Go to Content Go to Navigation Go to Navigation Go to Site Search Homepage

Contact: Carrie Mumah at [email protected] or 212-274-7294

 

As the NYC Council holds hearing on crisis pregnancy centers, Planned Parenthood of New York City highlights deceptive methods these facilities use to mislead pregnant New Yorkers

NEW YORK – Today Planned Parenthood of New York City is testifying at the New York City Council oversight hearing on the regulation of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), and highlighting the five worst tactics that these anti-abortion facilities in NYC use to mislead pregnant New Yorkers.

“New Yorkers deserve to have safe and timely access to the full range of high-quality reproductive health care,” said Laura McQuade, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of New York City. “Yet throughout NYC, crisis pregnancy centers masquerade as legitimate health care facilities solely to shame and mislead pregnant individuals about their reproductive health options. These facilities, whose only goal is to stop individuals from accessing safe abortion care and birth control, use deliberate, extreme tactics to misinform and deceive those who most often come through their doors thinking they are health care providers, which they are not. These tactics can lead to delays in patients receiving time-sensitive health services.”

CPCs attempt to give the appearance of a qualified medical facility even though they are not licensed to provide medical services. Individuals are led to believe CPCs provide abortion services or referrals for care, often unaware of their implicit anti-abortion and anti-birth control position.

PPNYC has identified the five worst tactics that these anti-abortion facilities across the city use to mislead people, partially based on feedback PPNYC has received from patients who accidentally went to a CPC thinking they were a licensed medical facility.

Five Worst Tactics of NYC’s Crisis Pregnancy Centers:

Deceptive Tactic

How CPCs Use It to Mislead Consumers

Examples of CPCs That Use the Tactic

Misleading Signage

CPCs frequently use misleading physical signage to give the impression they are legitimate health centers, at times using language and design elements similar to Planned Parenthood. CPCs violate NYC Local Law 17, which mandates that they have specific written and oral disclosures making it clear that they do not have a licensed medical provider on site to provide or supervise all services.

EMC Frontline Bronx: The CPC across from PPNYC’s Bronx location displays a large banner across several storefront windows stating, "Plan Your Parenthood” and distributes materials that say, “Unplanned pregnancy?”

Locating Facilities Near Reproductive Health Centers

CPCs locate their facilities near reproductive health centers to confuse and intercept individuals seeking medical care.

Bridge to Life, Queens: Sent newsletters stating they purchased a billboard and subway ad in Long Island City, and were looking for a space next to PPNYC’s Queens center “to reach abortion-minded women before they enter PP.”  EMC Frontline Bronx is located directly across the street from PPNYC’s Bronx health center and another CPC is in the same building as PPNYC’s Brooklyn health center.

Giving Impression That They Provide Abortion

CPCs often post manipulative information on their websites to give the impression that they provide reproductive health services.

 

Several CPCs post images of individuals wearing scrubs and lab coats, further giving the appearance of a licensed medical facility.

EMC Frontline: Website includes pages that say “I want an abortion,” “What are my options?” and “Abortion information.”

Harassing and Pressuring Patients Seeking Care at Health Centers That Provide Abortion

CPC representatives stand outside abortion providers to target patients and convince them to instead come to the CPC.

Sisters of Life: Their “sidewalk counselors” stand outside PPNYC’s Manhattan health center and tell patients that they would take them to a “real doctor.”

Providing False Medical Information and Misinformation About Reproductive Health Options

PPNYC staff have received multiple reports from patients that CPC staff provide false and often upsetting information; showing disturbing images and videos, and falsely stating that emergency contraception is ineffective.

EMC Frontline Bronx: This summer, a PPNYC patient was told by an EMC Bronx representative that having an abortion would cause her to “bleed out and fall into a coma.” The patient said that when she asked if she was at Planned Parenthood she was told she was.

“As a leading sexual and reproductive health care provider in New York City, PPNYC sees firsthand the impact that CPCs have on individuals trying to access reproductive health care. Our patients have reported that they are given inaccurate information, feel harassed and intimidated, and are misled into thinking the CPCs provide birth control and abortion, many times when they were under the impression they were at one of our health centers,” McQuade explains. “New Yorkers deserve to know the truth about crisis pregnancy centers.”

The New York City Council’s Committee on Consumer Affairs’ oversight hearing is focused on Local Law 17, which provides protections to inform New Yorkers what services they can expect they will and will not receive at a crisis pregnancy center. Local Law 17 mandates that crisis pregnancy centers have specific written and oral disclosure language for all consumers making it clear that the facility does not have a licensed medical provider on site to provide or supervise all services. The Department of Consumer Affairs is charged with enforcing the law.  

For an interview, or images of CPCs and their tactics, please email [email protected] or call 212-274-7294. 

###

Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) has been an advocate for and provider of reproductive health services and education for New Yorkers. Serving more than 60,000 clients annually, PPNYC’s health care centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island offer reproductive health services, including gynecological care, contraception, pregnancy testing, abortion, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, and HIV testing and counseling. Through a threefold mission of clinical services, education, and advocacy, PPNYC brings better health and more fulfilling lives to each new generation of New Yorkers. As a voice for reproductive freedom, PPNYC supports legislation and policies to ensure that all New Yorkers will have access to the full range of reproductive health care services and information.