It is so important that our local government representatives are being educated by us–not the opposition–about how we serve our communities.

Do you ever look back on something and wish you could have a do-over? After all, hindsight is 20/20.

For years, we have been warned to watch for attacks against pregnancy clinics. We’ve been encouraged to form relationships with our local government representatives and to invite them to see our great work. That way, when the abortion activists attempt to advance anti-pregnancy clinic legislation, we have legislators who understand that we operate with integrity and will vote in our favor.

I wish I had paid attention.

In Los Angeles we have recently lost our battle against AB 775. This recent law (passed last year) requires medical pregnancy centers/clinics to post a notice for all patients providing them the phone number to obtain government funding for birth control and abortion services. We not only lost, but we lost decisively.

For years, the abortion lobby has been strategically working behind the scenes to undermine the pregnancy clinic movement. In the meantime, we’ve been looking the other way…naively hoping things will continue as is. Then, all of a sudden, we hear of dangerous legislation being debated. By then, it’s too late.

After losing AB 775, we were told on a Sunday night that the next morning there would be a Health Committee Meeting to discuss deceptive practices in Pregnancy Centers. What? Who is even on the Health Committee?

So the next morning, my chairman and I listened in on this Health Committee Meeting. The entire hearing, with the exception of one 60-second pro-pregnancy clinic testimony, was a series of false statements about pregnancy clinics. They talked about how pregnancy clinics “lure their victims in” through deceptive advertising, delay their care, shame women, and provide inaccurate information. And let me tell you, they paint with a very broad brush to imply that this is standard procedure for all pregnancy clinics.

To be honest, if I had been on the Health Committee and didn’t have a good understanding of pregnancy centers and clinics, I also would have great concern about the claims being made. Most people agree that false advertising, delaying care, shaming women, and providing inaccurate information is not ok. And if that’s all I had heard about pregnancy clinics, I would have voted to stop those practices as well.  

What do our local government representatives know about our work? When these committee meetings are called or when legislation is introduced, do our representatives know enough about how we serve our communities? Or are we passively letting abortion advocates define our work in the minds of our representatives?

I will no longer stand idly by while the opposition works to shut us down. I hope you won’t either!  Let’s not be naïve.  Rather, let’s winsomely and proudly educate our community about the great work of pregnancy centers and clinics. My hope is that you don’t look back wishing you could have a “do-over.”


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Debi Harvey is Executive Director of Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic in Northridge, CA.