Crisis pregnancy center. Pregnancy resource center. Alternative pregnancy support center. Pregnancy care clinic. No matter the name they use, crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) are anti-abortion clinics with a hidden agenda and part of an industry built on misleading pregnant people with scare tactics and lies.
They are dangerous, predatory organizations and a risk to public health.
But what makes a crisis pregnancy center dangerous?
1. Evasive and misleading about NOT providing abortion care.
CPCs advertise the ‘options’ they provide pregnant people, but in reality they provide limited options that insist on continuing a pregnancy, like parenthood or adoption. These organizations don't provide abortion, but they will not explicitly say so in order to lure pregnant people to their facility.
2. Use scare tactics and misinformation to frame abortion as more dangerous than it is.
Once they have lured pregnant people into the facility, they peddle misinformation, use scare tactics, and shame people to discourage abortion at all costs. They stoke fear by framing abortion as dangerous and amplify false claims that are not based in science.
3. Target the most vulnerable communities with intentionally misleading practices.
Anti-abortion clinics are sneaky and strategic. They are often located in communities where people already face inequitable barriers to health care. They are also known to set up centers near actual abortion clinics and use similar names to trick pregnant people into the wrong clinic.
4. Made to look like medical facilities despite the fact they do not provide health care.
Fake health centers pose as medical professionals to portray authority in their tactics. Their clinics are visually similar to medically licensed health centers and use intake forms like those filled out at a doctor’s office. They will use medical language and may even adorn scrubs or white coats to pose as medical professionals. Aside from the occasional STI test or ultrasound, these organizations do not provide health care.
5. Not subject to oversight or any sort of ethics code.
Because CPCs do not provide medical care, they do not have to adhere to any medical or ethical standards, including HIPAA, the national standard established to protect medical records and other personal health information. That means they are free to say whatever they want without consequence.
In this era of attacks on sexual and reproductive health care, politicians are pointing to their support of these anti-abortion clinics to claim they support pregnant people. We have seen a wave of bills across the country designed to funnel taxpayer dollars to support these fake clinics. Beyond giving legitimacy to these organizations financially, there are moves to mandate that pregnant people must visit these fake clinics before making health care decisions. These emerging proposals do not include detailed systems of oversight for CPCs even though similar programs established in other states are fraught with misuse and abuse of funds.
Crisis pregnancy centers pose a very real threat to our communities and regardless of how they try to disguise their work, they are fake health clinics. Period.
Help Us Expose Anti-Abortion Clinics
Check out the community-run map developed by leaders in public health to see all the identified CPCs in your state. Then spread the word to your community about the serious risk they pose.
Have you visited an anti-abortion clinic? Sharing your story can have an incredible impact when legislation is introduced that funds or amplifies crisis pregnancy centers. Share your story now.