Requires pregnancy service centers to disclose certain information to clients.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to requiring pregnancy service centers to disclose certain information to clients
PURPOSE: Requires pregnancy service centers to disclose certain information to clients
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section One of the bill adds a new section to the Public Health Law, 2503-a to state that a pregnancy service center shall disclose to a client the following information:
* That the Department of Health encourage women who are or who may be pregnant to consult with a licensed medical provider;
* If it does or does not have a licensed medical provider or staff who provides or directly supervises the provision of all services at such pregnancy service centers;
* If it does or does not provide referrals for abortion;
* If it does or does not provide or provide referrals for emergency contraception; and
* If it does or does not provide referrals for prenatal care;
The disclosures required by this section must be provided in writing, in English and Spanish in a size and style determined by the Commissioner of Health on at least one sign conspicuously posted in the entrance of the pregnancy service center, at least one additional sign posted in any area where clients wait to receive services and in any advertisement promoting. the services of in clear and prominent letter type in a size and style determined by the Commissioner of Health.
The disclosure must also be provided orally, whether in person or telephone communication, upon a client or prospective client request for any of the following services; (1) abortion, (2) emergency contraception and/or 3) prenatal care.
EXISTING LAW: New law
JUSTIFICATION: So-called "crisis pregnancy centers," or CPCs, have been found to engage in deceptive practices, which include misleading consumers about the types of goods and services they provide and the availability of licensed medical providers that provide or oversee services on-site. These deceptive practices can impede and/or delay consumers' access to reproductive health care and counseling from a licensed medical provider. Furthermore, delayed access to abortion and emergency contraception increases health risks and financial burdens and may eliminate a woman's ability to obtain these services altogether.
According to a report by NARAL Pro-Choice New York Foundation entitled "She Said Abortion Could Cause Breast Cancer," "crisis pregnancy centers are typically non-profit organizations posing as pseudo-medical facilities operated by anti-choice activists that aim to coerce women considering abortion into carrying their pregnancies to term."
This legislation requires all pregnancy service centers to provide clear disclosure of crucial information that health care consumers, including pregnant women for whom quality health care services is especially important, need to make informed decisions.
In 2002, former New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer launched an investigation into CPCs throughout New York State. A resulting settlement agreement required one CPC, Birthright of Victor New York, Inc., to disclose certain information, including that the company is not a licensed medical provider, so that health care consumers may make informed decisions about whether to solicit the business. Unfortunately, other CPCs continue to operate without any disclosure requirements, leaving New Yorkers susceptible to this dangerous deception.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5175 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 13, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. HOYLMAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to requiring pregnan- cy service centers to disclose certain information to clients THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 2503-a to read as follows: S 2503-A. PREGNANCY SERVICE CENTER DISCLOSURES. 1. A PREGNANCY SERVICES CENTER SHALL DISCLOSE TO A CLIENT THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION: (A) THAT THE DEPARTMENT AND THE DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HYGIENE ENCOURAGE WOMEN WHO ARE OR WHO MAY BE PREGNANT TO CONSULT WITH A LICENSED MEDICAL PROVIDER; (B) IF IT DOES OR DOES NOT HAVE A LICENSED MEDICAL PROVIDER ON STAFF WHO PROVIDES OR DIRECTLY SUPERVISES THE PROVISION OF ALL OF THE SERVICES AT SUCH PREGNANCY SERVICES CENTER; (C) IF IT DOES OR DOES NOT PROVIDE OR PROVIDE REFERRALS FOR ABORTION; (D) IF IT DOES OR DOES NOT PROVIDE OR PROVIDE REFERRALS FOR EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION; AND (E) IF IT DOES OR DOES NOT PROVIDE OR PROVIDE REFERRALS FOR PRENATAL CARE. 2. THE DISCLOSURES REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION MUST BE PROVIDED: (A) IN WRITING, IN ENGLISH AND SPANISH IN A SIZE AND STYLE AS DETER- MINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH RULES PROMULGATED BY THE COMMISSIONER ON: (I) AT LEAST ONE SIGN CONSPICUOUSLY POSTED IN THE ENTRANCE OF THE PREGNANCY SERVICES CENTER; (II) AT LEAST ONE ADDITIONAL SIGN POSTED IN ANY AREA WHERE CLIENTS WAIT TO RECEIVE SERVICES; AND (III) IN ANY ADVERTISEMENT PROMOTING THE SERVICES OF SUCH PREGNANCY SERVICES CENTER IN CLEAR AND PROMINENT LETTER TYPE AND IN A SIZE AND STYLE TO BE DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH RULES PROMULGATED BY THE COMMISSIONER; ANDEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10932-01-3 S. 5175 2
(B) ORALLY, WHETHER BY IN PERSON OR TELEPHONE COMMUNICATION, UPON A CLIENT OR PROSPECTIVE CLIENT REQUEST FOR ANY OF THE FOLLOWING SERVICES: (I) ABORTION; (II) EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION; OR (III) PRENATAL CARE. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.