Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Statement of Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg on passage of Montgomery County Board of Health Regulation Requiring Pregnancy Centers in County to Disclose Actual Scope of Their Services

“I am very pleased that the Montgomery County Council, in its capacity as a Board of Health, passed a regulation that will assure that all young women seeking pregnancy-related services will know whether the agency they seek advice from, actually provides medical services. This is so important, because all our public health data indicates that early medical attention is critical to improved outcomes for pregnant women, for reproductive health over a women’s lifetime, and for the health of infants.”

“During the consideration of this regulation, widely disparate views were heard and fully considered. The new regulation, which passed today, can be celebrated as an important advance in public health, by promoting the earliest possible medical care for pregnant women, regardless of the outcome they choose. It can also be celebrated as a testament to our democratic process.”

The Montgomery County Council, acting as the County’s Board of Health, today approved a regulation that requires all County pregnancy centers that do not have a licensed medical professional on staff to notify clients by posting at least one sign in their waiting room. The regulation, whose chief sponsor is Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg (D-At Large), also requires the signs to say that the Montgomery County Health Officer encourages women who are or may be pregnant to consult with a licensed health car provider. Montgomery County is the first local jurisdiction in the nation to have such an action approved by its board of health.

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