Massachusetts AG warns against fake abortion clinics

Massachusetts has warned patients about crisis pregnancy centers, which look like abortion clinics but have a primary purpose of dissuading women from getting abortions.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
07 July 2022 Thursday 15:24
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Massachusetts AG warns against fake abortion clinics

Massachusetts has warned patients about crisis pregnancy centers, which look like abortion clinics but have a primary purpose of dissuading women from getting abortions.

On Thursday, Massachusetts' attorney general issued an advisory to consumers saying that these centers don't often provide the same reproductive health services as the clinics they imitate.

The office of Attorney General Maura Shealey stated in a clear warning that although CPCs might appear to be reproductive clinics, they do not provide abortion care or contraception.

The office stated in bold that many crisis pregnancy centers don't have medical licenses and do not provide medical services.

The announcement stated that most CPCs were not licensed medical facilities. It stated that CPCs do not usually have licensed nurses or doctors, although some employees may attempt to appear the part by wearing white coats.

The AG warned that because they are not medical facilities, pregnancy centers are not required to adhere to patient privacy laws or follow codes of ethics that govern the health care professions.

The Markup, a publication that examines technology companies, discovered that these centers can "amass highly private information, including medical histories and details about previous pregnancies, and even ultrasound photos" and "store and share this information with networks of anti–abortion partners."

Privacy advocates worry that anti-abortion legislators may use the troves data that anti–abortion centers collect about their visitors to track and criminalize women who are trying to end a child's life.

The Massachusetts AG stated in the notice that crisis pregnancy centers often mislead women by saying that a pregnancy has advanced faster than it actually is, or lying about the health effects of an abortion. One common false claim made by crisis pregnancy centers is that an abortion will cause a woman to become infertile or have mental health issues. Many centers claim it is possible to reverse a medical abortion, which is not supported by evidence.

The AG stated that pregnant women should be aware of warning signs from a crisis pregnancy centre, often referred to as "pregnancy help center", "pregnancy care center", or "pregnancy resource hub".

These centers may advertise "free pregnancy testing, abortion counseling, preabortion screenings [or] education," but they do not refer patients directly to abortion providers. The AG discovered that many of these centers are close to abortion clinics, and have similar names. Recent developments have seen crisis pregnancy centers create a sophisticated online presence using Facebook identifiers and keywords to target on Google.

Nearly 30 crisis pregnancy centers are located in Massachusetts, and there are more than 2,500 nationwide. They outnumber abortion clinics by 3 to 1. The majority of their funding comes directly from taxpayers. This fiscal year, nearly $90 million was allocated by 12 states to crisis pregnancy centers.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is a Democrat. She also calls for cracking down crisis pregnancy centers by requiring them to identify themselves as anti-abortion groups upfront.

Warren said that there is a belief in truth in advertising in every part of the country. Warren also stated that lying to people in order for them to receive services is illegal and should be outlawed in most cases. "The notion that centers are able to prey upon people who are vulnerable and pregnant and seek help is fundamentally flawed."

On Thursday, Massachusetts' attorney general issued an advisory to consumers saying that these centers don't often provide the same reproductive health services as the clinics they imitate.

The office of Attorney General Maura Shealey stated in a clear warning that although CPCs might appear to be reproductive clinics, they do not provide abortion care or contraception care.

The office stated in bold that many crisis pregnancy centers don't have medical licenses and do not provide medical services.

The announcement stated that most CPCs were not licensed medical facilities. It stated that CPCs do not usually have licensed nurses or doctors, although some employees may attempt to appear the part by wearing white coats.

The AG warned that because they are not medical facilities, pregnancy centers are not required to adhere to patient privacy laws or follow codes of ethics that govern healthcare professionals.

The Markup, a publication that examines technology companies, discovered that these centers can "amass highly private information, including medical histories and details about previous pregnancies and even ultrasound images" and "store and share this information with networks of anti–abortion partners."

Privacy advocates worry that anti-abortion legislators may use the troves data that anti–abortion centers collect about their visitors to track and criminalize women who are trying to end a child's life.

The Massachusetts AG stated in the notice that crisis pregnancy centers often mislead women by saying that a pregnancy has advanced faster than it actually is, or lying about the health effects of an abortion. One common false claim made by crisis pregnancy centers is that an abortion will cause a woman to become infertile or have mental health issues. Many centers claim it is possible to reverse a medical abortion, which is not supported by evidence.

The AG stated that pregnant women should be aware of warning signs from a crisis pregnancy centre, often referred to as "pregnancy help center", "pregnancy care center", or "pregnancy resource hub".

These centers may advertise "free pregnancy testing, abortion counseling, prenatal screenings [or] education" but they do not refer patients directly to abortion providers. The AG discovered that many of these centers are close to abortion clinics, and have similar names. Recent developments have seen crisis pregnancy centers create a sophisticated online presence using Facebook identifiers and keywords to target on Google.

Nearly 30 crisis pregnancy centers are located in Massachusetts, and there are more than 2,500 nationwide. They outnumber abortion clinics by 3 to 1. The majority of their funding comes directly from taxpayers. This fiscal year, nearly $90 million was allocated by 12 states to crisis pregnancy centers.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is a Democrat. She also calls for cracking down crisis pregnancy centers by requiring them to identify themselves as anti-abortion groups upfront.

Warren said that there is a belief in truth in advertising in every part of the country. Warren also stated that lying to people in order for them to receive services is illegal and should be outlawed in all circumstances. "The notion that centers are able to prey upon people who are vulnerable and pregnant and seek help is fundamentally flawed."

Keywords:
Abortion
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