Around New England

Target Pro-Life Crisis Pregnancy Centers With Investigations and Restrictions, Smith College Authors Say

February 25, 2022

Pro-life crisis pregnancy centers lure pregnant women in with misleading advertising and tell them lies in order to get them not to have an abortion, two Smith College authors argue in a newspaper column.

The authors say crisis pregnancy centers “target vulnerable people.”

“Misleading names … hide their real purpose:  using scare tactics to stigmatize and discourage abortion,” write column authors Carrie N. Baker, a professor in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender a Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and Tallulah Costa, a freshman at Smith College.

The authors call on the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office to investigate the centers and on the Massachusetts Legislature to consider passing a law similar to one in Connecticut that prohibits what it calls deceptive advertising by pregnancy centers that don’t offer abortion.

They also say crisis pregnancy centers are well-funded and have ties to religious groups.

“CPCs appear to be local, community-based organizations, but are usually part of large, extremely wealthy networks … run by white evangelical Christians or conservative Catholics,” Baker and Costa write.

The opinion article appeared Thursday, February 24 in The Greenfield Recorder.

Operators of crisis pregnancy centers say they provide needed services free of charge to women and girls in a tight spot. They say the reason abortion supporters don’t like crisis pregnancy centers is that they give abortion clinics competition.

The National Catholic Register reported earlier this month that the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection has never received a complaint about a crisis pregnancy center in Connecticut.

The Connecticut statute, which took effect July 1, 2021, is not being enforced currently. A crisis pregnancy center in Connecticut filed a federal lawsuit in October 2021 challenging the law, saying it violates freedom of speech and free exercise of religion, both protected by the First Amendment of the federal constitution. That case is pending.

 

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