We know what you’re thinking. What the hell is a “fake clinic”? Well, let our friends at Lady Parts Justice League explain!
Anti-choice extremists have been attacking abortion access in the U.S. since the procedure became legal in 1973. One of their tactics is one that most people have never heard of: FAKE “CLINICS.” Yep, it’s a thing. In fact, there are close to 4,000 fake clinics all over the country vs. only 780 real abortion providers. Also known as Crisis Pregnancy Centers or CPCs, fake clinics do NOT provide comprehensive reproductive health care—or much of any “health care” at all! Instead, they use phony ads to trick pregnant people into making an appointment, promising “free ultrasounds” or “pregnancy support.” Once inside, people are lied to, shamed, and pressured about their reproductive health decisions, often delaying their procedure or pushing them past the deadline for a legal abortion altogether. CPCs are often made to look like medical facilities, yet they don’t practice medicine (outside of an occasional ultrasound or STI test), nor do they use medical facts or standardized ethics. More and more, these predatory places are funded by taxpayer dollars, impacting poor women and people of color the hardest.
As of October 2017, there are THREE abortion clinics operating in the state of Alabama. There are SIXTY FOUR (yes, 64 – that we could find) FAKE CLINICS (CPC’S).
SIXTY. FOUR. FAKE. CLINICS that LIE to Alabama women. Shady? To say the least.
But….YOU CAN HELP! And WIN A POWER House gift bag full of reproductive & social justice swag! Here’s how.
Download our .pdf list of fake clinics (CPC’s) in Alabama here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/g017g9z5kpobcga/Alabama%20CPC%20List.pdf?dl=0 You can print it out if you want – we’ve left 2 blank pages for you to take notes with.
Grab your laptop, tablet or phone. Make sure you have WiFi, snacks and a glass of wine or your favorite libation – we ain’t judging.
On Yelp, Facebook, or Google+, write an accurate, honest review of a fake clinic.
Crisis Pregnancy Centers do NOT provide abortions, nor do they provide non-judgmental options counseling (which, btw, all abortion providers do!). Yet, these fake clinics advertise using phrases like “abortion counseling” or “pregnancy resources” to try to trick people seeking information about the full range of reproductive health options into walking through their doors. Through Yelp, Facebook, Google+ and other review sites, you can combat this misinformation. Follow the three steps below from our friends at ExposeFakeClinics.com and get reviewing!
STEP #1: CHOOSE A CPC
The .pdf list above contains all of the CPC’s in Alabama (that we know of!). Click through and find one that you’d like to review. Considering there are 64, you have plenty to choose from. If you’re outside of Alabama or know of a fake clinic not in the state, feel free to review them, too!
STEP #2: HAVE A USER EXPERIENCE: LOOK AT THE FAKE CLINIC’S WEBSITE OR GIVE THEM A CALL
Reviews online are only useful if they are accurate, specific, and they speak to your personal experience as a consumer. Either take some time looking at the website of your CPC, or give them a call directly. Below are some recommendations for what to say on the phone as well as what to look out for on websites and through phone calls (adapted from research done by NARAL state affiliates). If you’ve downloaded the POWER House’s .pdf CPC list, there are clickable links that will take you to each fake clinic’s website.
If you call: Keep it short and to the point. Let the person who answers do most of the talking. Remember: You’re calling to find out what services this CPC does and does not offer and how they present to the public. We are NOT here to pull some sketchy David Daleiden move — no recording calls, people! And you don’t have to sound like a ciswoman to take action. You can call to inquire about services for a friend, sister, or yourself:
– I’m (my sister is/friend is) pregnant, and I’m scared.
– I (my sister/friend/partner) want to get an abortion / need to get it taken care of.
– I think I’m (my sister/my friend/my partner is) pregnant, and I need help.
Can I (they) get a pregnancy test there?
– If I’m (they’re) pregnant, can you help me (them)? Can I get an abortion here? Can you help me get an abortion?
– And what about birth control, can I (they) get that from you? Can you tell me where to get birth control?
– Will I (they) get to meet with a doctor or nurse during the appointment?
What will happen during the appointment?
– How much does the appointment cost?
Things to look out for on CPC websites + to listen for on phone calls:
– If they talk about abortion, do they describe the procedure? If so, how do they describe the abortion process (i.e. what terms did they use – fetus, baby, child, medical terms, names of instruments used, terminate, kill, etc.)?
– Do they discuss any of the following when talking about abortion: breast cancer / medical complications / mental health problems / moral judgment or moral issues / religious or spiritual issues / future infertility / fetal pain / sexual dysfunction / other risks to fetus / post abortion stress syndrome / abortion as murder?
– Do they give referrals or resources for where to get abortion services? If yes, what resources did they give you? If no, what reason did they give for not referring?
– Do they offer resources and help that would be available to you if you carried the pregnancy to term? If yes, what resources are offered (i.e. maternity/baby clothes, prenatal care, prenatal support, living support, etc.)?
– Is there anything on the site or any specific comments made to you by the CPC staff on the phone that stick out in your mind? Were you surprised by anything that occurred? Any details, impressions, or feelings—positive or negative—that you’d like to share about your call/website experience?
STEP #3: WRITE + SHARE YOUR REVIEW!
Read This First: Before submitting reviews on Facebook or Google, make sure to review your Facebook and Google profiles to see what is visible to those outside of your network of friends. Check out this Stay Safe Online resource for more on protecting your data privacy!
YELP – A Yelp review works best if you’re already a Yelp user. You don’t yelp? Now’s a great time to sign up! If you only write a Yelp review of one business, like a CPC, your review will not be public. So if you aren’t up to writing reviews of at least a few businesses, use Facebook or Google+ instead.
FACEBOOK – On each CPC’s FB page, there is a space for reviews. Write ’em! If you’ve downloaded the POWER House’s .pdf list, there are clickable links that will take you directly to their Facebook page.
GOOGLE+ – Like Yelp, Google+ works best if you have a Gmail account. Google+ reviews pop up when you do a Google search for a particular CPC.
Remember: It’s important to tell ONLY your personal experience. Reviews must be specific to your experience, honest, and legit, otherwise credibility flies out the door. We are exposing manipulation, not making it up out of thin air. If you call and they turn out to be a real provider, great! Write about it. The goal is to inform people about where they can go for accurate information and care. With honest reviews and information about services provided—or not provided!—people will be able to make decisions that are best for them.
Here’s an example of a great review left for a fake clinic in Texas:
STEP #4 – CLICK & “LIKE” HONEST REVIEWS
Check out the Yelp pages, Google Reviews, and Facebook pages of CPCs. When you mark honest and accurate reviews as helpful, it’s easier for people to see what services a center provides.
Now that you’ve done all that, we know you want to know about this awesome swag bag we’re giving away to the person who reviews the most fake clinics! EACH REVIEW WILL GET YOU ONE (1) ENTRY. For example: if you only make one review, you get entered once. Review 10 and you get ten entries and increase your chance of winning!
This bag will contain all of the best reproductive & social justice goodies you’ve ever wanted, along with a $$ gift card $$ and other kick ass stuff that we’ll tease over on our Facebook page all week.
DROP LINKS TO YOUR HONEST REVIEW OF A FAKE CLINIC OR SCREEN SHOTS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW, or email them to us at: MontgomeryAreaReproJustice@gmail.com if privacy is a concern for you. YOU MUST SEND US YOUR REVIEW(S) VIA EMAIL OR COMMENTING BELOW OR YOU WILL NOT BE ENTERED TO WIN THE SWAG BAG.
NOW LET’S EXPOSE FAKE CLINICS TOGETHER!!