By George P. Matysek Jr.
The Baltimore City Council passed a bill Nov. 23 that imposes new requirements on four pro-life pregnancy centers in the city. Council members James B. Kraft, Bernard “Jack” Young and Agnes Welch were the only lawmakers on the 15-member council to oppose the measure, which requires pro-life pregnancy centers to post signs indicating that they do not provide abortion or birth control.
The bill now goes to Mayor Sheila Dixon, who has not indicated whether she will sign it into law.
Councilman Kraft was the only lawmaker to speak on the bill prior to the vote. He opposed it, he said, because it does not require women’s centers that provide abortion to indicate what pregnancy-related services they do not offer. His amendment to broaden the bill had been defeated on a 10-5 vote Nov. 16.
Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was the chief sponsor of the controversial measure, which drew the strong opposition of Catholic leaders who said it singled pro-life pregnancy centers out for harassment. If the bill becomes law, it would fine centers $150 a day for failing to post signs.
More to come.