Thursday, March 30, 2006
NAF Communications Department
Good morning, I'm Vicki Saporta, President and CEO of the National Abortion Federation. I want to thank Representative Maloney for taking the lead on this issue critical to women's health.
As you may know, the National Abortion Federation is the professional association of abortion providers in the United States and Canada. Our members care for more than half the women in both countries who choose abortion each year in the United States. We've made available for you today excerpts from our upcoming report about Crisis Pregnancy Centers.
Crisis Pregnancy Centers have a long history of engaging in deceptive advertising. Some CPCs intentionally choose names similar to those of legitimate clinics to mislead women into believing that they offer a wide range of services, including family planning and abortion care, when in fact they offer neither. They also choose locations in close proximity to legitimate reproductive health care providers to confuse women even further. When they advertise in the Yellow Pages under "Pregnancy," "Medical," "Women's Centers" or "Clinics" it is to give the misleading impression that they provide a full range of reproductive health care services.
When women arrive at these CPCs, they believe they will receive quality, accurate, and unbiased medical care. However, Crisis Pregnancy Centers exist primarily to prevent women from having abortions. Most CPCs are not medical facilities and most CPC volunteers are not medical professionals. They do not provide options counseling and they do not refer for abortion or birth control. Women have described being detained, harassed, bullied, and given blatantly false information by CPCs.
One NAF clinic patient recently described how a Virginia CPC Counselor lied about the results of her pregnancy test. She was told it was negative, but when she repeated the pregnancy test at home it was positive. Some CPCs purposefully lie to women in order to trick patients into carrying their pregnancy past the time they are eligible for an abortion. A CPC counselor in California was found civilly liable of fraud after she forced a young woman to sign adoption papers. These are not isolated incidents. Several CPCs have been successfully sued for their deceptive tactics and false advertising practices.
Women need access to accurate medical information and Representative Maloney's bill is a major step forward in protecting women from the misleading, deceptive advertising practices of Crisis Pregnancy Centers. Again, I want to thank Representative Maloney for her leadership on this issue.
> Read NAF's position statement supporting this bill
The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers in the United States and Canada. Our mission is to ensure safe, legal, and accessible abortion care to promote health and justice for women. Our members include health care professionals at clinics, doctors' offices, and hospitals, who together care for more than half the women in both countries who choose abortion each year. For more information, visit our website at www.prochoice.org