Maloney, Bonamici Introduce Legislation to Stop False Advertising in Women’s Healthcare Services
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswomen Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) today reintroduced the Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women’s Healthcare Services Act to crack down on false advertising related to family planning and reproductive health services. This bill directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prohibit reproductive healthcare service providers, including fake women’s health centers, from using deceptive advertising to imply that they provide abortion services when they do not, or that they do not provide abortion services when they do.
“No one should have to question that the person they are seeking medical advice from is actually a doctor or that information is accurate, objective, and complete,” said Congresswoman Maloney. “It is truly disgusting that women’s reproductive rights are being taken away from them by fake women’s health centers whose guiding principle is to mislead, misinform, and outright lie to pregnant women, all to dissuade them from exercising their constitutionally protected right to have an abortion. It is long past time that we prohibit these predatory tactics to undermine women’s reproductive health. This legislation simply requires the FTC to ensure honesty in advertising for anyone promoting healthcare services to women.”
“Women must be able to trust their health care providers when making critical decisions about family planning and reproductive health,” said Congresswoman Bonamici. “Crisis pregnancy centers mislead women into thinking they provide comprehensive services, then limit women’s options by spreading misinformation about abortion. The mistruths and lies these centers spread can have devastating, long-term consequences for women and their families. This legislation will protect women by making sure crisis pregnancy centers cannot continue to advertise deceptive messages about the services they provide.”
“Now more than ever, it’s critical that women looking for information about their reproductive healthcare options have access to the full and honest truth—not disinformation or biased propaganda. NARAL applauds Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Congresswoman Bonamici for their leadership and for standing up for women and families,” said NARAL Vice President Adrienne Kimmell.
“Everyone should have accurate information about all of their pregnancy options. Yet, there are now four times as many anti-abortion ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ operating in this country as there are legitimate health centers that provide or refer for the full range of options, including adoption, raising a child, or having a safe, legal abortion,” said Jacqueline Ayers, Vice President, Government Relations & Public Policy, Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “These anti-abortion centers are known for using deceitful and misleading information and telling patients outright lies about the medical and emotional effects of abortion. We applaud Congresswomen Maloney and Bonamici for introducing legislation to prevent these centers from lying to women who are looking for accurate information and real medical care. At Planned Parenthood, we’ll continue providing high-quality, compassionate health care and medically accurate information at our more than 600 health centers nationwide.”
Fake women’s health centers, sometimes called crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), are anti-choice advocacy organizations that pretend to be medically licensed reproductive healthcare providers in order to discourage pregnant women from having abortions. Staff at these clinics present themselves as medical professionals even though these centers often do not have a single licensed doctor on site. Their deceptive tactics include disseminating inaccurate information, such as claims that abortion causes infertility. There are more than 4,000 fake women’s health centers nationwide; these centers are estimated to outnumber legitimate reproductive healthcare clinics 3 to 1.