City attorney Dennis Herrera goes after First Resort

August 2, 2011 6:32:07 PM PDT
San Francisco's city attorney is going after pregnancy centers that make misleading statements. The complaints, according to city officials, are that one organization that opposes abortion tries to lure women who are thinking of having one.

First Resort provides counseling for pregnant women. They're located at 450 Sutter, a building with mainly dental and medical offices.

What they do is of no concern to the city attorney's office. It's how they do it that bothers Dennis Herrera.

"The facts are that First Resort is advertising in a misleading fashion to lead women to believe they are getting something or that a service is available at First Resort that is not available," said Herrera.

Here's why the city attorney's office says they are being misleading. When you Google "abortions San Francisco," First Resort pops up in the ad section and when you go to their website, there is no mention of helping women terminate a pregnancy.

ABC7 News found First Resort's mission statement, which specifically says, "Our actions need to be tools at the disposal of God to eliminate our nation's reliance on abortion."

"If they want to promote an agenda that does not offer abortion services or counseling, be honest about it. That is all we are asking them to do," said Herrera.

The city attorney has given First Resort until Aug. 31 to comply, otherwise his office will file a lawsuit against them.

First Resort is closed for business on Tuesdays, but they emailed ABC7 a statement saying, "We urge them not to test the constitutional boundaries of free speech."

A number of other anti-abortion groups came to the defense of First Resort.

"That organization is doing the best they can to serve women," said Chastidy Ronan with the Alpha Pregnancy Center.

Still, one of San Francisco's supervisors introduced legislation Tuesday afternoon that would prohibit pregnancy centers from making false or misleading statements.


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