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

The Department of Consumer Affairs sustained charges against the Expectant Mother Care Frontline Crisis Pregnancy Center, enforcing NYC’s CPC accountability law

NEW YORK – The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs has issued a $1,500 fine to EMC Frontline (EMC), an anti-abortion facility. This is the first fine that the City has sustained against a crisis pregnancy center (CPC) under 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.

“We applaud the Department of Consumer Affairs for sustaining the fine against EMC Frontline as the anti-abortion facility continues its deceptive practices that violate NYC law,” said Laura McQuade, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of New York City. “EMC facilities regularly mislead people seeking care at Planned Parenthood of New York City, and lie to pregnant New Yorkers about their health care options. New Yorkers deserve to know the truth about CPCs--we will continue to work with the City to protect New Yorkers from CPCs’ harmful tactics.”

Local Law 17 mandates that CPCs provide specific written and oral disclosures language for all consumers making it clear that they do not have a licensed medical provider on site to directly provide or supervise all services. Department of Consumer Affairs inspectors visited EMC Pregnancy Center three different times, when no medical staff were onsite--and EMC never displayed the required disclosure signage. sage or disclosures.  

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 anti-abortion and anti-birth control position.

EMC Frontline operates multiple CPCs in NYC, including one directly across from Planned Parenthood of New York City’s Bronx Health Center, and one in the same building as our Brooklyn health center. EMC Frontline Bronx displays a large storefront banner stating “Unplanned Pregnancy? Plan Your Parenthood” with design elements similar to Planned Parenthood. 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.” EMC’s website includes pages titled, ‘Abortion information’ and 'I want an abortion’ to mislead people into thinking that they provide abortion care.

“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 essential health care,” says McQuade. “Our patients have shared countless horrifying stories with our staff about lies they were told, how they felt harassed and intimidated, and how they were tricked into going into a CPC when they were trying to access one of our health centers. Too many times patients have come to us after first mistakenly entering a nearby CPC, and said, ‘how come no one told me that places like that exist?’”

This hearing and fine follow a New York City Council Committee on Consumer Affairs oversight hearing in November focused on Local Law 17 where DCA testified in defense of its enforcement of the law, and where PPNYC and other advocates testified on the importance of rigorous enforcement and the need for NYC to inform New Yorkers about their health care options, without having to face shame and judgement for seeking care.

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Since 1916, Planned Parenthood of New York City (PPNYC) has been an advocate for and provider of sexual and reproductive health services and education for New Yorkers. Providing more than 100,000 patient visits annually, PPNYC’s health care centers in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island offer sexual and reproductive health services, including gynecological care, birth control, cancer screening, pregnancy testing, abortion, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections, HIV prevention, testing and counseling, transgender hormone therapy and vasectomy. 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.