NEWSFLASH: California Goes After Crisis Pregnancy Centers

It looks like crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) may not be able to act with total impunity anymore. At least not in California if state lawmakers finish work on a disclosure bill.

The California Assembly passed a bill this week that would force CPCs to provide accurate information to pregnant women about all their options, which includes abortion.

Under the bill, CPCs are required to either post or distribute notices educating visitors on their reproductive rights. The notices must share the following:

California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [insert the telephone number].

Also if the CPC is not a medically licensed facility— which is often the case, workers in CPCs rarely have any medical background—it must also disseminate a notice stating so.

There are more than 3,500 CPCs across the country, and though they parade as health clinics, their main purpose is to dissuade women from terminating their pregnancies, often through deception.

A new study from NARAL Pro-Choice America showed that a shocking 91 percent of CPCs told visitors that abortion was linked to breast cancer, miscarriage, infertility or suicide—all myths that have been repeatedly debunked by the medical community.

The next stop for the legislation is the California Senate, where it could be voted on in a committee hearing as early as June 8th. After that it will go to the full Senate for a vote and then to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk for final passage.

If the bill becomes law, it could go a long way to holding CPCs accountable for the inaccuracies they spread.



Associate editor of Ms. magazine