WHARR (Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights) had an enthusiastic turn out for our Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPCs, otherwise known as ‘fake clinics’) canvassing! A few WHARRiors kindly put together the following paragraphs about their experience:
On Saturday November 16, a group of WHARR supporters met to learn more about the many crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) in NYC. These centers target “abortion-vulnerable women,” and their ads and service descriptions are frequently deceptive.

We formed teams, with each team assigned one center to study through curbside observation supplemented by online information gathering. An hour later, with the WHARR canvassing questionnaire in-hand, our team of three was standing on a major Brooklyn avenue, staring at an unnamed, small, three-story, plain-brick building.

Shades were closed on all the windows save for two on the first floor facing the busy avenue. The windows had signs advertising FREE Pregnancy Tests, Counseling, Referrals, and “AAA.” With a bit of online sleuthing, we are guessing that AAA is code for “alternative answers to abortion”, as other CPCs use the letters AAA too.

More online searching yielded information about this center, a part of the “movement” to “save babies” (a claim accompanied by an image of a small thumbprint followed by these words: “unique from day one”). One of our team members did additional research the next day and discovered that a “trust” owns the building.

In the next WHARR meeting, we will discuss what follow-up steps to pursue regarding this and other CPCs our team visited.

In the context of the Trump-Pence Administration’s recent restrictions on Title X family planning funds, CPCs are poised to receive greater federal funding. Moreover, a June 2018 Supreme Court decision limited options for regulating CPCs.

For these reasons, it is urgent that we come up with new ways to fight CPCs; they lie to pregnant people, especially to pregnant people of color. Read a profile of a CPC in Indiana in the most recent New Yorker, and about a recent expansion and corporate consolidation of CPCs upstate.

In fact, one of these upstate CPCs has recently become a party to a lawsuit arguing that a recently passed NYS law designed to prevent employers from discriminating against employees over their reproductive health decisions violates the CPC’s and others’ freedom of religion.

If you really want to get into the nitty gritty of how CPCs undermine public health, read this recent position statement: Crisis Pregnancy Centers in the U.S.: Lack of Adherence to Medical and Ethical Practice Standards: A Joint Position Statement of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. 

Or, you can read the latest from Mother Jones: The Trump Administration Is Giving Family Planning Funds to a Network of Anti-Abortion Clinics. 

Are you angry yet? So are we. Come to WHARR’s General Meeting to strategize. 

November General Meeting, Wednesday, November 20, 7:00-9:00 pm, YWCA Brooklyn, 30 3rd Ave, Brooklyn. We’ll have an update from our day canvassing Crisis Pregnancy Centers and spend time brainstorming next steps; we’ll discuss our priorities for the upcoming NYS legislative session; and, we’ll have a postcard writing activity. Plus wine and snacks, as always!