Disclosure by Pregnancy Services Centers
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:3)
Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule
Section 20-816(b) of the Administrative Code, enacted as part of section 2 of Local Law 17 of 2011, provides that a pregnancy services center “shall disclose if it does or does not have a licensed medical provider on staff who provides or directly supervises the provision of all of the services at such pregnancy services center.” Section 20-815(g) defines a pregnancy services center as “a facility, including a mobile facility, the primary purpose of which is to provide services to women who are or may be pregnant, that either: (1) offers obstetric ultrasounds, obstetric sonograms or prenatal care; or (2) has the appearance of a licensed medical facility.” Section 20-815(g) excludes from this definition “a facility that is licensed by the state of New York or the United States government to provide medical or pharmaceutical services or where a licensed medical provider is present to directly provide or directly supervise the provision of all services described in this subdivision that are provided at the facility.”
Section 20-816(f) of the Administrative Code requires that the disclosure must be made “(1) in writing, in English and Spanish in a size and style as determined in accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner on (i) at least one sign conspicuously posted in the entrance of the pregnancy services center; (ii) at least one additional sign posted in any area where clients wait to receive services; and (iii) in any advertisement promoting the services of such pregnancy services center in clear and prominent letter type and in a size and style to be determined in accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner”. Section 20-816(f) additionally requires that the disclosure must be made orally.
The proposed rules:
• Clarify the meanings of the following terms: “services”, “directly provide”, “directly supervise”, “social media site”, and “social network site”.
• Clarify which facilities are excluded from the definition of “pregnancy services center”.
• Specify the language of the disclosure, and set forth the size, color and location of the signs required to be posted at the pregnancy services center and in advertisements promoting the services of the pregnancy services center.
• Specify the language of the disclosure that must be made orally.
• Clarify that a facility’s distribution of a pregnancy test kit shall not, by itself, be sufficient to establish that it has the “appearance of a licensed medical facility,” provided that the test is self- administered, self-diagnosed, and self-interpreted.