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Pregnancy center signs are necessary

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In her recent commentary concerning Baltimore's pregnancy-center ordinance ("Free services? Some 'threat,'" July 17), Marta H. Mossburg overlooks key evidence relied on by the Baltimore City Council that pregnancy centers often engage in deceptive practices to lure women seeking contraception and abortion services to their facilities under false pretenses.

This evidence included an online advertisement offering to provide women "considering abortion" with "medical services." The advertisement used the term "abortion" six times, but it never once stated that the advertised centers did not provide abortion services or referrals. The city has no objection to pregnancy centers generally and refers to them women who are seeking the services that they actually provide. But for women seeking time-sensitive contraception and abortion services — the provision of which are already highly regulated by the state — the deceptive practices of pregnancy centers can cause dangerous delays in access to care.

The modest sign required by the ordinance is a simple and non-intrusive way to eliminate this threat to public health while ensuring that all women in Baltimore City have timely access to the pregnancy-related services of their choosing.

George Nilson, Baltimore

The writer is Baltimore City solicitor.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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