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California city official withdraws plan to close down pro-life pregnancy care centers   

Attendees participate in a meeting of the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors of San Diego, California, on Dec. 5, 2023.
Attendees participate in a meeting of the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors of San Diego, California, on Dec. 5, 2023. | Screenshot: sdcounty.granicus.com

A California county official has withdrawn plans to take legal action against more than a dozen pro-life pregnancy care centers after reportedly receiving negative feedback from locals.

Vice Chair of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors Terra Lawson-Remer withdrew a proposal titled "Advancing Reproductive Rights Education and Pursuing Litigation to Shut Down Fake and Fraudulent Crisis Pregnancy Centers" that was on the agenda for the Board of Supervisors' regular meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

After announcing her intention to champion the measure, Lawson-Remer's office received several phone calls protesting the proposal, according to the social conservative activist group California Family Council.

Last month, Lawson-Remer held a press conference to announce that she would ask the board to consider implementing a policy that would involve suing pro-life pregnancy centers.

If approved, the measure would have impacted 16 local centers, which the elected official claimed were engaging in deceptive advertising to lure pregnant women away from abortion providers.

"They're fake centers pretending to offer reproductive health care advice to women," said Lawson-Remer, as quoted by the San Diego-based KPBS.

"Luring unsuspecting women into their doors with misleading information — women who are looking for medical advice, looking for medical help."

Lawson-Remer alleged that the pro-life centers were "doing a lot of advertising" online so that "when women google 'pregnancy help' or questions, 'abortion, prenatal care,' these centers are coming up in the search engine."

Carolyn Koole, executive director at Hope Clinic for Women in Fallbrook, took issue with the supervisor's claims, telling KPBS that her assessment of the pro-life centers was inaccurate.

"If the Board really wanted to aid women in unsupported pregnancies, they would be promoting pregnancy centers, not trying to shut them down," said Koole.

"It is a travesty that they are directly targeting centers whose mission is to aid women at no cost solely because they are pro-abortion and we are not."

Dean R. Broyles, president and chief counsel of the National Center for Law & Policy, sent a complaint letter to the supervisors board last week denouncing the proposal as "Orwellian."

"Lawson-Remer's proposal seeks to establish a government pro-abortion orthodoxy and monopoly in San Diego County by targeting, destroying and eradicating pro-life pregnancy care centers who dissent from or diverge from her personal pro-abortion beliefs," wrote Broyles.

"That is not the American way. San Diego County citizens must remain free to support [pregnancy care centers] and, when in need, seek the assistance of life-affirming organizations consistent with their beliefs and worldview, even if Ms. Lawson-Remer or other [board of supervisors] members disagree."

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