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The War on Pregnancy Resource Centers

by | Jul 1, 2024

Ramped up legislation throughout the U.S. seeks to attack pro-life care by limiting choice

By John Stonestreet and Jared Hayden

In the wake of the landmark Supreme Court case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Healthwhich overturned Roe v. Wade, states are clarifying where they stand on the issue of abortion. Just as pro-life states have doubled down on efforts to protect life and ensure access to actual healthcare for women, pro-abortion states have also doubled down on expanding abortion access in the name of protecting “choice” and “reproductive rights.” Some are even targeting pro-life pregnancy resource centers, accusing them of misleading the public and putting women at risk.

Just last month, Massachusetts’ Department of Public Health announced it will be investing $1 million in a multi-month “smear campaign” against the nearly 30 pro-life pregnancy centers in the state. The campaign, which will disseminate ads via social media platforms, billboards, public transportation, and radio, will paint pregnancy resource centers as dangerous and fraudulent health centers that are “deceiving people who may be frightened or confused as they find themselves at a crossroads.”

Less than a decade ago, California famously attempted to force pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise abortion centers, even mandating font size for the ads. That effort was struck down in court as unconstitutional for free speech. Last fall, the state Attorney General sued five of these centers for “misleading” the public in their promotion of “abortion pill reversal” (APR). According to the attorney general, APR “has no credible scientific backing, and has potential risks for patients who undergo it.”

Moreover, California lawmakers introduced two bills this past legislative session that would have launched a Public Health Department smear campaign similar to Massachusetts’. While neither of the bills passed, public testimony in support of the bill also focused on these centers’ promotion of abortion pill reversal (APR).

Colorado officials have also sought to stop pregnancy resource centers from helping women and saving unborn lives. Last year, the state’s Governor signed a bill that, among other things, bans pro-life centers from prescribing or administering APR and leaves them more vulnerable to charges of misleading women and the public.

Abortion advocates like U.S. Representative Katherine Clark (D-MA, 5th District) have even gone so far as to claim that their efforts “will save lives” and protect women’s health and choice.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

By going after pregnancy resource centers, these states and others that follow their lead eliminate options, not expand them. According to a *report by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, in 2019 alone, pregnancy resource centers “served over 2 million women, men, and youth with services estimated at a value of $266 million.” Far from creating more choice, states where activists are seeking to smear and shutter these centers reduce choice and undermine women’s health.

At the 2,700 pregnancy resource centers across the country, there are 10,200 licensed medical professionals offering medical services. These services include ultrasounds, STI testing and treatment, and pregnancy tests, all offered at little or no cost.

In contrast, clinics focused on providing abortion treat pregnancy often as a disease to be rid of. Instead of providing women with health, abortion procedures, whether chemical or surgical, are notorious for their complications and risks to the mothers, and obviously death to the babies.

Lastly, targeting pro-life pregnancy centers and banning APR threatens life. Contrary to activists’ claims that the safety and success of APR isn’t “factual” or “scientifically tested,” APR has been shown to be incredibly effective. APR offers women progesterone, which has been prescribed for years to women to sustain pregnancy.

As Dr. Christina Francis, a board-certified OB-GYN and the CEO of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, has noted, research shows that mothers who take APR more than double their babies’ chance of survival (from 25% to between 64% and 68%). To date, it’s been extrapolated that more than 4,000 women have used APR and over 4,500 lives have been saved. (Check out our What Would You Say? video on APR at whatwouldyousay.org.)

The move by pro-abortion states to eliminate alternatives and “choice” by targeting pro-life pregnancy resource centers is not actually a matter of life, to use Representative Clark’s words. It’s about cementing a state-sanctioned culture of death.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Breakpoint and is reposted with permission.

Categories: State Legislation