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23 creative ways US states are keeping women from getting abortions

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Crisis pregnancy centers, or CPCs, are centers with the goal to dissuade pregnant women from seeking abortion. They are commonly affiliated with anti-abortion religious groups.

CPCs have come under scrutiny in recent years for masquerading as legitimate medical providers (some are licensed to administer sonograms or pregnancy tests but many are not) to provide false or misleading claims about abortion to unsuspecting patients seeking fact-based information about the practice.

A 2006 Congressional report found 87% of CPCs surveyed disseminated medically discredited claims that abortion is linked to breast cancer, mental illness, uterine damage, and infertility. Others have been reported to intentionally mislead women about abortion laws in their state or even how far along they are in their pregnancies.

Many CPCs even use confusing names and signage to trick patients into believing they are abortion clinics. Several have the word “choice” in their name, and some strategically locate themselves next to abortion clinics or park buses outside of them, offering free ultrasounds to lure women inside.

Partially thanks to about $60 million in federal funding combined with millions more in funding from states, CPCs have become widespread in America, outnumbering actual abortion clinics in many areas. Mississippi, for example, has 38 crisis pregnancy centers, one of which is located across the street from the state’s one remaining abortion clinic.

In 2019, the federal Department of Health and Human Services announced that it would be awarding as much as $5.1 million to The Obria Group, a national network of crisis pregnancy clinics opposed to abortion. The group plans to use the grant to fund programs including sexual risk avoidance education and natural family planning.

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