NARAL Pro-Choice New York
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Crisis Pregnancy Center Education Project

Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) are anti-choice organizations that pose as legitimate reproductive health care facilities in order to intentionally deceive and misinform women about abortion and birth control.
2014 Update
New York City may soon move forward with enforcing its ordinance regulating crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs). Passed in 2011, the ordinance requires CPCs to disclose (1) whether they have a licensed medical provider on staff; (2) that the NYC DOH encourages women who are or may be pregnant to consult with a licensed provider; and (3) whether they provide or refer for abortion, EC, or prenatal care. The law also requires CPCs to abide by standard confidentiality practices, since medical privacy laws do not apply to CPCs. Anti-abortion legal groups challenged the ordinance, and a federal district court issued a preliminary injunction blocking its enforcement, finding the definition of "pregnancy services center" vague and that the law raised First Amendment concerns.

On February 17th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the ordinance is not vague and lifted the injunction against the medical provider disclosure provision, leaving in place the injunction against the two other provisions. The case will now return to the district court for further proceedings, but the City may immediately take steps to enforce the medical provider disclosure and the confidentiality rules. 

Although the Second Circuit upheld part of the ordinance and authorized the City to enforce some of its requirements, the opponents of the ordinance are continuing their lawsuit.  The opponents of the law plan to appeal the case to the Supreme Court, and on April 8, 2014, the Second Circuit granted their request to stay the enforcement of the law either until the Supreme Court declines to take the case or until the lawsuit is finally resolved.  This means that while the lawsuit continues, CPCs in New York City may continue to deceive and lie to women in need of reproductive health care.
NARA Pro-Choice New York President Andrea Miller: "The City's ordinance requiring CPCs to disclose whether they have a licensed medical provider on staff is basic and necessary to address the dangers posed by CPCs. The Second Circuit’s decision in January upholding this disclosure requirement was a crucial step toward protecting and advancing women's health.” Read our full statement on this ruling here. 

CPCs in New York City
In response to growing concerns about the harmful practices used by CPCs across the country, we conducted an undercover investigation of the CPCs in New York. In 2010, based on this findings of this year-long investigation, we released a report, entitled "She Said Abortion Could Cause Breast Cancer:" A Report on the Lies, Manipulations, and Privacy Violations of Crisis Pregnancy Centers, on the deceptive and manipulative practices of CPCs in New York City.

Truth-in-advertising legislation
In 2010, spurred by our report, the New York City Council passed, and Major Bloomberg signed into law, bold new legislation to require truth-in-advertising from CPCs in our city. The law, Local Law 17, ensures that every woman who visits a CPC in New York City knows whether she will receive comprehensive options counseling—including referrals for abortion and birth control—whether she will be seeing a licensed medical provider, and that her private, personal information will be kept confidential.

In July 2011, a judge blocked enforcement of this truth-in-advertising law. We will continue to work with the New York City Council and other advocates to ensure that this important regulation goes into effect.

Help raise awareness!
We are fighting back by raising awareness about CPCs. As long as New York’s women are unaware of their true agenda, these anti-choice organizations will continue to spread misinformation and outright lies to women in our communities. If you'd like to learn more or find out how you can help expose crisis pregnancy centers, please don't hesitate to contact us!

Quick Hits

Read our report

To learn more about CPCs in New York City, read the report of our undercover investigation.
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