Here in Olympia HB 1366 (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=1366&year=2011) is being considered.
Among other things, it would define pro-life pregnancy centers as a “limited service pregnancy center” because they do not offer abortion and (usually) contraception. Restrictions follow, along with the ability for ANY person who is ‘aggrieved’ by a violation in this bill to file a lawsuit – the results of which can be up to three times the damages sustained.
This is a blatant attempt to silence and suppress efforts to save our unborn children.
[Update - 2011-01-25, 1426]
Did you know you can find out your district & your representatives (at least in Washington) online? There is a “Find Your Legislator” tool. Clicking on any of the legislators brings you to their profile with a link to e-mail them. After confirming your address, you can e-mail one or all (!) of them from the same form.
Here is the e-mail I just sent to my legislators:
Dear Representative Hunt, Representative Reykdal and Senator Fraser,
Foremost please accept my thanks for your continued service to our state as representatives of the people of Washington. Your willingness to spend yourselves in this vocation helps ensure that Washington remains faithful to the needs and dreams of its citizens.
I am corresponding with you today to express my dismay at HB 1366, Concerning limited service pregnancy centers. My first concern is as a citizen who firmly believes that life begins at conception and as such, should be protected from that moment forward. Pregnancy centers helping to support frightened, disadvantaged and often abandoned mothers to bring their children to term and support them throughout their childhood are an important part of that belief.
HB 1366 threatens the very existence of these centers by requiring that they either provide prenatal medical care, comprehensive birth control services, and abortion or referrals for abortion OR by placing undue burdens that are specifically intended to punish them for not holding to these services – which are intrinsically opposed to the mission of these centers.
Moreover, HB 1366 gives the right to ANY person to file a lawsuit against a center that is alleged to be in violation of these unfair measures, potentially even if that person has never been in any relationship with that center. Given the polarizing effect of this issue, it is not hard to imagine how easily this provision could be abused.
Because of this, I urge you to NOT permit this bill to go beyond the current stage of committee consideration. As it is written it is unfair and subject to misuse. It is a dis-service to those citizens who work in these centers and those citizens would desire their assistance.
Father Jacob Maurer