King County votes to require warning signs outside faith-based pregnancy centers

Warning signs will be posted outside private – mostly faith-based – pregnancy care providers in King County.

King County Board of Health voted 11-1 for Rule & Regulation BOH 17-04, which relates to “disclosure of information of limited service pregnancy centers.”

The resolution makes it mandatory for such pregnancy centers to post signs throughout their facilities, in 10 different languages, warning potential clients that, “This facility is not a healthcare facility.”

A network of Christian pregnancy care facilities believes the proposed warning signs are discriminatory and anti-religion. King County argues that pregnancy is a time for complete medical information, and Board of Health Chair Rod Dembowski does not believe these facilities provide full and timely medical care.

Amy Clancy talked to Kim Triller, Executive Director of Care Net Pregnancy and Family Services of Puget Sound, on Wednesday about the requirements.

“It would stigmatize us and create doubts in the minds of the people in King County,” she said. "We are literally healthcare facilities.”

Not in the eyes of Dembowski, chair of the King County Board of Health and a King County Council member. He said the resolution is meant “to make sure that pregnant women have complete, timely and accurate information. They’re at a vulnerable period in their lives, and the delay in getting complete and accurate information can really have an adverse health consequence for the mother and also the child.”

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Triller bristles at the idea her facilities – staffed by doctors, nurses, other health care professionals as well as volunteers – do not offer complete, accurate and timely healthcare.

She believes the effort is an attempt to put Care-Net and other faith-based health-care providers out of business because they don’t perform abortions.

King County Council Member Kathy Lambert agrees with Triller and told KIRO 7 News that she would vote against it.