Fake women’s health centers intentionally advertise themselves as real medical facilities to lure unsuspecting pregnant people inside, calling themselves “pregnancy resource centers” or “women’s health clinics.”
Fake women’s health centers are often located near real abortion clinics, a tactic designed to confuse patients into entering the wrong location.
Medically inaccurate lies about abortion, birth control and fetal development. Fake women’s health centers are notorious for spreading inaccurate information about abortion, such as the lie that abortion leads to an increased risk of breast cancer (it does not) and causes emotional or psychological distress and infertility. They also peddle misinformation about contraception to discourage people from taking steps to prevent unintended pregnancy.
In 2011 Texas passed a law that requires pregnant people seeking abortion to obtain a sonogram 24 hours beforehand by the same doctor who will perform their abortion. Fake women’s health centers often offer free sonograms as a way to lure pregnant people in the door, knowing that a sonogram is required but that most people are unaware of the law. These sonograms are often performed by volunteers and not licensed sonographers or health care providers.
Fake women’s health centers take advantage of the lack of public knowledge about recent restrictions on abortion and use manipulative tactics to extend their visitors’ pregnancies to the point where abortion is difficult, if not impossible, to access in Texas. Center volunteers convince visitors to delay or postpone their appointments, give fake due dates or overstate the possibility of miscarriage to convince them not to have an abortion.
Fake women’s health centers are often religiously affiliated and make prayer or proselytization a key part of their services, despite the fact that many centers receive federal and state funding and are thus prohibited from including religion as part of service provision.
In funneling millions of your tax dollars to fake women’s health centers, the state of Texas is directly funding deception and lies. Since 2006, the Texas Legislature has been siphoning money away from financial assistance and public health programs to fund fake women’s health centers. Now, they receive $9.1 million a year.
The Texas Legislature allows fake women’s health centers to operate with little to no oversight. While the Legislature regulates licensed abortion clinics out of existence, fake women’s health centers are unlicensed, and lawmakers have no mechanism to hold them accountable.