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Des Moines, IA— A House subcommittee in Iowa advanced a measure that would provide hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to so-called crisis pregnancy centers and establish a program to shame people seeking abortion care. 

HF515 would divert nearly $880,000 to Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPC) and create a state program called “Alternatives to Abortion” promoting childbirth and adoption to pregnant people. These fake women’s health centers seek to prevent people from accessing the full range of sexual and reproductive health care options, including abortion, and provide women with false and misleading information. The measure is among five anti-abortion bills introduced this legislative session.

“Iowans deserve medically accurate sexual and reproductive health care,” said Jamie Burch Elliott, Public Policy Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa. “Anti-abortion politicians have tried to restrict, control and manipulate the information provided to pregnant people. These so-called crisis pregnancy centers are nothing more than a national network of anti-abortion groups posing as medical professionals. Iowans deserve timely, comprehensive, medically accurate information, not deception, fraud and delay.”

CPCs have a long and documented history of misleading women and misrepresenting themselves as legitimate medical providers. CPCs are storefronts that use false and misleading advertising and the offer of free pregnancy tests or other services to lure women into their offices. Their goal is to dissuade women from obtaining an abortion, often by providing misinformation that is meant to scare or shame them.

Investigations in California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia all have documented CPCs’ intentionally misleading practices. Many of those investigated gave women inaccurate information, including that birth control and abortion increase the risk of infertility and breast cancer, that condoms are ineffective in reducing pregnancy and the transmission of certain STDs, and that abortion causes mental illness. 

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Planned Parenthood Advocates of Iowa (PPAI) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a mission of fostering and preserving a social and political climate favorable to reproductive health. To meet this mission, PPAI engages in lobbying, issues education, and supporter mobilization.

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