What are Crisis Pregnancy Centers?
A Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC), sometimes called a Pregnancy Resource Center, is a fake clinic that does NOT provide comprehensive reproductive health care — or much of any health care at all.
Crisis Pregnancy Centers can also go by the name
Pregnancy Resource Center
- If the ad or flier for a clinic emphasizes how scary a pregnancy can be, it's probably a CPC
If a website add or flier for a clinic uses the phrase
life affirming,it is probably a CPC.
- If the center offers free ultrasounds and pregnancy tests, it's likely a CPC
If the website offers abortion
informationbut nothing on actual abortion services, it's probably a CPC
- If you call to ask about abortion and they refuse to answer your questions over the phone, it's probably a CPC
When reviewing a potential clinic's website, look for coded
anti-choice language and perspective, including referring to an
a human being in early stages of developmentand an emphasis on
- If the clinic's website or staff refuse to offer referral for actual abortion providers, it's probably a CPC
- If the clinic does not provide extended OB/GYN or pre-natal care, birth control prescription or devices, or fertility testing, it's probably a CPC
We Deserve the Facts
The services offered at crisis pregnancy centers are offered at many other places — free from coercion and judgment. Where can you go instead of a fake clinic?
Allegheny County Health Department
Downtown Planned Parenthood
(Tuesday, Thursday, Friday)
Wilkinsburg Family Health Center
Alma Illery Medical Center
Braddock Family Health Center
Downtown Planned Parenthood
The Children's Home
Squirrel Hill Health Center
East Liberty Family Health Care Services
Allegheny Reproductive Health Center
(abortions up to 23 weeks 6 days)
Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC
(abortions up to 24 weeks)
Western Pennsylvania Fund for Choice
Reproductive rights are under attack, causing an ever-increasing number of barriers for those seeking abortion. The Western Pennsylvania Fund for Choice ensures that money is not one of these obstacles. This abortion fund helps those in need of abortion services by provideing financial assistance for abortion services, transportation, housing, and childcare to those in need.
National Network of Abortion Funds
The National Network of Abortion Funds builds power with members to remove financial and logistical barriers to abortion access by centering people who have abortions and organizing at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive justice.
As socialist feminists, our analysis is grounded in the interconnected nature of capitalism, cis-hetero-patriarchy, misogyny, and white supremacy. We see CPCs as agents of state-supported violence against pregnant people. CPCs inflict emotional and financial violence on people who need healthcare and support. They appropriate the language of the feminist movement to dupe pregnant people, and they do it with taxpayer money, at the expense of families with children: Pennsylvania invented the practice of diverting TANF (welfare) funds to support crisis pregnancy centers.
CPCs in Pennsylvania have enjoyed this support since 2001, while actual abortion and reproductive health care providers struggle to stay open. Socialist feminists expose and combat CPCs because they cause real harm: to us as people who can become pregnant, who have had abortions, who have families, and who are fully autonomous human beings. Socialist feminists organize to reveal the agenda behind CPCs and to choke off their sources of support at all levels because a socialist future is impossible without reproductive justice.
Barriers to Reproductive Justice in PA
Though no public funds cover elective abortion — and a family
can't purchase private insurance in the federally facilitated
marketplace that covers abortion even when the health of
the pregnant people is threatened by continuing the
pregnancy — every year in Pennsylvania,
millions of dollars in taxpayer money goes to so-called
crisis pregnancy centers, faux-medical centers with a record of lying to families.
- A person must receive state-directed counseling that includes information designed to discourage them from having an abortion, and then wait 24 hours before the procedure is provided.
- Health plans offered in the state's health exchange under the Affordable Care Act can only cover abortion if the patient's life is endangered, or in cases of rape or incest, unless individuals purchase an optional rider at an additional cost.
- Abortion is covered in insurance policies for public employees only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.
- The parent of a minor must consent before an abortion is provided.
- Medicaid does not cover abortion. Public funding is available for abortion only in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest.
- The state requires abortion clinics to meet unnecessary and burdensome standards related to their physical plant, equipment and staffing.
- An abortion may be performed at 24 or more weeks after the last menstrual period only if the person's life is endangered or health is severely compromised.
- 82% of Pennsylvania counties have no abortion providers.
- Women's Choice Network (locations in Oakland, Wexford, Northside, Monroeville)
- Birthright of Pittsburgh (located in Oakland)
- Choices Pregnancy Center (located in South Side, Coraopolis and Beaver)
- Image Clear Ultrasound Mobile Clinics (Parked throughout Pittsburgh)
- Lifeline of Southwest PA (located Downtown, Cranberry, and Beaver)
- The Women’s Clinic (formerly Cura Women’s Care Clinic) (located in Upper St. Clair/ Mt. Lebanon)
- The Learning Center at Genesis (located in Bellevue)
- Genesis of Pittsburgh (located in Washington and Bellevue)
- A National List of CPCs
- More about the Reproductive Justice framework.
- New Voices Pittsburgh
- Expose Fake Clinics from the Lady Parts Justice League
- John Oliver's segment on Fake Clinics.
- An NBC report on a local CPC.
- End The Lies
- Blog Post: Real Alternatives or Real B.S.?
How Crisis Pregnancy Centers Are Using Taxpayer Dollars to Lie to WomenSalon
Abortion Freedom of Speech Battle Headed to the Supreme CourtThe Conversation
- A woman's experience with Women's Choice Network in Pittsburgh
Anti-abortion group gets taxpayer money but hides records, lawsuit claimsPennLive
(Medical journal articles about CPCs and Abortion Access)
- Bryant AG, Swartz JJ. Why Crisis Pregnancy Centers are Legal but Unethical. American Medical Association Journal of Ethics. 2018 Mar 1; 20(1).
- Swartzendruber A et al. Crisis Pregnancy Centers in the United States: Lack of Adherence to Medical and Ethical Practice Standards; A Joint Position Statement of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology. J Pediatr Adolsc Gynecol. 2019 Dec; 32(6).
- Borrero S et al. Crisis Pregnancy Centers: Faith Centers Operating in Bad Faith. Journal of General Internal Medicine 2018; 34(1).
- Swartzendruber A, Lambert DN. A Web-Based Geolocated Directory of Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) in the United States: Description of CPC Map Methods and Design Features and Analysis of Baseline Data. JMIR Public Health Surveill. 2020 Jan-Mar; 6(1).
- Bearak JM et al. Disparities and change over time in distance women would need to travel to have an abortion in the USA: a spatial analysis. Lancet Public Health. 2017 Nov; 2(11).