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Mayes issues consumer alert on crisis pregnancy centers; Republicans want retraction

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(The Center Square) – Arizona Republican lawmakers are asking Attorney General Kris Mayes to retract a consumer alert on crisis pregnancy centers.

A news release from Mayes’ office on Wednesday said that the centers, which are meant to assist pregnant women as an alternative to Planned Parenthood or other abortion facilities, are masked as “legitimate healthcare clinics” but have the intent of encouraging women not to have abortions.

“Arizonans should be aware that CPCs may make misleading statements about the services they provide, or otherwise attempt to deceive patients in medically vulnerable situations. It’s important for patients to do their research and consult legitimate healthcare providers when seeking abortion care,” Mayes said in a statement explaining the alert.

“My office will also be monitoring for complaints about threats against patients, doctors, healthcare staff, and others regarding abortion care,” she continued.

Rep. Neal Carter, R-San Tan Valley, said in a news conference with other Republicans on Wednesday that he felt compelled to speak out against the alert as co-chairman of the Arizona Republican Family Caucus. Carter expressed concern that it could lead to “frivolous complaints” being filed, adding that Mayes is “abusing her statutory authority.”

“Pregnancy centers have First Amendment rights, which the Supreme Court upheld in 2018 in NIFLA v. Becerra,” Carter said.

“Her publication does not cite a single example of any pregnancy center that has engaged in unlawful conduct,” Carter added. “Her publication unjustly targets businesses operating well within the bounds of the law for no other reason but to advance a political agenda.”

Abortion access in Arizona continues to remain a hot topic, as the state Supreme Court is will soon be deciding on whether or not to uphold a 15-week abortion law from 2022 or a law from pre-statehood Arizona that bans all abortions, both of which have exceptions for a mother’s health risk. Oral arguments took place in December, The Center Square reported.

There is also a push to get a proposed constitutional amendment emphasizing abortion access on the ballot in November.

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