Reps. Maloney and Bonamici Move to Protect Women’s Right to Accurate and Honest Family Planning and Medical Services

May 22, 2017
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC –Congresswomen Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) and Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1) reintroduced legislation Friday to protect the rights of women to receive honest information about family planning services. Their bill, the Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women’s Healthcare Services Act, directs the Federal Trade Commission to institute rules declaring it an unfair or deceptive act for any clinic or business, such as a crisis pregnancy center, to advertise as a provider of abortion services if they do not provide abortion services.

“It is outrageous that there is no accountability for centers that deliberately misinform or mislead pregnant women seeking information about family planning services, including abortion, to advance an anti-choice agenda,” said Rep. Maloney. “Commonly called crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) masquerade as sources of unbiased pregnancy counseling, or even abortion providers, when often there aren’t even medical professionals on staff. Pregnant women seeking medical advice should not be lied to or fed deceptive propaganda meant to dissuade them from considering comprehensive birth control options or legal abortion. These fake reproductive health clinics must be held accountable if they deliberately mislead women who are seeking legitimate medical assistance and advice. I am grateful to have a partner in my friend Rep. Suzanne Bonamici to lead this critical effort with me.”

“Women need compassionate health care and truthful information about that care, including abortion services,” said Rep. Bonamici. “Crisis Pregnancy Centers masquerade as legitimate health care clinics, but in reality many operate with the sole purpose of counseling women against abortion. Too often these centers lure women in by claiming to provide comprehensive health care services, but then they push a one-sided, anti-choice agenda that scares women and promotes mistruths and lies. They frequently exaggerate the risks of abortion, including telling women that having an abortion will increase the risk of cancer and decrease future fertility. At a time when women’s reproductive rights are under attack, we must demand truthful information and stop crisis pregnancy centers from impersonating real health care clinics.”

Background

There are more than 4,000 Crisis Pregnancy Centers across the country. These fake health clinics pose as providers of comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion. The clinic staff is usually comprised of volunteers with no medical training. CPCs try to dissuade women from choosing an abortion with anti-choice propaganda, intimidation, and misinformation, including outlandish claims linking abortion to breast cancer, psychological damage, and sterility.

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