#ProTruth campaign on fake abortion clinics
NEW YORK – Reproductive rights activists, policymakers and community leaders gathered at New York City Hall on June 8, 2018, to launch a campaign that protects local women’s reproductive rights by countering fraudulent clinics that seek to prevent abortions. The #ProTruth campaign is focused on combating New York’s “crisis pregnancy centers,” fraudulent clinics that aim to prevent women from accessing abortion care.

The #ProTruth campaign is led by the National Coalition of Jewish Women New York in partnership with the Office of City Council Member Helen Rosenthal (District 6) and a coalition of nonprofits including the National Institute for Reproductive Health, Lady Parts Justice League, #Exposefakeclinics, Abortion Access Hackathon, Get Organized Brooklyn’s Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights (WHARR), New York Latina Advocacy Network and Planned Parenthood of New York City.

The coalition will expose fake abortion clinics, also known as “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) or “pregnancy service centers,” which pose as licensed health care clinics that perform abortions but, in fact, do not have certified medical professionals on site and aim to prevent abortion care. The #ProTruth campaign will educate locals on fake clinics’ tactics, which include lying about the health effects of abortion, intentionally delaying a person’s decision-making and emotionally manipulating patients. The #ProTruth campaign will also mobilize activists to ensure enforcement of New York’s Local Law 17 of 2011, which states that these centers must disclose that they are not licensed medical facilities.

Andrea Salwen Kopel, executive director of NCJW NY, said, “For decades, National Council of Jewish Women New York has been fighting for reproductive rights and access to comprehensive, quality care. As a faith-based organization, we have a special role to play on this issue, because anti-choice activists often claim to have God on their side. Fake abortion clinics are the new ‘front lines’ of the war against women’s reproductive autonomy, where anti-choice activists use religion as an excuse to deceive and manipulate vulnerable women and girls. We are so proud to be spearheading this coalition of vital service providers and powerful advocates.”

“Manipulating women as they seek pregnancy-related medical services, including pregnancy termination, is unconscionable and illegal. So called “pregnancy services centers” should be expected to abide by the law like everyone else, anddisclose that they are not licensed medical facilities. More importantly, harassing and deceiving women as they decide how to proceed with their pregnancies, is exactly the opposite of what our approach should be to health care and family planning,” said New York City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Chair of the Committee on Women.

“New Yorkers deserve to know that when they enter a facility that looks like a medical office, and sounds like a medical office, they are being cared for by an actual medical provider. Instead, fake clinics try to trick women out of receiving the abortion care they are seeking,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health. “That’s why we’re proud to have worked with the New York City Council to pass Local Law 17 which requires these facilities to disclose when there are no medical providers supervising or providing services, and to maintain confidentiality of sensitive information. We’re incredibly proud to work with the National Council of Jewish Women New York to raise awareness among New Yorkers about fake clinics and the ways in which the city regulates them to mitigate the damage they do.”

Get Organized Brooklyn’s Women’s Health and Reproductive Rights said, “The grassroots members of WHARR have made the unmasking of CPCs in New York a priority issue of our advocacy. WHARR will fight to ensure that CPCs stop employing false and deceptive tactics. People with unwanted pregnancies deserve accurate health care, information, empathy, and support – not ideologically motivated 'fake news.'"

Elizabeth Estrada, NY field and advocacy manager of the New York Latina Advocacy Network said, “CPCs disproportionately hurt our Latinx community and families by adding yet another significant barrier to already limited access to care. Latinx folks face language and cultural barriers that hinder not just health care access, but health care literacy. We deserve to know the full range of options so that we can make the decisions that are best for ourselves and our families with dignity and self-determination. No one should be deceived when they are seeking health care – it’s that simple.”

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