CV NEWS FEED // Sixteen attorneys general signed an open letter this week condemning crisis pregnancy centers.
California’s attorney general Rob Bonta and attorneys general from 15 states published the eight-page letter on October 23, accusing crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), which are generally run by pro-life advocates and provide alternatives to abortion, of spreading “misinformation and harm.”
Attorneys general from Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia signed the letter.
In it, Bonta and the 15 other AGs argued that CPCs harm patients by “[delaying] pregnant people from accessing critical reproductive healthcare—by dissuading pregnant people from seeking abortion care and by frequently holding themselves out as full spectrum healthcare providers when most of them are anything but.”
Crisis pregnancy centers, also referred to as Pregnancy Help Centers, are non-profit organizations that provide women facing unexpected pregnancies with abortion alternatives.
Their services often include “free pregnancy tests, consultation, ultrasounds, material support; education and information on adoption and abortion; and services and referrals for ongoing pregnancy and parenting needs,” according to Heartbeat International.
In their letter, Bonta and the 15 AGs defended Yelp, a social media company that is facing a lawsuit from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton after allegedly discriminating against crisis pregnancy centers on its website.
The 16 AGs reiterated Yelp’s claim about pregnancy resource center Yelp pages: that most personnel at CPCs are not licensed medical professionals.
“That disclaimer is misleading and often untrue because pregnancy resource centers frequently do provide medical services with licensed medical professionals onsite,” Paxton said in a press release.
The 16 AG’s letter applauded Yelp’s actions and accused CPCs of using “deceptive tactics to lure in patients” while not providing the “full-scope of reproductive healthcare.” They further criticized pregnancy centers for not providing abortions and “actively aim[ing] to prevent people from accessing abortion care.”
The AGs also criticized CPCs’ promotion of abortion pill reversal services, saying, “CPCs also commonly promote and administer an unproven and potentially risky medical protocol, ‘abortion pill reversal’ (APR).”
This is not the first time that Bonta has targeted abortion-pill reversal resources. In September, Bonta filed a lawsuit on behalf of California against Heartbeat International, an international organization that supports crisis pregnancy centers and offers abortion pill reversal services.
The AGs also claimed that CPCs provide “misleading information” by saying that abortion can often result in what they called a “fictitious condition,” known either as “post-abortion syndrome” or “post-abortion stress,” as well as “grief and regret.”
The letter also said that a woman keeping her child is “associated with worse outcomes for both the parents and children, including… higher rates of poverty, and lower educational attainment for both parents and children.”
“CPCs often provide misleading information regarding contraception, including falsely claiming that birth control is an ‘abortifacient’ and that condoms are ineffective, and they fail to discuss the risk of STIs,” the letter continued.
The letter concluded by saying that the 16 attorneys general will “continue to take numerous actions aiming to mitigate the harmful effects of CPC misinformation and delays…”
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has previously stated that amidst the abortion industry’s “incessant smears” and propaganda against CPCs, “the CPC ministry is among the most important and most difficult within the pro-life movement.”