Sunday, July 11, 2010

Abortion advocates target "false advertising"

Every once in a while, I see things happening on the abortion issue that I can oppose both on pro-life and libertarian grounds. For example, as this article explains,
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) have reintroduced a bill (first introduced in 2007) that would require the Federal Trade Commission to “promulgate rules to prohibit, as an unfair and deceptive act or practice, any person from advertising with the intent to deceptively create the impression that such person is a provider of abortion services if such person does not provide abortion services.”
Exactly what kind of deception in advertising have crisis pregnancy centers ever committed?
NARAL’s website, for example, says that crisis pregnancy centers “often mislead women into believing that they provide a full range of reproductive-health services. They do so by using questionable advertising tactics and providing dishonest or evasive answers when women call to inquire about their services.”
"Questionable advertising tactics"? "Evasive answers"? Oh, the injustice!

There is simply no hard evidence of pregnancy centers directly misrepresenting themselves. It is simple enough to ask, "Do you perform abortions?" and there is not one instance of a pregnancy center claiming, "Yes, we do." It is extremely hypocritical to ask that crisis pregnancy centers should be any more up front about what they are than abortion clinics, which often have names like "Charlottesville Medical Center For Women" or "Annandale Women and Family Center." Funny how they generally avoid the word "abortion" in their names.

Why exactly do we need government intervention in this matter? I think the answer is quite simple, really: money. Some might speculate that here is another example of abortion advocates militantly trying to suppress their ideological opponents. That may be true, but I would venture to say that it probably just comes down to business trying to protect its own interest. Clear the competition when it comes to advertising, and you can more effectively attract customers.

In general, we don't need government regulations helping businesses gain bigger profits. In particular, we certainly don't need government regulations protecting the abortion industry from competition in advertising. It would appear that the pro-"choice" movement is really quite the opposite of what the name suggests. Not only do they want the government to protect their businesses from free competition, they also believe that we're too dumb to choose what kind of "family planning" services we actually want.

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