Today, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Rep. Suzanna Bonamici (D-OR) introduced legislation called the Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women’s Healthcare Services Act to combat fake pregnancy centers and false advertisement of reproductive and family planning services.
“No one should have to question that the person they are seeking medical advice from is actually a doctor or that information is accurate, objective, and complete,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “It is truly disgusting that women’s reproductive rights are being taken away from them by fake women’s health centers whose guiding principle is to mislead, misinform, and outright lie to pregnant women, all to dissuade them from exercising their constitutionally protected right to have an abortion. It is long past time that we prohibit these predatory tactics to undermine women’s reproductive health. This legislation simply requires the FTC to ensure honesty in advertising for anyone promoting healthcare services to women.”
“Women must be able to trust their health care providers when making critical decisions about family planning and reproductive health,” said Congresswoman Bonamici. “Crisis pregnancy centers mislead women into thinking they provide comprehensive services, then limit women’s options by spreading misinformation about abortion. The mistruths and lies these centers spread can have devastating, long-term consequences for women and their families. This legislation will protect women by making sure crisis pregnancy centers cannot continue to advertise deceptive messages about the services they provide.”
Among the most cynical of medical charades, CPCs simulate the appearance of comprehensive women’s health care facilities. While advertising under “abortion services,” CPCs routinely lure young women – especially targeting women college students and low-income women — into their facilities with offers of free pregnancy tests and “options counseling.”
In reality, a vast number of CPCs promote scientific and medical fallacies about the consequences of abortion and birth control to intimidate women out of seeking these services. These lies range from the most outrageous — that abortion causes breast cancer and suicide — to the most irresponsible – that condoms will not protect you from HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. It is estimated that there are 4,000 fake clinics nationwide; there are 3 CPCs for every 1 legitimate reproductive healthcare clinic.