enacted in Hartford.

“It is vital that crisis pregnancy centers have disclosures for women seeking reproductive healthcare services,” said Minority Leader Bermudez.  “There's no reason why women seeking such services shouldn't know whether a facility has a licensed medical provider on site. This regulation calls for appropriate transparency.”

“NARAL is proud to support these common-sense rules to protect women from the false and deceptive practices that we see at fake women’s health centers around the state,” said Sarah Croucher, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut.  “It is unimaginable that a woman seeking an abortion will be lied to, shamed, and given medically incorrect information when she thinks she is in a real medical office. Yet that is happening on a regular basis right here in Hartford, and we are proud to have worked with Mayor Bronin in crafting this reasonable solution to protect women’s health. As fundamental reproductive rights are under threat at the national level, this is an important step at the local level that underscores Hartford’s commitment to reproductive freedom for all women.  We hope the state will follow suit and protect women around Connecticut from these deceptive practices.”

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