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Andy Harris: Baltimore should attack violence, not pregnancy centers

In the last paragraph of his reply ("Pregnancy center signs are necessary," July 24) to Marta H. Mossburg's opinion article about the ridiculousness of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's legal crusade against crisis pregnancy centers, Baltimore City Solicitor George Nilson reveals what his agenda and that of Mayor Rawlings-Blake really is — "to eliminate this threat to public health."

From a physician's point of view, that's a pretty interesting way to describe the usually faith-based, free charitable care to women who face a true life crisis — a crisis that exists because the government-run social welfare system fails to provide the care (other than abortion) that these sometimes desperate women need during a crisis pregnancy. In Baltimore, these centers mainly treat women of color, especially women in the immigrant community who frequently fall through the social welfare cracks in Baltimore. And the government's inability to provide such care is understandable, given the financial disaster that describes the city's budget woes.

Instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in courtrooms trying to close down crisis pregnancy centers, maybe the time, money, and attention of the mayor and city solicitor would be much better spent dealing with the increasing carnage on the streets of Baltimore. This uncontrolled violence represents a far greater "threat to public health" than a group of volunteers in crisis pregnancy centers trying to help women in need.

Rep. Andy Harris, Cockeysville

The writer, a Republican, represents Maryland's 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is also a physician.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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