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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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Day two of David Pecker testimony wraps in NY Trump trial; Supreme Court hears arguments on Idaho's near-total abortion ban; ND sees a flurry of campaigning among Native candidates; and NH lags behind other states in restricting firearms at polling sites.

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The Senate moves forward with a foreign aid package. A North Carolina judge overturns an aged law penalizing released felons. And child protection groups call a Texas immigration policy traumatic for kids.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

'Deceptive' tactics by crisis pregnancy centers focus of MA legislation

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Monday, February 26, 2024   

Legislation in Massachusetts would ban some of the tactics used by "crisis pregnancy centers" to prevent people from having abortions.

Many of the centers have the words "medical" or "health" in their names, but do not offer licensed reproductive medical care.

Laurie Veninger, reproductive rights activist for the Indivisible Massachusetts Coalition, said the centers advertise "free" tests and ultrasounds and then pressure women into continuing their pregnancies.

"If they were a business, that would be curtailed by existing laws about deceptive advertising," Veninger pointed out. "But these places are religious nonprofits."

Veninger explained the crisis centers are often located near abortion providers, where anti-abortion activists try to lure people their way. Abortion opponents contend the centers simply offer confidential services to those facing unplanned pregnancies.

Following complaints, the Department of Public Health recently sent a memo to nearly 30 crisis pregnancy centers regarding state laws and patients' rights.

Veninger argued Massachusetts is "in the crosshairs" of what she calls "religious extremists," targeting states where abortion remains legal. She asserted many low-income people are being deceived, with potentially dangerous outcomes.

"Some of them have told us that they called up and made an appointment, because they thought they were going there for an abortion," Veninger observed. "And then when they got there, didn't get one, and then, they had to wait another week to get the appointment at the real clinic."

Veninger emphasized the extra week can mean the difference between having a medication abortion or requiring a surgical procedure. A class-action lawsuit claims a nurse at the Clearway Clinic in Worcester County failed to inform a patient her ultrasound showed an ectopic pregnancy, nearly costing the patient her life.


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