In a joint letter delivered Tuesday, more than 20 national women’s groups called on California Governor Jerry Brown to sign into law A.B. 775, the Reproductive FACT Act, a measure requiring unlicensed clinics providing pregnancy-related services to disclose that they are not medical providers.
The law, introduced in April by Assembly members David Chiu and Autumn Burke, would also require reproductive health clinics to provide information about the state’s public programs offering access to affordable family planning, prenatal and abortion services. It was passed by the California State Assembly in May this year.
Twenty-three national women’s organizations nationwide, including the Feminist Majority Foundation, signed the letter in an effort to curb the proliferation of anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) and address the public health threat posed by their deceptive practices.
“For far too long, anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) have used misleading tactics to lure women in their centers where they intentionally misinform women with long-debunked myths about family planning and abortion,” wrote the groups. “Regardless of one’s opinion on abortion, no woman seeking medical care should be shamed or lied to; let’s start holding CPCs accountable in California.”
Last week, a new poll conducted by Tulchin Research for NARAL Pro-Choice California found overwhelming support statewide for increased regulation of CPCs with more than half of voters backing the measures proposed in the FACT Act.
“This common sense legislation enjoys overwhelming support,” said Amy Everitt, Director of NARAL Pro-Choice California, a co-sponsor of the bill. “We urge the Governor to sign it immediately and stand up for women of California who have been defrauded by CPCs for long enough.”
The fight for clear and accurate information for pregnant women has long been a fight for women’s rights activists. Last year in response to a campaign by NARAL Pro-Choice America and efforts by the Feminist Majority Foundation to expose fake clinics, Google removed deceptive crisis pregnancy center (CPC) advertisements from search engine results when users seek information about abortion services. Most of the advertisements claimed that the CPCs provided abortions when they did not.
Media Resources: NARAL Pro-Choice Press Release 9/14/15; Feminist Newswire 5/27/15; 4/39/14;