Crisis Pregnancy Centers in New York City: Honest Advertising or Manipulation?

Sasha Brown-Worsham

We have all seen the signs for crisis pregnancy centers on the subway or on billboards on the highway:

"Pregnant? Scared? Call Us!"

They rope young women in with promises of free tests and exams, but what they really do is pump women in crisis full of propaganda and lies. They tell her she will get breast cancer if she aborts. They tell her she will regret it forever. And they offer sonograms designed not to "date" the pregnancy, but to tug at the heartstrings. Maybe if she sees the "baby," she will choose not to abort.

It's raw manipulation at the most vulnerable time in a woman's life, and now they're potentially going to have to at least be honest about their motives in New York City.

“Crisis pregnancy centers” are almost always anti-abortion organizations run by pro-life groups. They don't offer a full range of reproductive health services for women, though they often advertise as though they do. They don't provide information on birth control options or referrals for abortions.

According to The Frisky:

“Crisis pregnancy centers” have also been known to repeat the rumor that abortion causes breast cancer, which has been debunked by the National Cancer Institute, to show women graphic photographs of aborted fetuses, and tell them things like “God will never forgive you.”

In short, they lie. And now they may have to be more honest. NYC City Council speaker Christine Quinn and Councilwomen Jessica Lappin are proposing legislation that would require “crisis pregnancy centers” to be clear. It would mandate that they:

  • post signs at the entrance and waiting rooms that it doesn't provide abortions or contraceptives
  • post signs if there are no medical professionals on staff

These "crisis centers" may want to ask themselves a simple question: Why are they so resistant to this? Are they really so afraid that if they're transparent, no one will come to see them? If so, then they must be stopped. That proves they are attempting to manipulate and cheat and lie and they're hoping that women won't be smart enough to care.

But we are and we do. Be honest and then see who comes to see you. It's the right thing to do.

Do you think these centers need to be more transparent?


Image via Daquella manera/Flickr


Read More