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APHA rallies for reproductive health.

Crisis pregnancy centers that mislead women endanger their health, APHA told an appeals court this winter.

On Feb. 3, APHA joined other public health advocates in issuing a friend-of-the-court brief in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals case of Greater Baltimore Center for Pregnancy Concerns Inc. v Mayor and City Council of Baltimore. In the brief, APHA voiced its support for the city's requirement that crisis pregnancy centers make the scope of their services clear with a sign posted on the premises. Crisis pregnancy centers work to deter women from having abortions-without medical staff or science-based information--creating undue burden for women seeking reproductive health care.

In the appeal, Baltimore city officials argued in favor of a city ordinance, struck down by a lower court, that crisis pregnancies centers such as the plaintiff must disclose, through a sign posted on their premises, that they do not provide abortions or comprehensive contraception counseling.

In their brief to the court, APHA and other health advocates encouraged the court to support the ordinance, noting that requiring crisis pregnancy centers to make the scope of their services clear helps these women to make informed decisions and take steps to improve their health and well-being. Minimizing the time a woman must wait between deciding to have an abortion and the time she receives it alleviates the health risks associated with continued pregnancy and abortion at later gestation, as well as the increasing costs associated with later abortion.

In addition to discouraging women from seeking abortion, crisis pregnancy centers have given incorrect information on contraception and other reproductive health matters--which could result in their later failure to use contraception that otherwise would prevent unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections, according to the brief.

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Title Annotation:APHA ADVOCATES: Recent actions on public health by APHA
Author:Wahowiak, Lindsey
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Apr 1, 2017
Previous Article:APHA: Federal rules must protect health.
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