Governor Charlie Baker’s recent veto denies much-needed public education about the deceptive advertising practices employed by crisis pregnancy centers (“Abortion measure veto seen as surprise,” Metro, Nov. 12). Crisis pregnancy centers are not health facilities. While they purport to offer the full spectrum of reproductive health care, including abortion care, in reality they deceive women and manipulate them away from seeking an abortion. Crisis pregnancy centers can delay care for people who unknowingly visit their facilities seeking an abortion. Worse, they potentially prevent women from accessing medication abortion, which can be obtained at up to 10 weeks of pregnancy and is far less invasive and costly than a surgical abortion.
These centers do not offer medically sound information. For example, one center’s website says that “women who abort face a 50% increase in breast cancer.” This is patently untrue. These scare tactics are dangerous and can prevent vulnerable people from receiving the health care they deserve.
A public education campaign would reach a broader audience, providing information about the difference between crisis pregnancy centers and actual clinics that provide a range of reproductive services benefiting people in Massachusetts. Hopefully, funding will be restored after Maura Healey becomes governor. Further, it is time we regulate crisis pregnancy centers so that they do not continue to pretend to be what they are not.
The writer is a member of Mystic Valley Action for Choice.