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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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Day of action focuses on CT undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; ND looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.

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Seven jury members were seated in Trump's hush money case. House Speaker Johnson could lose his job over Ukraine aid. And the SCOTUS heard oral arguments in a case that could undo charges for January 6th rioters.

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Fears grow that low-income folks living in USDA housing could be forced out, North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues, and small towns are eligible for grants to boost civic participation..

'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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