After a decade of undercover work, NARAL Virginia exposes fake clinics, their tactics, and how they are thriving during the pandemic
ALEXANDRIA, VA — This week, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia released a decade’s worth of findings on the tactics and strategies of fake clinics throughout the Commonwealth. NARAL Virginia conducted numerous undercover investigations over the past ten years into the inner-workings of these fake clinics – also known as crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) – to expose the lies and deceptions they frequently use to push their ideologically-driven, anti-abortion agenda.
NARAL Virginia released two previous comprehensive reports in 2010 and in 2013 exposing Virginia’s fake clinics but continued investigating these deceptive facilities ever since. Unfortunately, as of 2020, their insidious tactics have not been curbed. NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia identified 59 fake clinics throughout the Commonwealth, compared to only 16 licensed abortion providers. Fake clinics are not-for-profit centers that often advertise free pregnancy tests and other services to people facing unplanned pregnancies while deceptively promoting an anti-abortion, anti-reproductive rights agenda.
Every person facing an unplanned pregnancy deserves comprehensive, unbiased, and medically accurate information so they can make the decision best for themselves and their future. But right here in Virginia, fake clinics outnumber our trusted, comprehensive reproductive healthcare providers nearly 4:1– and their well-documented manipulation and disinformation tactics put patients’ health and freedom in jeopardy.
The insidiousness of fake clinics has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 has made safe, comprehensive reproductive healthcare harder to access; fake clinics act as an additional barrier, compounding a patient’s difficulty and confusion in navigating their healthcare during the pandemic. Furthermore, anti-abortion politicians in states across the country have used the pandemic as an excuse to shutter trusted abortion providers under claims that they do not provide “essential healthcare,” while allowing–and even increasing the funding for–fake clinics to operate.
“We are proud to release the findings from our years of investigating Virginia’s fake clinics. We had hoped to find that they had backed away from their lies and deception after our other exposes, but unfortunately, we found that they had just doubled down.,” said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “These 59 fake clinics have and continue to manipulate and lie to their unsuspecting and desperate clients. Despite anti-abortion politicians nationwide attempting to shutter real reproductive health care providers–while funding those based on unsafe, medically inaccurate information and biased agendas–we never back down from standing up for Virginians and the truth. We are exposing these clinics for what they are: fake. I look forward to seeing this resource used by Virginians across the Commonwealth to keep themselves and their communities safe, and they will find real reproductive health care providers to serve them without bias.”
Explore the full findings on the NARAL Virginia website, and learn how to spot fake clinics to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community.
NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and its PAC support candidates who are dedicated to family planning, preventing unplanned pregnancy, and increasing access to reproductive healthcare for women and families. The organization’s powerful statewide network of 22,000 activists will mobilize pro-choice voters throughout Virginia to help elect candidates in November.