FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Baltimore, MD, December 7, 2009 – Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon made history on Friday by signing Bill #09-0406 into law. This law now requires “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) to post a sign in their waiting rooms that states that they do not refer or provide birth control or abortion.
As a GYN provider to 6,000 women annually in the City of Baltimore, Planned Parenthood of Maryland applauds Mayor Dixon and City Council President Rawlings-Blake, the bill’s sponsor. “I am pleased that the City Council studied the evidence and was concerned about the health and well-being of the women of Baltimore,” stated Keiren Havens, Vice President for External Relations at Planned Parenthood of Maryland. “Women will read this disclaimer and then decide whether they want to stay or whether they would rather go to a trusted healthcare provider.”
Baltimore City is now the first jurisdiction in the country to have passed legislation requiring “truth in advertising” by CPCs. “The Mayor has a strong commitment to improving the city’s public health,” Havens says. “This commonsense bill fits with her on-going efforts to reduce teen pregnancy and ensure women’s access to birth control.”
This measure is supported by Planned Parenthood of Maryland, NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, the Women’s Law Center of Maryland, Baltimore NOW, the Maryland Chapter of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Healthcare for the Homeless, Baltimore Healthy Start, Inc., University of Baltimore School of Law Center on Applied Feminism, and numerous physicians, nurses, researchers, and social workers in the Baltimore community.
The mission of Planned Parenthood of Maryland is to enable all Marylanders to have access to a wide range of high quality affordable reproductive health care services. By providing medical services, education, training and advocacy, PPM seeks to help individuals make informed decisions about their reproductive health, family planning options and sexuality.