FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2018
Contact: Stephanie Reichin
In Connecticut and across the country, the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) backs efforts to regulate fake clinics and ensure women have access to legitimate care
New York – While the Supreme Court hears arguments today in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, regarding whether California can regulate deceptive crisis pregnancy centers, the state of Connecticut is considering new legislation that would prevent these fake clinics from advertising with false, misleading information about the services they provide.
“Fake clinics deceive women, dispense false information, and endanger women’s health and well-being by depriving them of necessary, time-sensitive medical care,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and NIRH Action Fund. “With a federal administration doing all it can to push abortion out of reach, it’s more important than ever that our cities and states are stepping up to ensure that women have access to accurate, trustworthy medical care by mitigating the deception of fake clinics.”
Nearly 2,500 fake clinics exist in communities across the country. They regularly engage in tactics such as posing as legitimate medical facilities, lying to women about how far along they are in pregnancy, and dispensing medically inaccurate information, all engineered to prevent women from getting an abortion. The result is harm to women’s safety and well-being.
Legislation introduced by the Connecticut House of Representative today, HB 5416, prevents these fake clinics in Connecticut from misleading the public through false and deceptive advertising about the services they provide. It takes a slightly different tact than California’s FACT Act, enacted in 2015 and currently being heard by the Supreme Court, which requires fake clinics to disclose they do not offer abortion services and note that the state offers affordable family planning options.
NIRH has spent a decade fighting the deception of fake clinics, first working with advocates to pass city regulations in Austin, Baltimore and Maryland’s Montgomery County, before working directly with the New York City Council to pass New York’s fake clinic regulation ordinance. Those regulations laid the groundwork for NIRH’s work with advocates in the most recent city to pass a local law regulating fake clinics – Hartford’s Pregnancy Information and Disclosure Protection Ordinance, which requires fake clinics to disclose whether there is a licensed medical provider on site to provide or supervise services, as well as the new statewide bill being heard today at the Connecticut legislature.
“As fake clinics proliferate across the country, endangering women, there is momentum on the ground to curb the dangers caused by their deception, with city councils and state legislatures like Connecticut’s leading the charge,” said Miller. “Advocates and legislators working together will continue to innovate and implement new ways of curbing clinics’ dangerous deception for pregnant women who need timely access to trustworthy medical care.”
Amidst ongoing momentum at both the state and local levels to improve access to reproductive health care, NIRH will continue to work with advocates on the ground to fight the deception of fake clinics in cities and states across the country.
About the National Institute for Reproductive Health
The National Institute for Reproductive Health builds power at the state and local level to change public policy, galvanize public support, and normalize women’s decisions about abortion and contraception.
Using a partnership model, we provide state and local advocates with strategic guidance, hands-on support, and funding to create national change from the ground up. We form strategic partnerships with a wide range of organizations to directly impact the reproductive health and lives of women across the country. Each year, NIRH works in at least 20 states and more than a dozen localities; to date, NIRH has partnered with more than 150 reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations in 39 states and 56 localities across the country.
At the national level, NIRH engages in groundbreaking public opinion research, proactive policy initiatives, and innovative advocacy campaigns to shape a new national conversation about reproductive freedom.