Crisis Pregnancy Center Ads Mislead Women

From deceptive advertising to flat-out lies, “crisis pregnancy centers” prey on desperate young women looking for help. Joyce C. Tang on new laws across the country fighting back.

Crisis pregnancy centers often advertise free services and options, though they never provide abortion or birth control services.

Typically funded by conservative evangelical and Catholic religious groups, some CPCs also receive federal abstinence-only funding.

A 2006 Congressional investigation found that 20 of 23 CPCs gave women false medical information, such as telling them that abortion increases the incidence of breast cancer, suicide, and fertility problems.

Poor and minority women are targeted by CPCs that offer of financial assistance in the form of clothing, formula, diapers, and toys.

NARAL Pro-Choice America, which discovered more than 100 centers in 25 states advertising under "abortion services" or "abortion clinics" is crusading to get those centers delisted from online directories.

Between 2004 and 2010, seven states considered legislation related to CPCs, but none passed.

Pregnancy Center of Pinellas County / Newscom

Women are often handed plastic fetuses during their visit to a CPC to show their fetus' stage of development, though these are often exaggerated and misleading.