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Screenshot of the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors Meeting PM Session on Nov. 7, 2023. (Screenshot credit: CountySanDiego/YouTube)

Pro-Life Citizens Halt San Diego Supervisor from Targeting 16 Pregnancy Centers, for Now

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Pro-life citizens in San Diego, California showed up in force at a county supervisors' board meeting on Tuesday to voice their opposition to a supervisor's proposal that aims to shut down 16 pregnancy care centers that she slandered as "fake and fraudulent." 

More opponents of San Diego County District 3 Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer's plan showed up at the meeting than supporters. According to the California Family Council, more than 60 people spoke in opposition to Lawson-Remer's proposal with 975 responding in written comments. No one spoke in support at the hearing, and only 60 people sent in supportive comments.

In her recommendation, Lawson-Remer had called for her fellow supervisors to support an educational campaign and possible legal action "to shut down fake and fraudulent crisis pregnancy centers," accusing them of spreading "blatant misinformation, presented as 'medical advice,'' that is designed to "stop individuals from terminating their pregnancy," according to The San Diego Union-Tribune

The outlet reported several people who spoke at the meeting pushed back against the idea that the centers were not qualified heath care providers. 

Leslie Carrillo pointed out that many of the pregnancy centers have government oversight. 

"Some of these licensed clinics are accredited by the Accreditation Association of Ambulatory Health Care, a nonpartisan accreditation bureau that sets medical, operational, and governance standards," Carrillo said, noting that the organization also enforces standards at other well-known names in local health care.

She also shot down the belief that centers intentionally slow down access to abortion for women who choose to end their pregnancies.

"It would have been quite evident that clinics do not delay care," she said. "In fact, their policies and procedures and standing orders are written so as to not delay a woman's care, nor do they actively try to stop individuals from terminating their pregnancy or actively interfere with a person's agency and decisions."

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slider img 2California Family Council's Outreach Director Sophia Lorey also spoke to the supervisors, highlighting the professionalism exhibited by pregnancy care centers in San Diego County with 13 being licensed by the California Department of Public Health and two more being run by licensed sole practices of physicians. 

She also pointed out the substantial contribution of pregnancy centers to the state, valued at over $14.2 million in free services and support in 2019 alone. "By attacking pregnancy centers, you are only hurting the San Diego County residents in need of their services," Lorey told the board.

According to the California Family Council, Anne O'Connor, J.D., vice president of legal affairs for the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) came to the San Diego pregnancy centers' defense as well. She voiced her condemnation of the proposal in a letter to the board. 

"Supervisor Lawson-Remer's outrageously unconstitutional proposal attacking the good work of legitimate non-profits is unwarranted," O'Connor wrote, referencing the Supreme Court case NIFLA v. Becerra, which "defended California pregnancy centers in 2018 by reversing a state law forcing pregnancy care centers to tell clients where to get a free abortion." 

"Supervisor Lawson-Remer and her Planned Parenthood partners are acting egregiously in their attacks against life-affirming pregnancy centers, most of whom are licensed by the CA Dept of Public Health as primary care clinics. Lawson-Remer's aggression against these centers is unwarranted; not based on any facts or actual complaints; and motivated by an extreme political agenda. It only serves to hurt the people of San Diego County who need the services provided by pregnancy centers," O'Connor continued. 

In addition to asking County Counsel to make recommendations for filing lawsuits against all of the pregnancy centers in the county, Lawson-Remer's proposal would also have the county create a public awareness campaign complete with billboards and social media advertisements designed to discredit pregnancy care centers and promote abortion services instead, according to the California Family Council. 

Lawson-Remer told the meeting she brought the proposal to the board after hearing from residents who were "lured in an unsuspecting way into these clinics that did not actually provide medically-accredited care," according to The Union-Tribune.

The outlet also reported the supervisor said those centers that operate with appropriate oversight have nothing to fear. 

"Let us be clear, there are a range of services and a range of crisis centers here in San Diego County," Lawson-Remer said. "The purpose of this bill today is only to target those that are operating outside the law, that are not accredited, that are not providing medically certified treatment and services."

At the end of the discussion period, the four-member board split the vote in a tie, stalling the proposal, but not for long.  A new supervisor will be seated on the board on Dec. 5 when the proposal will be heard and voted on again. 

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of