An Opportunity to Influence the Austin City Council…

Austin City Councilman Bill Spelman announced earlier today his intention to propose a new code requiring Pregnancy Centers in town to post a sign at their entrance indicating that they do not perform abortions.  The argument is made that this is done in the interest of full disclosure.  After seeing the vehement comments that have already been posted at the announcement on Statesman.com, I fear we may miss the opportunity to  do something positive here.

Rather than automatically accusing the Councilman of an agenda to funnel women to abortion providers, why not respectfully request that the postings become effective for all pregnancy centers in town – regardless of position?  That would be just fine with me.  After all, it would remove the  accusations that NARAL has made that pro-life centers are trying to trick women into choosing life or adoption, and provide a new opportunity for abortion providers to step up and be forthcoming about their own intentions.  (By the way, I spoke with Councilman Spelman on the phone earlier, and he has agreed to call into the Ryan Rush Show on Tuesday or Wednesday and take your questions.)

Before you let the proposal ruin your weekend, I would recommend that you send a respectful email to Councilman Spelman – and perhaps the others on the Council – asking them to consider expanding the proposal to increase clarity for all women.  Something along these lines:

Dear Councilman Spelman,

Thank you for all of the work you do on behalf of our city.  I noticed today that you have submitted a proposal to the Council for a vote next week regarding signs at the city’s pregnancy centers who do not provide abortions.  As you have stated, the signs would not be inflammatory in nature, and are not intended to be divisive, but instead are intended to provide clarity.  Disclosure can certainly be a good thing – especially for those who are facing such a difficult situation.  I want to ask you and other members of the Council to make one adjustment.  Why not require such postings at all pregnancy centers, requiring clarity regarding their abortion services?  That way, a woman could know at the entrance exactly where that center stands.  A center that does provide abortions would have the same-sized signs stating simply, “This Center provides abortions or refers to abortion providers. This center also provide or refers to providers of U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved birth control drugs and medical devices.”

As a supporter of area Crisis Pregnancy Centers, I believe that this could help to further enhance everyone’s understanding of the variety of clinics in the city.  Thank you for your consideration of this proposal.

Respectfully Submitted,

______________________

You can reach Councilman Bill Spelman online at this link.   Before you get angry, consider the opportunity this may present.  Have a great weekend!

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