San Francisco City Supervisor Malia Cohen is currently working with NARAL Pro-Choice California on legislation that would require that crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to display signs indicating whether they offer comprehensive reproductive health services, including abortions and contraception, and whether a licensed medical professional is on staff.
Cohen stated, “Legislation is a priority because there are clinics using misleading advertising tactics. Women need and deserve to know the whole truth about their health care options.” Currently two CPCs are operating in San Francisco. If the legislation becomes law, San Francisco would be the first city in California to require that CPCs post such signage in their entrances and waiting rooms.
Cohen indicated that she will model legislation on laws in Austin, TX and New York City, both of which require that reproductive health facilities post signs describing which services are offered and whether a licensed physician is on site.
Currently, there are an estimated 3,500 CPCs nationwide, most of which are affiliated with one or more national umbrella organizations. CPCs often pose as comprehensive health centers and offer “free” pregnancy tests. Some CPCs coerce and intimidate women out of considering abortion as an option, and do not offer women neutral or comprehensive medical advice. Often CPCs are run by anti-abortion zealots who are not licensed medical professionals.