Today, an ideologically divided Supreme Court ruled in NIFLA v Becerra that fake clinics have a free pass to continue deceiving pregnant people, even though they prey on vulnerable pregnant women and their families, and often give people who come through their doors false and medically dangerous information. It was never up for debate that these clinics use lies and deception to spread a political, anti-abortion message; but five of the justices – including Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s Justice who was hand-picked by his anti-abortion allies – still refused to end the lies.
Across the country, including in North Carolina, extreme anti-abortion groups have been cynically building a network of fake clinics with the primary goal of controlling people’s reproductive and sexual health decisions. These fake clinics target anyone seeking reproductive health care options, including abortion, and lie to them, deceive them, and provide inaccurate and misleading medical information, sometimes putting the patient’s health and life at risk. In particular, these fake clinics deliberately target low-income communities that have traditionally had less access to quality, affordable health care.
There are over 100 of these anti-abortion fake clinics across North Carolina that exist solely to spread an anti-abortion message to vulnerable patients who need and deserve non-judgmental and accurate medical information and care.
These deceptive centers do nothing but exacerbate North Carolina’s healthcare gaps. Providing access to affordable healthcare for the approximately 250,000 North Carolina women without health insurance should be a top priority for North Carolina lawmakers. Instead, they’ve refused to expand Medicaid, stopped state funding of trusted safety net provider Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, and are now funneling over $1.5 million in taxpayer money to these anti-abortion centers that provide little, if any, actual medical care. There is scant evidence that these centers improve maternal or infant health, and we, as North Carolinians, deserve a government that puts our health need – not politics – first.
These fake clinics, the rest of the anti-abortion movement, and their political allies have been working together for decades to ban legal abortion in America. In bringing this case to the Supreme Court, the anti-abortion movement was hoping the court would give a legal pass to their political speech masquerading as medical advice, further setting the stage for the anti-abortion wing of the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade and re-criminalize abortion, their ultimate goal.
We will continue fighting back – against fake clinics, against the President’s activist judicial nominees, against the numerous lawless and cruel actions of this Administration, and against the slew of anti-choice, misogynist bills in our state legislature and in Congress. Reproductive rights are fundamental human rights, and we cannot stop until they are restored and protected for all.