[Image description: protestors with a banner: This “clinic” lies to women.]
How To Identify Crisis Pregnancy Centers
Crisis pregnancy centers, or pregnancy resource centers, disguise themselves as medical facilities, but usually have no licensed doctors, nurses or counselors. They often appear under “Abortion Alternatives,” and may have names similar to abortion clinics nearby in order to confuse patients into entering their buildings instead of the real clinics.
Once you enter a CPC, their mission is to prevent you from getting an abortion at any cost. They will use misleading language, delay tactics, emotional manipulation, intimidation, and outright lies to either persuade you against abortion or to make you miss your appointment. The worst part? It’s all completely legal and funded by federal dollars.
CPCs do their best to appear as legitimate abortion clinics, so how can you tell which is which? Here is a list of red flags for CPCs:
- The words “crisis” or “resource” appear in the center’s name
- Their ads use language like “Pregnant & Scared?”
- They offer free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds
- When asked if they provide abortions or contraception, they will not give a direct answer
- The waiting room has biased pamphlets, sometimes with graphic pictures labeled as abortions
- They attempt to make you feel guilty about considering abortion
- They offer baby items, such as diapers and formula
- They downplay the effectiveness of contraception and emphasize abstinence
- They emphasize the dangers of abortion (Fact: fewer than 0.3% of patients experience complications requiring hospitalization)
- They discuss the false connections between abortion and breast cancer, infertility, or mental illness, often referred to as post-abortion stress syndrome
- Regardless of how you talk about the pregnancy, they refer to “your baby,” the “preborn child,” “post-abortive women,” and say that you are “already a mother.”
More on CPCs
How to Identify CPCs
Beware of Fake Clinics
Crisis Pregnancy Centers: An Affront to Choice
CPC Warning Stickers
A list of licensed abortion clinics in the United States can be found on the Abortion Assistance Blog.
I don’t know that much about this through my own personal knowledge, so I can’t vouch for everything in this post.
What I do know is that a lot of people who strongly oppose abortions are willing to be absolutely horrible to pregnant people in order to prevent them from having one.
(You can see that in the behavior of abortion clinic protestors.)
And I’ve definitely seen these deceptive ads for crisis pregnancy centers on Facebook and in the phone book. (And some that are aimed at convincing pregnant teenagers to give birth to provide a baby for childless couples to raise in a closed adoption).
I think it’s a good rule that a legitimate clinic will give you a straight answer about which services they do and don’t offer. (For instance, not all Planned Parenthood clinics offer abortions. The ones that don’t will tell you that they don’t.)