Crisis pregnancy centers are (usually religious) nonprofits set up to counsel people against abortion. Due to abortion restrictions rapidly closing abortion clinics, CPCs now outnumber clinics about three-to-one. Although one has the right to oppose abortion, CPCs often use deceitful techniques in order to deny people the abortions they seek.
For example, only some of the crisis pregnancy centers are actually registered as licensed medical facilities. Many of the CPCs that are not licensed will dress their volunteers in scrubs to make it appear as if the staff are doctors and nurses when they’re not.
John Oliver did a segment on crisis pregnancy centers where he found that several will claim to provide abortions or a CPC will include deceptive words in its name, such as “Choices” to make it appear as though it discusses all forms of family planning even if it does not. Sometimes, it is only after people arrive at a crisis pregnancy center that they actually realize it is an anti-abortion organization.
Other CPCs will deceive patients by providing false or misleading information about abortion services. In 2006, former Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) conducted an investigation into crisis pregnancy centers and found that almost all of the centers studied provided misleading information to patients.
Another study from the University of North Carolina analyzed data collected from 32 CPCs in North Carolina and found that more than half provided falsified information on the effects of abortion, linking abortion to an increased risk of breast cancer, infertility, and mental health issues. In reality, getting an abortion doesn’t increase the risk of having health repercussions, but CPCs know it can be frightening to think about and use that fear against abortion-seekers, sometimes even using tax dollars to help fund the lies.
California enacted a law in 2015 called the “Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act” (FACT Act) which required crisis pregnancy centers to disclose to patients whether or not they were licensed as medical facilities as well as required CPCs to notify clients of “all family planning and pregnancy-related services”, including abortion, offered by the State in order to make sure that CPCs were providing accurate information to clients. The CPCs in California sued on free speech grounds because the law compelled them to advertise services CPCs oppose on “moral grounds”.
In “National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra“, the Court determined that the sections of the FACT Act which required CPCs to disclose if the centers had a medical license was unconstitutional, and it also determined that a crisis pregnancy center does not have to inform patients about contraception, abortion and even prenatal care under the Constitution. The ruling will also strike down similar laws in other states, like Florida and Hawaii.
[bctt tweet=”A crisis pregnancy center does not have to inform patients about contraception, abortion and even prenatal care under the Constitution.” username=”wearethetempest”]
So the Court has determined that, nationwide, abortion-seekers or really anyone attempting to seek accurate and complete information about their options for family planning, who come into a crisis pregnancy center are not entitled to the factual information.
Crisis pregnancy centers now have the constitutional right to misinform and deliberately withhold critical information about healthcare options, and that’s dangerous.
Regardless of why a person is seeking an abortion, they are entitled to receive the most accurate information available to them so that they can make a decision that is best for them. Contraception, prenatal care, and abortion access are all private decisions and it’s a disgrace that crisis pregnancy centers can get away with denying people necessary information about these services.
The Supreme Court has made a huge error in siding in favor of CPCs, and this decision is going to negative impact access to critical healthcare services for millions.