We Must End The Lies About Women's Health
As the Supreme Court stated in its historic ruling in Roe v. Wade, the Constitution guarantees a woman’s right to choose. But, across this country efforts are underway to restrict access to and deny women of this Constitutional right.
One of the most sinister attacks comes from fake women’s health centers. These so-called “clinics” advertise themselves as family planning facilities but, in reality are fronts for the anti-choice movement to try to trick pregnant women into believing that they don’t have the option of an abortion. I’ve been fighting back, and last week I joined with NARAL and other women’s health advocates on the steps of the Supreme Court to fight for a women’s constitutional right to comprehensive healthcare and family planning services.
We came together outside of the Supreme Court before the hearing about a California state law, the California Reproductive FACT Act, that prevents fake women’s health centers from lying to women and robbing them of their right to truthful information about all of the reproductive healthcare services available to them. The anti-choice movement is trying to overturn this state law and we need to make sure that doesn’t happen.
I have been appalled by the countless stories of deceptive and manipulative practices used by these fake women’s health centers to take advantage of women, particularly pregnant women, when they need and deserve truthful, medically sound advice.
One story that stuck with me was from a young woman who mistakenly ended up at a fake women’s health center, thinking she was walking into a Planned Parenthood clinic. This center fraudulently displayed the colors and logo of Planned Parenthood in its windows to mislead women looking for care. Instead of providing her with the accurate and comprehensive information she needed about her healthcare options from qualified health professionals, this so-called clinic instead used scare tactics, falsely telling her an abortion would cause cancer and other harmful mental and physical health consequences. This deception is not okay. The last thing pregnant women should have to worry about is being intimidated, lied to, or preyed upon when they are seeking care.
We need laws like the one in California to prevent these heinous and predatory practices. That is why I joined the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus on an amicus brief to the Supreme Court encouraging the judges to uphold California’s law, which simply requires each clinic to disclose the full range of reproductive health services available to every woman in the state. I have also introduced H.R. 2566, the Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women’s Healthcare Services Act, which would require honest advertising regarding services offered or not offered by facilities that see pregnant women. We employ these standards in nearly every other industry, why should women’s health be any different? We’re simply demanding truth in advertising.
Throughout my career I have championed women’s rights and women’s health. I am the author and lead sponsor of H.R. 2379, the Robin Danielson Feminine Hygiene Product Safety Act, requiring the National Institute of Health to examine the health risks posed by feminine hygiene products to enable women to make informed purchasing decisions, and H.R. 2567, the Access to Birth Control Act, which requires pharmacies to provide timely access to contraceptives and over-the-counter emergency contraception.
In addition, I am supporting a number of other important bills to protect every woman’s right to comprehensive healthcare and family planning services:
- H.R. 771, the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act of 2017, which lifts the ban on abortion coverage for women who receive health coverage through federal government-administered programs like Medicaid.
- H.R. 3443, the Birth Control Privacy Act, which would prohibit wellness programs from disclosing personal information to employers related to an individuals' use of contraceptives.
- H.R. 1322, the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would prevent states from imposing unnecessary restrictions designed to restrict access to abortion services.
Please rest assured I will continue to fight in Congress to protect a woman’s right to comprehensive, affordable and quality healthcare.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns please do not hesitate to contact my office.
Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress