The subpoenas against EMC were dropped without comment. To date, no one has ever successfully sued EMC for false advertising.

But the city remained concerned about groups holding themselves out as medical providers. In 2011, the City Council passed a law requiring crisis pregnancy centers to openly specify the services they don't provide—like abortions and emergency contraception—and whether they have a doctor on staff.

A federal judge struck down that law. The American Center for Law and Justice, a Christian version of the ACLU, has argued that requiring those signs violates the centers' right to freedom of speech and religion. The case is before a federal appeals court, with a decision expected soon.

Chris Slattery, EMC founder and president, in the chapel of his Bronx office.
Caleb Ferguson
Chris Slattery, EMC founder and president, in the chapel of his Bronx office.
The exterior of Chris Slattery's office.
Caleb Ferguson
The exterior of Chris Slattery's office.

Meanwhile, Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has spent years trying to pass the Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women's Health Services Act. It calls for the Federal Trade Commission to regulate CPCs and the way they market themselves to the public.

"A number of young women who were very upset by their experiences came to me," Maloney says. "The first rules of medicine should always be: Don't make it worse." Her bill, she says, "would force [the centers] to tell the truth."

But Maloney's bill has stumbled over the past seven years in the Republican-dominated House. And Slattery remains defiant, calling Schneiderman's subpoena a politically motivated "witch-hunt," the city's proposal unconstitutional, and Maloney's efforts "a stupid little bill she does for self-promotion."

As his language indicates, he isn't hesitant to play the victim card. EMC's website has an entire section devoted to "Attacks on EMC." And when he began to fear that the Voice would mischaracterize his operation, he threatened the paper with litigation.

"I will sue the Village Voice and you personally," he shouted through the phone. "I've had so many idiots writing stories. They know nothing about what they're talking about, and their only agenda is to smear me. I will sue you guys if you get this one wrong. I just want you to tell the truth. If you have any self-respect, you'll get this right."

When he calms, Slattery says he's confident that no one will succeed in shutting EMC down. But he sounds tired.

"I've been going through this since 1987," he says. "I'm 58 years old. How many more of these do I have to go through? This is just a distraction. I'm out there trying to save babies. I'm busy."

« Previous Page
My Voice Nation Help

Honest question: Is there anyplace in NYC that genuinely helps you weigh ALL your options: keep / abort / adopt? (I believe in different solutions for different people!)


At least you are honest about your goal, putting "pregnancy centers out of business."  It is obvious "choice" is merely a euphemism for abortion, early and late, for any and all reasons.  Perhaps the goal of population control is why it took as long as it did to prosecute Kermit Gosnell? Which brings another interesting question, while women are dying on the tables of Mssrs. Gosnell and Carhart, why all the focus on regulating to pregnancy centers to protect women's health?  Who really needs to be regulated here?


""It has not been debunked by an objective organization," he says."

For those of you who are not one of these sanctimonious busybodies, that translates as "It has not been debunked by anyone who agrees with me".


Oh, I hope he sues -- it would only mean great positive publicity for the Voice.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

4/5 Vaginas.  I really like that he threatened to sue you personally.  Im having to figure out how to rate fairly since I have to learn all the new players in your posts now.  It was easy with Perry and The texas repubs

Anna_Merlan_Voice topcommenter

@ScottsMerkin Thanks Merk. It's important that we uphold this special rating system, especially in a new city where it will confuse literally everyone. You're like an Olympic judge. But with vaginas. 

fishingblues topcommenter

@Anna_Merlan_Voice @ScottsMerkin   Anna: are you saying Merk has multiple vaginas?  I guess it would make it much easier to have multiple orgasms, if indeed that were the case.. 

New York Concert Tickets