Every single day, women and girls who suspect or may know that they are facing an unexpected pregnancy walk into a building, thinking it is a reproductive health clinic. The facility has a name that communicates providing pregnancy health-related services inside. There is a normal waiting room, people in lab coats, magazines scattered on tables, and examining rooms. It seems almost hard to believe that they not are visiting a reproductive health clinic like a Planned Parenthood —instead, they walked into a fake health center, otherwise known as a crisis pregnancy center that was built, funded, and promoted by an extreme, anti-choice local or national group which works day and night to impose its ideology on the rest of us. In fact, there are 2700 of these centers nationwide, and there are currently 45 in our state alone.

 

Every individual deserves the right to access comprehensive and accurate medical information, especially when considering something as important and timely as pregnancy. Without it, one’s life, economic security, and future could all be at stake. Yet this week, the Supreme Court ruled in NIFLA v Becerra that these fake centers have a free pass to continue deceiving pregnant women and girls, even though they provide false and medically dangerous information about abortion care and contraception. While the lies and deception used in these fake clinics are very real, five male Justices—including Neil Gorsuch, Trump/Pence Administration’s new Justice who was hand-picked by anti-choice advocates — still refused to end the lies.

 

There is evidence everywhere that these anti-choice groups, some with budgets in the millions, will stop at nothing, and use every branch of government to force Americans to live under the restrictions of their extreme and unpopular ideology. In the judicial branch, at the insistence of the anti-choice movement, the Trump/Pence Administration and their allies in the U.S. Senate are pulling out all stops to pack the lower courts with anti-choice judges — and they are doing so at a record pace and, shockingly, sometimes even with help from supporters of abortion rights. The Trump/Pence Administration itself has welcomed many of the leaders of this anti-choice movement into the highest levels of the executive branch, including the White House and cabinet agencies, where they have orchestrated attacks on legitimate reproductive healthcare access, such as the rollback of President Obama’s mandate to include contraception in insurance coverage.

 

Anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers and their political allies have been working together for decades with one goal in mind: ban abortion in America. In state after state, anti-choice politicians are passing radical and unconstitutional abortion bans because they are counting on Trump/Pence Administration’s judges to overturn Roe. And they don’t hide their intentions, bragging that they hope a lawsuit over their legislation will be used by the Supreme Court to do the job. In other states, the attack on reproductive rights comes in other forms. Each year in the Maryland General Assembly, bills are introduced to restrict or ban access to abortion care using various strategies.

 

This week’s decision makes very clear that the Supreme Court is one vote away from overturning Roe v. Wade, and the groups behind this case will not rest until they spend every last dollar to take away our ability to make the best, informed choices for ourselves and our families.

 

We can’t let them win.

 

It is up to us to fight back—against recent judicial nominees, against the lawless, cruel actions of the Trump/Pence Administration, and against the slew of anti-woman, anti-choice bills in our legislatures and Congress. The anti-choice movement is not going to give up—and neither are we. Too much is at stake both here in Maryland and in Washington, DC.

 

To learn more about anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers in Maryland, read our investigative report released just a few weeks ago at www.prochociemd.org. The examples of fake medical intake forms and lack of evidence-based information are unsettling.

 

Together, our power can defeat the lies, and together, we will end them.

 

Diana Philip

Executive Director

NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland

diana@prochoicemd.org

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