Crisis pregnancy centers push back on AG warning to consumers


His warning came after Roe v. Wade, warning pregnant women wishing to have an abortion to avoid the centres.

A sign posted outside Problem Pregnancy, a crisis pregnancy center on Pleasant Street in Worcester. Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe

After Attorney General Maura Healey issued a warning to consumers about pregnancy centers in crisis in Massachusetts, a newly formed coalition of centers wrote a letter urging her to lift the warning and demanding that she defend them against vandalism attacks.

His warning came after Roe v. Wade, warning pregnant women seeking abortions to avoid the centers because they are organizations that “do NOT provide abortion care or referral, contraception, or other reproductive health care , despite what they may advertise,” according to his opinion.

The response letter, signed by the Massachusetts Family Institute and the First Liberty Institute and dated September 12, is an 18-page document detailing the requests and posing questions to Healey. The First Liberty Institute is a nonprofit law firm and the Massachusetts Family Institute is a nonpartisan public policy organization. together they represent a coalition of pregnancy crisis centers, or what they call “pregnancy resource centers,” in Massachusetts.

Their letter defends these centers as groups “of men and women, motivated by their faith to provide medical and professional counseling services and donate hand-knit diapers, baby wipes and baby booties to those who need it”.

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Rebecca Hart Holder, executive director of Reproductive Equity Now, an organization that aims to make reproductive health care accessible to everyone, says crisis pregnancy centers are specifically designed to make a pregnant woman’s options confusing.

“Crisis Pregnancy Centers try to keep you from realizing that they are not legitimate health care providers offering the full spectrum of care,” she said.

Much of the response letter focused on vandalism at various crisis pregnancy centers, saying no arrests or attempts “to investigate and prosecute Jane’s Revenge” (one of the groups allegedly responsible for some acts of vandalism ) “or other anarchists” was performed.

The letter also accused Healey of “falsely” stating that crisis pregnancy centers were using “deceptive and coercive tactics” and asked him to take action to protect the centers.

“We remind you that as an officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it is your duty to everything citizens of Massachusetts, including those with whom you may politically disagree as they knit baby blankets and distribute baby food,” the letter reads.

Although the Attorney General’s Office condemns vandalism and destruction of any property, they said it is also illegal to deprive a person of their right to access abortion or to threaten or persuade people who attempt to invoke this right.

“It is extremely important that patients seeking abortion care are not misled, intimidated or coerced, and that their constitutional right to make decisions about their pregnancy is protected,” a spokeswoman for Maura said. Healy.

Hart Holder said crisis pregnancy centers are so harmful precisely because of the way they mislead people.

“They have an anti-abortion program, which is not clear or transparent to people who access their care,” she said. “Their goal is to prevent anyone who comes to their clinic with information that deters them from choosing abortion care. They often use fake science and misinformation to lie to people about abortion care.

Hart Holder recommended the New England Abortion Care Guide, a resource for people to find legitimate abortion clinics in their area.

Crisis pregnancy centers outnumber legitimate health care providers in Massachusetts by three to one, Hart Holder said, stressing that it’s important even in a state like Massachusetts, which is not historically anti -choice insofar as other states are, to be aware of these centers. .

Read the full letter from the First Liberty Institute and the Massachusetts Family Institute here:

Prc letter to Ag Healey with redacted parts on Scribd



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