"Pregnant? Scared? We Can Help." So claim billboards popping up around the country advertising the services of local "Crisis Pregnancy Centers" (CPCs). While these so-called clinics claim to offer help for women facing unplanned pregnancies, they are in fact run by anti-abortion organizations with the aim of preventing women from obtaining abortions. These fake clinics use deceptive methods to get women in the door and then bombard them with misleading information. To address this problem, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) has introduced the Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women's Services Act (H.R. 5052) which would enforce truth-in-advertising standards for reproductive centers. Please urge your representative to support this legislation. It is imperative that women are provided with accurate medical information.
Crisis Pregnancy Centers or CPCs utilize deceptive advertising to lure women to their clinics. Their deceptive methods include:
using names similar to legitimate clinics (e.g. "Women's Resource Center")
displaying colors frequently used by actual clinics or women's centers
being located near legitimate clinics so that patients may accidentally enter the wrong building and
giving misleading descriptions of the services that they provide ("pre-abortion counseling")
Women who have found themselves at CPCs report being harassed, intimidated, and made to feel guilty for considering abortion. In many cases, women who enter these centers are not informed that the clinic does not actually provide abortion services.
CPCs lure women in by offering free pregnancy tests. Women have reported that the CPCs lied to them about the results of the pregnancy test (telling them they weren't pregnant) so that they would miss the window of time during which they could safely obtain an abortion. Because CPCs are often located near actual clinics, women with appointments for abortion services may mistakenly enter the CPC instead. Such women are sometimes fed orange juice and donuts so that even if they find their way to the real clinic they can not obtain an abortion that day. Also, some of the workers and volunteers at CPCs have no medical training and are only there to deter women from having an abortion.
These fake clinics prey upon women facing unplanned pregnancies and make an already difficult situation worse by misleading and manipulating them. Please help put an end to these deceptive practices by urging your representative to support the Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women's Services Act.
(Sorry for the x-post)