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SAN DIEGO – In the face of unprecedented threats to reproductive freedom, California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued a consumer alert warning Californians seeking reproductive health services about the limited and potentially misleading nature of the services provided by crisis pregnancy centers. Crisis pregnancy centers attempt to discourage people facing unintended pregnancies from accessing abortion care. While crisis pregnancy centers may advertise a full range of reproductive health services, they do not provide abortion or abortion referrals, and usually do not provide birth control or other forms of contraceptives. In today’s alert, Attorney General Bonta urges Californians to do their research before going to a pregnancy clinic, especially if they are seeking information about abortion care.
“Crisis pregnancy centers often work to attract pregnant Californians into their facilities through vague claims about the information and services they offer,” said Attorney General Bonta. “While crisis pregnancy centers may claim to offer comprehensive reproductive healthcare services, their mission is to discourage people from accessing abortion care. As reproductive freedom nationwide comes under threat, my message to Californians is simple: Know your rights. Do your research. Connect with programs that will provide you with truthful information and timely reproductive healthcare. Because in California, your right to reproductive healthcare includes the right to safe and legal abortion.”
There are more crisis pregnancy centers in California than abortion care clinics. At first glance, crisis pregnancy centers may look like an abortion care clinic or reproductive health clinic. Crisis pregnancy centers are often located near reproductive health clinics and advertise full reproductive health services. However, a recent study by The Alliance found that none of the 179 crisis pregnancy centers in California offer abortion care, and only one offers contraceptive care. The Alliance also found that most crisis pregnancy centers do not even offer pre-natal care or have a licensed physician on staff. Instead, crisis pregnancy centers in California have been reported to make misleading or unsubstantiated claims about abortions to persuade people to continue their pregnancy.
California has strong laws in place protecting reproductive freedom, including the right to safe and legal abortion. In today’s alert, Attorney General Bonta urges Californians seeking reproductive health services to do research before going to a clinic to learn about their abortion options. Importantly, Californians who are pregnant or believe they may be pregnant should know that:
- Crisis pregnancy centers do not provide abortion or abortion referral, and often times do not provide birth control or other forms of contraceptives;
- Crisis pregnancy centers may not be licensed medical clinics or be required to keep medical records private;
- Crisis pregnancy centers may attempt to delay appointments or provide misinformation about the legality or safety of abortions;
- Crisis pregnancy centers may provide inaccurate health information about a person’s pregnancy and other aspects of reproductive healthcare; and
- Crisis pregnancy centers often look like and are located near reproductive healthcare facilities that provide abortion.
There are a number of programs that assist Californians in accessing abortion care, including:
- ACCESS Reproductive Justice, which connects people to free and low-cost programs that pay for reproductive healthcare for people living in, traveling to, or traveling from California to receive an out-of-state abortion.
- Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project, which provides direct and logistical support, transportation assistance, abortion appointment navigation, and other resources.
- The National Abortion Federation, which maintains a list of abortion providers.
Californians who believe they have been the victim or target of deceptive, misleading, unfair, or unlawful conduct should immediately file a complaint at www.oag.ca.gov/report.