FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 1, 2011
STATEMENT OF ARCHBISHOP TIMOTHY M. DOLAN AND BISHOP NICHOLAS DIMARZIO ON PROPOSED PREGNANCY SERVICE CENTER BILL
Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York, and Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, have released a joint statement of opposition to Intro. 371, the so-called Pregnancy Service Center Bill, which is currently before the New York City Council. The Catholic Community Relations Council, a not-for-profit corporation founded to represent the policy interests of the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn in New York City, released the following statement on their behalf.
"A bill is now pending before the New York City Council, Intro.371, which is similar to a Baltimore law that was recently declared unconstitutional. This bill compels crisis pregnancy centers here in New York City to display certain disclaimers regarding their services.
This legislation is designed to prevent pro-life advocates from speaking freely merely because their speech is considered unwelcome by some powerful interest groups that favor abortion. While we are grateful that the City Council has listened to our concerns and removed some of the more draconian measures of the bill originally proposed last fall, we must still express our opposition to Intro. 371.
It is disappointing to see legislation that places restrictions on centers, which provide alternatives to abortion especially at a time when the abortion rate is so high in the city. Ultimately, this legislation will deprive some women of valuable services and information before they make their decision as to whether or not to have an abortion. In our view, this legislation violates the first amendment rights of our fellow New Yorkers and will have a profound consequence for women in need. It should therefore be rejected."