Maloney-Bonamici bill would stop unchecked misrepresentation by anti-choice Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Jul 29, 2015
Press Release

WASHINGTON- Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR-1) today introduced The Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women’s Services Act to make it illegal for a Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC) to falsely advertise that it provides abortion services. CPCs often pose as sources of unbiased pregnancy counseling, but generally exist to dissuade women from considering comprehensive birth-control options or legal abortion.

“Whether they’re selectively editing surreptitiously recorded videos as in the latest attacks on Planned Parenthood, or using false advertising to mislead women, the anti-choice movement often relies on deception. Too often this agenda is pursued at the expense of women’s healthcare,” said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY). “Women need and deserve accurate and comprehensive information when making personal decisions about family planning, and so-called Crisis Pregnancy Centers provide neither. My legislation would expose and stop deceptive and false advertising from CPCs.”

“Crisis Pregnancy Centers often masquerade as legitimate health care clinics, but in reality many operate with the purpose of limiting women’s health care options,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR). “These centers mislead women by claiming to provide comprehensive services – they target women and push an agenda rather than provide them with the health care support they need. Women deserve to receive compassionate health care and medically accurate information about their options. I am pleased to support this bill to stop these crisis pregnancy centers from impersonating real health care clinics.”  

The Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women’s Services Act directs the Federal Trade Commission to declare it an unfair or deceptive act for an entity, such as a Crisis Pregnancy Center, to advertise as a provider of abortion services if it does not provide those services.

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.