Here are the 4 Organizations Responsible for Most Fake Clinics
Before we get to the names, a quick review of fake clinics (also known as crisis pregnancy centers): they're anti-abortion organizations masquerading as actual medical clinics, but in fact provide no medical services. They do peddle inaccurate information about pregnancy, abortion, and sex, and use religious coercion for purposes of shaming. Fake clinics love to set up in neighborhoods where low income and BIPOC people live and work, as well as close to actual health providers, a practice known as clinic co-location.
About 75% of fake clinics in the US are affiliated with these anti-abortion organizations:
Care Net, an evangelical Christian supporter of fake clinics founded in 1975 (two years after Roe v. Wade was codified) has 1,100 affiliates across North America. In September 2020, Care Net held its annual conference in Florida, in spite of sky-rocketing COVID cases in the state.
Located in Columbus, Ohio, Heartbeat International is a network of Christian fake clinics operating in 18 countries with the mission of eliminating all abortion. An undercover investigation by openDemocracy in February 2020 confirmed that the clinic traffics in toxic and false information about abortion.
Birthright International is a Toronto based network of fake clinics. Birthright is a Catholic organization, not an Evangelical one, and claims that it doesn't proselytize to their clients. Lousie Summerville, the Canadian mother of seven children who founded Birthright, published a book about the organization in January 1973, right before Roe v Wade became law in the US.
National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) provides legal counsel to over 1,600 fake clinics in the US. It's NIFLA that spearheaded the use of ultrasound technology in fake clinics, in order to deceive and manipulate pregnant people into staying pregnant. In 2018, NIFLA sued the state of California for the rights of fake clinics to refuse to disclose where they're medically licensed. The lawsuit was successful, and fake clinics do not have to post their usually non-existent medical credentials.
You can call out fake clinics and let others know about their work. Check out our blog post on how to do it!