Lethal Threat to Pro-Life Pregnancy Services

Pro-life pregnancy resources are being targeted for destruction by the New York State legislature.

Bill A05499 would authorize the New York State Health Commissioner to conduct a study of pro-life pregnancy centers in the state, potentially overwhelming their limited resources and largely volunteer staffs with requirements to compile and turn over to the state voluminous amounts of data and information.

That, along with the study’s “pre-determined outcome”—finding the services of these centers too “limited” because they do not include abortion—are clearly designed to “intimidate, silence and shut down pro-life centers,” in the words of the N.Y. State Catholic Conference.

This is confirmed by the fact that the bill authorizes no similar state investigation of abortion clinics; no collection of voluminous data from them; no questioning whether they apprise pregnant women of their full range of choices, including pro-life alternatives to abortion. Only pro-life centers are to be investigated, their survival threatened if they do not refer for abortions.

This bill is now on a fast track to passage after New York’s radically pro-abortion Democrats tightened their stranglehold on the legislature in last fall’s elections.

Consider what would be lost to women and children if these pro-life centers are legislated out of existence:

They provide referrals, for everything from medical support, financial resources and housing, to legal and social assistance and professional counseling; information, about pregnancy, prenatal care and childbirth—including, and this is what really drives the abortion industry’s opposition, information about the baby’s development and sometimes ultrasound imaging of the child in utero; information about adoption, community programs, training in parenting skills and child care; and free resources including pregnancy tests, maternity clothes, baby items, and 24/7 telephone helplines.

Pro-life maternity residences typically offer young single mothers housing and assistance through pregnancy, childbirth, and into motherhood, providing childcare and opportunities to develop parenting skills, complete their education and receive job training.

Most importantly, pro-life centers offer friendship, love, and hope to women in crisis and their children.

Why would government officials who claim to be “pro-choice” want to destroy centers that simply offer another choice to women contemplating abortion?

Because many such politicians are in thrall to the abortion lobby and lucrative abortion industry. That industry, besides being flush with government money, turns a profit by selling abortions. It doesn’t make any money when women choose not to abort, and so it doesn’t expend any effort or resources informing them of alternatives to abortion or assisting them when they choose life.

Nor can it tolerate those who do. So it seeks to destroy these loving ministries to women and children—ministries staffed largely by volunteers, that offer their services free of charge, without profit or government funding.

There needs now to be a powerful public outcry—of protest and opposition to this bill, and of support for these pro-life centers. This should come not only from pro-lifers, but from all caring people, including those who are truly “pro-choice” and want to assure that abortion is not the only choice accessible to women in crisis.

There should be a particular outcry from those Catholics who, while opposing abortion, are ambivalent about enacting laws to protect the unborn, preferring to focus precisely on what these centers do: help women access the resources they need to choose life for their child.

The public needs to understand the extremism of the abortion lobby, and this legislation is Exhibit A. They have never been about promoting choice. They are about promoting abortion; suppressing all opposition; and—most especially—destroying pregnancy resource centers that prevent abortions by assisting mothers who want to choose life for their child.   

So please, if you live in New York:

  • Contact your state senator and assembly member, respectfully but firmly urging them to oppose this attack on pro-life pregnancy support services;
  • Spread the word, in your families, churches, communities, among friends, urging them to make their voices heard as well;
  • If you are a member or leader of any groups or organizations, particularly religious ones, please work to involve them not only as individuals, but as a unified organization speaking with one voice to save these vital, life-affirming resources;
  • Pastors, and other church leaders, please share this information with your congregations, and urge them to help defend these pro-life ministries of love;
  • Volunteer, if you can, at one of these pro-life centers, or donate to them, so that should this insidious legislation pass, its intent of overwhelming their limited staffs and resources might at least be mitigated by an influx of new volunteers and funds.

If you live outside New York, but have family, friends, or other contacts here, please share this information with them, ask them to share it with others, and to make their voices heard as well. 

And understand that if this odious effort succeeds in New York, it will doubtless spur similar legislation in other states, and quite possibly in our national government as well.

And everyone, please pray.

Pray for all mothers and children who need these pro-life centers. Pray that God may change the hearts of legislators intent on destroying them.

And pray for our state and nation, as we plunge headlong, and ever more deeply, into the culture of death.       

Published by Rick Hinshaw

I have spent the last three decades in primarily Catholic communications work: as a reporter, news editor, columnist, and for eight years editor of The Long Island Catholic; several years as co-host and co-producer of The Catholic Forum program on the diocesan Telecare channel; two stints as Director of Communications for the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights; and a year as Associate Director for Communications at the New York State Catholic Conference. I also served for three years as Public Information Officer for the late Nassau County District Attorney Denis Dillon, a staunchly Catholic and active pro-life leader. Over that more than 30-year career, I have gained an ever deeper understanding of and appreciation for the moral and social teachings of our Church. In my various roles I have lent my voice to articulating those teachings and their applicability to the critical issues of our time. That is what I intend to do with this blog. Moreover, at a time when our political and social disagreements seem to have degenerated into constant vitriol, vilification, verbal abuse and intolerance of those who hold differing opinions, I hope that this blog can contribute, in some small way, to a restoration of respectful debate and discussion, where we can defend our beliefs forcefully without demonizing any who disagree with us. As a Catholic commentator, that is what I have always striven to do--remembering that even as we are called to stand firmly in defense of our Church, her teachings, and our right to be heard in the public square, we are also called always to be the face of Christ to the world--most especially to those with whom we disagree.

4 thoughts on “Lethal Threat to Pro-Life Pregnancy Services

  1. Hi Rick. Interesting piece, but not surprising. I looked up the bill itself and other articles about it. Seems targeted to pro-life/anti-abortion groups. Do the groups that are targeted get state funds or do they operate on donations alone? (And as an aside, if they don’t take gov’t funds, that’s a warning about what might come to private schools, too.) Rob

    On Sat, May 1, 2021, 11:59 AM Rick Hinshaw: Reading the Signs wrote:

    > Rick Hinshaw posted: ” Pro-life pregnancy resources are being targeted for > destruction by the New York State legislature. Bill A05499 would authorize > the New York State Health Commissioner to conduct a study of pro-life > pregnancy centers in the state, potentially overwhelmi” >


    1. Thanks, Rob. The vast majority of these centers do not receive any government money, partly to be protected against being forced to provide abortion counseling or abortion referrals. But as this legislation makes clear, pro-abortion forces will not let that stop them from imposing their will on these centers, or else forcing them to shut down. Several years ago, a California law requiring pro-life centers to refer for abortion was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Clarence Thomas, writing the majority opinion, based it on freedom of speech, saying the law unjustly required these centers to PROMOTE the very thing they existed to OPPOSE. So whether New York can actually get away with forcing the pro-life centers to refer for abortions or close their doors is open to question. But just the burdensome requirements they would have to meet to comply with the Health Commissioner’s “study” could be enough to drive many of them out of business.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Given the make-up of our legislature and the mindset of our governor, this will surely become law. When it does, are there any specific plans to file a suit to attempt to achieve what was accomplished when California tried to make crisis pregnancy centers, in essence, marketers for abortuaries?


    1. I understand that option is being looked at. Again, the ruling authored by Justice Thomas striking down the California law gives hope that New York will not be able to actually force pro-life centers to either refer for abortions or be shut down. The problem is that the burdens placed on the centers by the requirements of the Health Commissioner’s “study” might be enough to force some of them out of business.


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