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Rep. Brian Elder Attacks Prolife Pregnancy Centers

August 16, 2018, Lansing, Mich. -- On Wednesday, State Rep. Brian Elder (D-Bay City) introduced HB 6281, an unconstitutional bill attacking the freedom of speech of prolife pregnancy help centers.

Rep. Elder’s bill closely mirrors a law in California that was struck down on June 26 by the U.S. Supreme Court in NIFLA v. Becerra.

Amy Srebinski is executive director of Beacon of Hope Pregnancy Care Center, the prolife pregnancy help center in Rep. Elder’s district. Srebinski was confused about why Rep. Elder would want to pursue unconstitutional legislation.

Srebinski said, “This doesn’t make sense. Why would he introduce a bill already struck down by the Supreme Court?”

The legislation would require prolife pregnancy help centers to display a notice in advertising larger than the text of their own message. The notice would state that they are an unlicensed facility. The purpose of the legislation is to effectively prevent prolife pregnancy centers from advertising, in order to give abortion businesses a competitive advantage.

Srebinski said, “We gain nothing financially from what we do. Nothing about what we do is deceptive. This tells me he has no idea what pregnancy centers really do.”

Organizations that support abortion frequently describe prolife pregnancy help centers as “fake clinics.” In Michigan, there are more than 150 pregnancy and adoption help centers that offer a variety of services, including pregnancy counseling, pregnancy tests, free ultrasounds, maternity and children’s clothing, formula, diapers, and other services.

Srebinski said, “We give away tens of thousands of dollars in services that help women. We see approximately 100 clients a month and give away about 72,000 diapers a year.”

The legislation represents a stunning reversal for Rep. Elder, who declared himself to be 100 percent prolife and was endorsed by the Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee (RLM-PAC) in the 2016 election.

In an April 26 article published by Gongwer, Rep. Elder announced he would not be seeking the RLM-PAC endorsement but said his views about abortion haven’t changed. He said he had "absolutely no plans to do anything substantive on the issue." Now four months later, Rep. Elder has introduced unconstitutional legislation targeting prolife nonprofit pregnancy help centers.

Srebinski said, “It’s very unfortunate that he’s taking this stance.”

Right to Life of Michigan is calling on Rep. Elder to withdraw his unconstitutional bill attacking prolife pregnancy centers.

Srebinski said, “I’d like to make an open invitation to Mr. Elder to visit our center and learn more about us.”

For more information: Right to Life of Michigan Director of Communication/Education Chris Gast, 616-532-2300, info@rtl.org.

Background information:
Rep. Elder's Betrayal
HB 6281
NIFLA v. Becerra
April 26, 2018 Gongwer Article
Pregnancy and Adoption Help Agencies in Michigan

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