Fake women’s health clinics peddle lies and shame to pregnant folks seeking more information about their reproductive healthcare options. Calling themselves “crisis pregnancy centers,” pregnant folks believe they are going to a licensed healthcare facility to get medically accurate information about their pregnancy and pregnancy options. Unfortunately, they only get lies, shame and stigma from untrained volunteers.
This past weekend, half a dozen Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) swept through Gwinnett County to speak with residents about the impacts of fake women’s health clinics. Led by NAPAWF-Atlanta (the Atlanta Chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum), volunteers learned about canvassing and then put those skills to use, speaking with about 100 Gwinnett residents.
“This is alarming to anyone who hears about it, which was abundantly clear in our conversations with residents on Saturday,” said Roula AbiSamra, the Georgia organizer for NAPAWF. “Gwinnettians of all backgrounds disapprove of these deceptive tactics, and are concerned about real access to legitimate reproductive health services and information.”
Pregnant women seeking information about their full range of reproductive health care options — including information about carrying a pregnancy to term, birth control or abortion — walk out of these centers being told the wrong gestational age of their fetus, given medically inaccurate information about fetal development, and offered only prayers, shame and lies when trying to learn more about abortion.
At the Georgia State Capitol, women have even told lawmakers stories of having serious health conditions that affect their health or the health of their fetus go undiagnosed and unrecognized because these fake women’s clinics are not licensed medical facilities and do not have trained medical staff. They ONLY exist to shame people who are thinking about getting an abortion, at any cost.
In Gwinnett and other counties around the state, these fake health centers are invited into public schools to teach sex ed to young people, another concern that is driving NAPAWF to push back against these fake clinics.
“Fake clinics target young people in our schools and communities, and we won’t stand for it. As recently as last school year, an anti-abortion outfit in Gwinnett was disguising itself as a healthcare provider and giving inaccurate, shaming presentations to students in Gwinnett public schools during class time,” AbiSamra said.
In addition to educating the community about these fake health centers, NAPAWF volunteers asked folks to sign a petition. They are pushing candidates for the Gwinnett County Board of Education to address the harmful impacts of these fake health centers.
“Local policy makes an immediate difference in our lives, and we have school board elections coming up this November. Four candidates are running for school board in Gwinnett, and we want each and every one of them to come out and address this problem,” AbiSamra said.
The END THE LIES campaign is part of a national campaign NAPAWF is leading in cities across the nation, to end the lies that fake women’s health centers justify telling pregnant women.