New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has issued seven subpoenas to crisis pregnancy centers in New York State; the February 1 deadline has been extended to February 15.  The centers must provide  documentation that will enable the attorney general’s office to determine whether there is evidence of practicing medicine without a license or whether the centers have practiced deceptive advertising.

Catholic League president William Donohue commented as follows:

“On January 22, 1999, I issued a news release questioning whether Eliot Spitzer was pro-Catholic or anti-Catholic.  The question was raised because when Spitzer was a candidate for the post of attorney general, he protested a decision by Independent Health that would have excluded Catholic hospitals from its coverage.  Spitzer blasted the decision as ‘heinous’ and did so by holding a press conference in front of Mercy Hospital in Buffalo.  Thus did he show his support for Catholic hospitals to decide their own health policies, including their right not to participate in abortions.  Yet no sooner had he been elected when he announced his opposition to hospital mergers of Catholic and secular facilities that honor Catholic prerogatives.  He recently lost a round on this issue.

“Catholics have also come to know Eliot Spitzer for his impassioned defense of laws that seek to repress the free speech rights of anti-abortion protesters.   For example, he has sought to stop protesters from ‘demonstrating, standing, sitting, lying down or posting or carrying signs’ on certain city blocks near abortion clinics and has even sought to ban ‘excessive noise.’  Now Spitzer has targeted crisis pregnancy centers.

“Since he’s been in office, Spitzer has defended the religious rights of Jews and Rastafarians.  Now his dealings with Catholics are on the line.  We will soon know what makes him tick.  If he treats crisis pregnancy centers the way he treats abortion clinics, Catholics will be grateful.”

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