Report Shows Anti-Abortion Orgs Receive Millions in State Funding to Mislead Clients, Provide Few Services

Gender Justice joined the Alliance: State Advocates for Women’s Rights & Gender Equality today in releasing a report, “Designed to Deceive: A Study of the Crisis Pregnancy Center Industry in Nine States.”

ST PAUL, MINNESOTA — Gender Justice joined the Alliance: State Advocates for Women’s Rights & Gender Equality today in releasing a report, “Designed to Deceive: A Study of the Crisis Pregnancy Center Industry in Nine States.” The report sheds light on the activities and funding sources of crisis pregnancy centers — centerpieces of an extreme anti-abortion strategy that has been quietly unfolding for decades, behind higher-profile legislative and legal battles.

The report shows that, rather than offer legitimate healthcare and resources, CPCs target pregnant people of color and pregnant people with lower incomes with deceptive marketing; provide few or no real medical services; and systematically mislead clients about services they do provide, potentially resulting in delayed care and unnecessary risks to their clients’ health. 

The report, which details the activities of CPCs in Minnesota, finds that:

  • CPCs, which provide few or no legitimate medical services and systematically mislead their clients, outnumber real abortion providers in Minnesota by 11 to 1, well over the national average of 3 to 1.
  • A state grant program established by the Minnesota Positive Abortion Alternatives (PAA) statute quietly awards $357 million per year to anti-abortion groups, including CPCs, while taxpayers who fund this program largely remain in the dark.
  • Twenty-two Minnesota CPCs (29%) promote abortion pill reversal, a dangerous practice that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists call “unethical” and “not based on science.” Nine of these 22 centers receive state funding.

“Even in the middle of a massive maternal mortality crisis, anti-abortion legislators would rather fund fake clinics than provide their pregnant constituents with desperately needed resources,” said Megan Peterson, Executive Director at Gender Justice. “They don’t do this because it’s better for pregnant people and their families, but because it serves their ideology. That is the extreme position in this conversation.”

The report recommends that Minnesota take the following actions to protect pregnant people’s health and increase accountability and transparency for CPCs operating in our state:

  • Repeal the PAA statute and redistribute taxpayer-funded money to health care and direct service providers offering evidence-based care for low-income pregnant people.
  • Repeal “informed consent” legislation that mandates doctors tell patients inaccurate medical claims linking abortion to infertility and breast cancer.
  • Eliminate the 2-parent notification requirement for minors seeking abortion care.

Even in states like ours with strong legal protections for abortion, the proliferation of CPCs threatens access to abortion care and contraception, especially for lower-income people and people of color. This demands a response that addresses the real barriers that pregnant people face when trying to access abortion care.

Read the report here.

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