The New York City Council is on the verge of passing legislation that would require pro-life pregnancy centers to post signs on their premises and include in their advertising statements that they do "not provide abortion or FDA-approved contraceptive drugs and devices" and they do not "provide referrals to individuals or organizations that provide abortion or FDA-approved contraceptive drugs and devices." Penalties are a $250-to-$1000 fine for the first violation and $500-to-$2500 fines for succeeding violations. Facilities with three violations in a two-year period could be sealed for five days, and noncompliance after orders to seal a facility could incur additional fines and imprisonment.
The American Center for Law and Justice is opposing the legislation on the grounds that it violates the First Amendment, and NYCLU Director Donna Lieberman, while supporting the purpose of the bill, "urged the Council to revise the draft legislation so centers weren't targeted solely because they don't provide abortions." Chris Slattery, the president of E.M.C. Pregnancy Centers, was quoted in an article in the New York Times last month as saying, “They [Planned Parenthood] don’t do pro-life counseling. Why don’t we have on Planned Parenthood’s door ‘No pro-life counseling, only pro-abortion counseling’ — O.K.? Let’s just have a level playing field.”