Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick, 66th Assembly District, Manhattan, announces Assembly passage of her legislation, A.5499, which directs the New York State Department of Health to conduct a study on the prevalence of limited service pregnancy centers, sometimes called “fake clinics.” These centers are not state licensed medical facilities, but frequently use tactics which can lead a reasonable person to think they can receive medical care. New Yorkers who may think they are pregnant may see an offer of a free pregnancy test as an indication that reproductive health services are available when the focus of these centers is to counsel against pregnancy termination.
Unlike licensed health care facilities, limited service pregnancy centers are entities that offer some but not all services needed by pregnant individuals. These unlicensed entities attract people who may be pregnant or think they might be. They offer some pregnancy-related services but may be unable or unwilling to perform or refer for an abortion or provide contraceptives. Startingly, much anecdotal evidence suggests that limited service pregnancy centers use misinformation, stalling tactics, and coercion to dissuade pregnant individuals from seeking an abortion.
This legislation will equip the Department of Health and legislators with a clearer understanding of the prevalence, services, affiliations, and other relevant information regarding limited service pregnancy centers in New York so policymakers can determine how to best support pregnant individuals in getting accurate information and safe reproductive health care. Companion legislation S.470 is sponsored by Senator Hoylman.
Assemblymember Glick stated, “The decision to keep or terminate a pregnancy is an incredibly personal and complex decision. It is critically important that pregnant New Yorkers get accurate, timely, and unbiased information regarding their health care options. Delays can lead to endangering the health of pregnant individuals and can deprive individuals of their right to seek an abortion if delayed long enough. The information collected under this legislation will help us to ensure pregnant New Yorkers have access to quality health care.”