Picture this scenario, which is all too common – You’re scared that you might be pregnant. You see an ad for a free pregnancy test and counseling. You call the number and make an appointment. You’re told that birth control is the same as abortion and that if you have an abortion, you will probably get breast cancer. You’re vulnerable, scared, and confused. You have walked into a fake clinic, a so-called “crisis pregnancy center” (CPC), and you have been lied to and manipulated. You deserve the truth: comprehensive, unbiased, factual, and medically accurate information about all options available to you.
These fake clinics are a growing threat to women’s health. They often lie to patients about abortion and birth control. They’ll do anything to scare people away from choosing legal abortion. These fake clinics are biased, anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ organizations. They may look like comprehensive health clinics, and their “staff” may wear scrubs, but many are generally unregulated and unlicensed, and may not have any licensed medical staff as part of their organization. They use deceptive tactics to mislead North Carolinians about pregnancy-related information. Many try to manipulate and frighten the people who walk in looking for assistance.
Some false claims many of these clinics make include:
Abortion causes breast cancer.
Abortion is psychologically damaging.
Abortion can lead to sterility, future pre-term births, and even death.
Condoms are not effective against STDs, HIV/AIDS, and pregnancy.
None of the above information is medically accurate.
There are more than 4,000 CPCs across the country and more than 110 of those are in North Carolina. In 2011, the state approved “Choose Life” speciality license plates to funnel money to these clinics (there is no corresponding pro-choice license plate available). In 2013, the North Carolina General Assembly first approved direct appropriation of taxpayer dollars to these fake clinics – providing them $250K in the budget to support their services. That number has gone up each budget cycle, to $1.3 million annually in 2017’s budget. Many of these clinics are also listed on a state website that directs low-income pregnant people to them. These clinics typically set up in low-income communities and around colleges and universities, taking advantage of vulnerable people who have traditionally lacked access to quality healthcare. They may also set up near an abortion clinic, in an effort to confuse, intimidate or harass patients and providers.
These fake health clinics are a huge threat to reproductive freedom, and NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina is leading the efforts to hold them accountable. North Carolinians deserve better.
Learn more about these fake clinics by linking the below resources:
The Landscape of CPCs: North Carolina’s Crisis Pregnancy Centers (2017 Report)
CPC Brochure: Where To Go For Help (English)
CPC Brochure – Where to Go For Help (Spanish)
Fake Clinics in North Carolina and Where to Find Real Help
Common CPC Misinformation
Common CPC Tactics
The Truth Revealed- North Carolina’s Crisis Pregnancy Centers (2011 Report)
2018 Rewire article: Anti-Choice Centers in NC Use Federal Funds to Buy Programs Crafted to “Share Christ”
NC Policy Watch articles from NARAL Pro-Choice Staff/Supporters:
State Lawmakers Expand Funding for Anti-abortion Centers, Even as Women’s Health Suffers
Why We Must Require “Crisis Pregnancy Centers to Be Transparent”
2018 Vanity Fair article about the 2018 Supreme Court case NIFLA v Becerra