Here's what you can do to stop Crisis Pregnancy Centers (without leaving your house)
Fight back against fake clinics
Looking for some reproductive rights activism you can do from your couch? Well, look no further. Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) are anti-choice organizations that intentionally mislead pregnant people into believing they will receive accurate and unbiased medical care. Instead of presenting all options for addressing an unwanted pregnancy, CPCs rely on lies about abortion (greatest hits include: abortion gives you breast cancer, abortion destroys your ability to have children in the future, and abortion leads to depression and suicide), as well as false ultrasound results (telling you you're further along than you actually are, so you think you're past the point of being able to get abortion care), and classic slut-shaming and religious coercion. Not surprisingly, CPCs aren't huge fans of birth control, so you won't get accurate information about that, either.
CPCs aren't medical facilities, but they advertise themselves as "pregnancy care" or "pregnancy options" centers and offer free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds as well as counseling. They're in college towns, major cities, and rural areas - anywhere with vulnerable populations (read: people of color, low income folks), and they're usually set up near legitimate health care facilities. If this behavior sounds predatory, that's because it is. And here's what you can do to help stop them.
A lot of people (even those who identify as pro choice) aren't aware of the existence of CPCs, so a little education goes a long way. Check out our blog posts for talking points:
Call them out online
There's definitely a CPC in your state, if not your city or town. #ExposeFakeClinics, with the help of NARAL Pro-Choice America, NARAL Pro-Choice NC, ReproAction, NARAL Pro-Choice TX, Progress Florida, Abortion Access Hackathon & Abortion Access Front, has created a map of CPCs in the US, so you can find a CPC near you.
Once you've found your local CPC, or any CPC, for that matter, you can use Yelp, Google, or another review site to clarify what really goes on behind its doors, so folks seeking actual healthcare don't make the mistake of paying them a visit. Besides leaving your own review, it helps to "like" accurate reviews that others have left. #ExposeFakeClinics has a guide to writing and sharing reviews, which you can download here.
Besides knowing what goes on inside CPCs, understanding the ways in which they interact with the community around them is vital. Are the CPCs in your area listed under "abortion services" in directories? Do schools refer students to them? Do insurance companies? Are they involved in creating or executing sex education curricula? The answers to these questions can help you connect to and organize with community groups who want to stop CPCs and make sure everyone has access to accurate, full spectrum, stigma-free health care.