". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


New York Surveys Pregnancy Resource Centers, Signals Possible Crackdown: NY Pro-Life Leader

October 3, 2023

Although its abortion industry has killed dozens of women and permanently injured untold numbers more, a Democratic state has taken the first step to censuring pro-life pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) for refusing to carry out abortions, a pro-life leader tells The Washington Stand.

The New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) sent out surveys late last month asking sensitive questions about the inner workings of the state’s pro-life pregnancy centers, which frequently offer pregnancy services under medical supervision at no charge, including their connections, sources of funding, and how they collect and transmit information about abortion. The forms are meant to gauge “the impact of [pro-life] limited services pregnancy centers on the ability” of “pregnant people” to “obtain accurate and non-coercive health care information” and receive the “comprehensive” care including abortion and sterilization. They also inquire whether PRC volunteers unconditionally “support their personal decision-making.”

State leaders on both sides of the abortion divide have signaled the questionnaire, mandated under a 2022 law, will likely lead to more restrictive regulation or punishment of pro-life women’s centers. The survey asks pro-life centers questions that could be used to cut off their funding, probe their organizational networks, and shut down their right to freedom of speech.

The NYS DOH asks pro-life centers about the demographic information of the women they serve, particularly asking the centers whether they received state-funded Medicaid, or any other state funding or “tax subsidies.” The Department of Health asks pro-life centers to furnish a copy of all their operational manuals and guidelines, and to detail their relationship to any larger umbrella organizations.

The DOH asks which specific avenues pro-life women’s centers use to advertise themselves, and whether they present themselves as medical facilities that provide “comprehensive, all-options pregnancy counseling.” It then asks if the centers, which are largely staffed by people of faith, provide “abortion care,” sex education, and such potentially abortifacient methods of contraception as the IUD.

Apparently attempting to discover a “harm” caused by pro-life pregnancy resource centers, the survey asks, “Have your clients informed you that they have experienced a delay in receiving … abortion … due to a visit to your facility?”

The survey also asks what kind of personally identifiable information the PRC collects, including past “pregnancy outcomes,” such as whether the woman has had a previous abortion, how the information is stored, and under what circumstances they share it. That comes after pro-abortion lobbyists contended, without evidence, that pro-life PRCs may pass on confidential medical information to prosecutors, who would prosecute women. (Not a single state pro-life law punishes the mother for having an abortion; penalties apply to the abortionists who carry out the procedures.)

The statewide probe comes in response to a law sponsored by State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal (D-47) and signed into law last summer by Governor Kathy Hochul (D). While signing an abortion legislative package, Hochul said America regards abortion as synonymous with “freedom and liberty … except in the eyes of some Neanderthals.”

State pro-life leaders took offence that the wording of the law refers to their medical centers as “limited service pregnancy centers,” because they cannot in good conscience “provide or refer for the full range of comprehensive reproductive and sexual health care services … including, but not limited to … abortion.” The CEO of CompassCare, a pro-life medical network whose Buffalo office was firebombed six days before Hochul signed the bill authorizing the anti-PRC investigations, said his offices provide a more supportive array of health care services than abortionists.

“We’re the ones providing everything but abortion for free, while abortionists do nothing but abortion for a fee,” Rev. Jim Harden, the medical ethicist who leads CompassCare, told The Washington Stand. “Abortion is not medicine. Abortion is quackery. The reason the original Hippocratic Oath says, ‘I will not give a woman an abortive remedy’ is because abortion represents the opposite of the purpose of medicine, to heal and maintain the health of the patient.”

Once completed, the results of these surveys will be compiled into a report, which politicians will use to draw up policies that “address any service gaps or negative impacts” on the abortion industry. Harden says pro-life advocates can hardly hope to receive a fair hearing, because the policies will come from a nine-member taskforce which, by law, must include an abortionist who is a member of the pro-abortion American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and “whose practice includes … termination of pregnancy,” as well as a staff member of New York Attorney General Letitia James (D).

James’s office has claimed pro-life women’s centers present women with “dangerous situations and harmful experiences.”

James called on Google to end its “amplification” of “fake pregnancy centers,” adding, “My office will do whatever is necessary to work with Google to make these changes.” Sixteen pro-life state attorneys general replied with their own letter, demanding Google refuse to alter its algorithm to further James’s preferred political outcomes.

Yet, as The Washington Stand previously reported, independent abortionists in New York state have killed at least 38 women and girls as young as 13. Among those whom abortions may have permanently injured is a 16-year-old black girl, who says an abortionist’s botched administration of the abortion pill mifepristone left her “sick, sore, lame and disabled.” The abortionist did not notice that the pill did not work, she says, causing her to give birth to a baby suffering from lifelong, “profound birth defects.”

On the other hand, pro-life pregnancy resource centers provided $3.6 million in medical services and supplies, including $1.4 million in medical supplies and services, $1.5 million in family services, and $553,000 in materials. In all, PRCs served 26,163 people in 2019. Visitors to pregnancy resource centers in 2019 received:

  • 35,459 free baby outfits;
  • 34,220 free packs of diapers;
  • 7,615 free pregnancy tests;
  • 4,568 ultrasounds;
  • 1,526 tests for sexually transmitted diseases/infections;
  • 254 free car seats; and
  • Countless other goods and services.

Despite this record, last May Hochul gave abortionists $35 million in taxpayer funding in the name of advancing “human rights.” A month earlier, she began stockpiling abortion drugs. She also signed a bill granting the abortion industry immunity for mailing mifepristone to pro-life states that make the drug illegal.

This latest push against pro-life women’s centers comes as Hochul, the ACLU, and Planned Parenthood gear up for a 2024 ballot initiative that would ban state lawmakers from passing any further laws protecting life.

“The law does not appear to contain any penalties for non-compliance,” CompassCare told TWS. “I will only consider complying with Hochul’s Stalinist law, designed to attack the politically disfavored by circumventing the justice system, when audits of abortionists are made public by the Department of Health,” said Harden.

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.