CPCs (or so-called Crisis Pregnancy Centers) are a major threat to women’s health. And yet, they appear to have an ally in United States District Court Judge Marvin Garbis, who yesterday ruled
that a Baltimore ordinance requiring that “limited-service pregnancy centers” display signs in both English and Spanish indicating that they do not provide or make referrals for abortions or comprehensive birth control services was unconstitutional.
So what exactly are CPCs and why are they dangerous?
Operating under false pretenses, CPCs appear to be comprehensive health clinics that cater to pregnant women. In reality, they are anti-choice centers that will do just about anything to keep women from obtaining legal abortions, even if that means lying about dangers associated with the procedure.
For example, some of the false claims CPCs use include:
- Abortion causes breast cancer
- Abortion is psychologically damaging
- Abortion can lead to sterility
- Birth-control pills cause abortion
This is coercion.
To make matters worse, CPCs are often unlicensed and unregulated. As NARAL points out, this means that “they don’t have to follow privacy-protection laws like your doctor or real clinics do.”
There are 4,000+ CPCs in the United States that regularly deceive women. And some even get tax dollars to do this.
The US District Court’s decision sets a dangerous precedent. By not making CPCs be upfront about the limited “services” they provide, the Court effectively sends a signal that women do not deserve comprehensive reproductive health care. Rather, it seems, they are deserving of coercion and deception.
Thankfully, the Center for Reproductive Rights plans to immediately appeal this decision:
Stephanie Toti, senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, stated, “We plan to immediately appeal today’s court’s decision and we are confident we will prevail. Baltimore’s ordinance is a common sense measure designed to protect consumers from a long-standing and documented pattern of deceptive practices by crisis pregnancy centers.” (via Feminist Wire Daily News)
I sincerely hope the Court rules in favor of a woman’s right to comprehensive health care. To do otherwise is just wrong.
Interested in learning more about CPCs? Check out NARAL’s fact sheet here.