Unplanned pregnancies can be emotionally draining, requiring women and potentially their partners to decide what option is best for them. The decision to keep the baby, put it up for adoption, or have an abortion can be a difficult choice for many people. Some women decide that an abortion is in their best interest and begin the process. The first step for getting an abortion is to find a reputable medically certified abortion clinic that provides proper professional care. This may be difficult, as there are many false abortion clinics or “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs), also called “pregnancy resource centers” (PRCs) that have hidden agendas. The goal of these clinics is to prevent people with unplanned pregnancies from getting access to abortions. While abortion is currently legal in all states in the United States, availability varies widely. In some states, authentic abortion clinics are being shut down and replaced by false abortion clinics in an attempt to reduce abortion rates.1 People living in these states may have to travel hundreds of miles away to receive the proper and affordable care they need.
The Difference Between False Abortion Clinics and Real Reproductive Health Care Providers
Crisis pregnancy centers often look like abortion clinics and offer free medical services such as pregnancy tests and sonograms to look more official.2 False abortion clinics are usually run by anti-abortionists who pose as abortion providers in an attempt to trick women into not getting an abortion through various methods.2 These methods may include:
- Using similar names to real abortion clinics in close proximity.
- Falsely advertising to trick women into believing they offer unbiased information about the different options for unplanned pregnancies.
- Giving incomplete or inaccurate information about pregnancy options including raising the child, adoption, and abortion.
- Lying about the potential medical and emotional consequences an abortion could cause a women.
- Using scare tactics with misleading information to make abortion seem frightening through the use of graphic videos and pictures.
- Offering free sonograms and ultrasounds to force women into seeing the fetus whether they may not have wanted to, using guilt to try to convince women to keep their baby.
- Informing a woman that they are not pregnant when they are in order to either trick them into continuing their pregnancy.
- Encouraging future visits for additional sonograms to check the progress of the fetus’ development in order to delay an abortion until second trimester—when abortions are harder to get and have increased risks—in the hopes that it will be too late to get an abortion.
- Discouraging future use of effective and safe birth control options.
Reputable abortion clinics and health care providers do not use any of the above methods or pressure patients in any way. All authentic clinics will provide unbiased information about the different options for a pregnancy as well as support the physical and mental health of the patient.2 Reputable medical clinics will:
- Treat all patients with respect.
- Have all medical certifications required for the procedures they offer.
- Offer information about birth control options and provide contraception.
- Be clean and sterile.
- Provide accurate information about various abortion procedures and offer professional input on the best abortion option for the patient.
How to Avoid False Abortion Clinics
In order to avoid crisis pregnancy centers, it is best to research each clinic in the area in order to find a legitimate clinic. A few helpful ways to find a reputable clinic include:
- Asking close friends or a primary care physician for recommendations of clinics.
- Avoid scheduling an appointment at a clinic until you know it is authentic.
- Visiting the National Abortion Federation website to find abortion providers in your area.
In closing, false abortion clinics can make the already difficult decision to have an abortion more traumatizing than necessary. Doing research to find reputable clinics can help alleviate potential stress and make the process go smoothly.
1) Figueroa, Alyssa. "A Look Inside the Fake Abortion Clinics That Are Greatly Outnumbering
Real Ones." Alternet. N.p., 03 Oct. 2014. Web.
2) "Crisis Pregnancy Centers | How to Avoid These Fake Clinics." Planned Parenthood, n.d.
Last Updated 10 March 2016.