Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick, 66th Assembly District, Manhattan, announces the passage through the Senate and Assembly of her legislation, A.5499 / S.470 (Hoylman), 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.”
Unlike licensed health care facilities, limited-service pregnancy centers are entities that advertise that they offer some services needed by pregnant individuals, although these centers are not state licensed medical facilities. They frequently use misleading tactics that lead reasonable people to think they can receive medical care. These centers typically use offers of free pregnancy tests to attract pregnant or potentially pregnant New Yorkers into their facilities in an effort to counsel the client against pregnancy termination.
While these centers hold themselves out as places where pregnant or potentially pregnant individuals can receive care, they actually serve to delay access to prenatal care or pregnancy termination, and in either case can be detrimental to the health of New Yorkers. 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.
Following the Assembly passage of this legislation on April 4th, the Senate passed the bill earlier today. The bill now awaits Governor Hochul’s signature
Assemblymember Glick stated, “The decision to keep or terminate a pregnancy may be the most challenging decision a person makes in their life. Pregnant New Yorkers must be able to make this complex and deeply personal decision with the help of a licensed medical professional, and free from fear, intimidation, and misinformation. 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.”