Common Fake Clinic Tactics
CPCs employ many tactics to coerce and deceive people out of accessing abortion. Here are a few of the most common ways anti-abortion fake clinics trick the people they claim to help.
CPCs Use Misleading Advertising and Language
Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) use advertising designed to mimic that of legitimate abortion providers. In an attempt to attract people seeking abortion, many CPCs have deceptive names for their centers, like “Center for Pregnancy Care,” “Pregnancy Help Center,” or “Pregnancy Resource Center.” Other CPCs use intentionally misleading names like “Your Choice,” “Women for Choice,” or “Women’s Center,” leading people to believe they will be offered information on all reproductive health options.
CPC advertisements also use intentionally misleading language. Whether listed under “abortion” or “abortion services,” plastered on highway billboards, or covering the walls of public transportation, these advertisements often read “Scared? Pregnant? Need Help?” and promise support. CPCs target college and university students, people of lower income, immigrants and refugees, and People of Color, all communities to which our inequitable health system has impeded access to quality healthcare.
CPC ads focus on free pregnancy tests and “counseling” without mentioning their non-existent or limited medical staff, or that they are anti-abortion. Additionally, CPCs use biased language when talking to people. Most CPC staff refer to the embryo or fetus as a “baby” or “child.” This language is not medically accurate and crisis pregnancy centers use it to coerce people out of accessing abortion.
CPCs Answer Questions with Evasion
Some CPCs believe their anti-abortion messaging will have more influence if they meet with people in-person. As a result, CPC staff may deliberately withhold information over the phone as a way to get people to come into their fake clinics. Once inside, people are most often given a pregnancy test or an ultrasound, given misinformation about abortion and contraception and fetal development, and made to feel they cannot leave until they agree to come back.
Oftentimes, people visiting CPCs feel pressured into believing that carrying a pregnancy to term is their only option.
CPCs give out false and medically inaccurate information
CPCs routinely give false and misleading information to prevent people from choosing abortion. Despite a wealth of reputable research that proves otherwise, CPCs continue to claim abortion causes an increased risk for breast cancer, affects future fertility, and causes long-term psychological effects. They lie about the safety and reliability of birth control, strongly encourage abstinence until marriage, push only opposite-sex marriages, and lie about the safety of abortion.
Everyone deserves medically accurate information about comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion. Instead of lying to and deceiving people, CPCs should be upfront about their anti-abortion stance. Someone who does not want to be pregnant should not be subjected to manipulation when seeking services.