Washington D.C. — On March 20th, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, where anti-choice advocates will attempt to use the First Amendment to defend the ability of fake women’s health centers to mislead and lie to women seeking reproductive health care. Ahead of the arguments, CAP released an issue brief today which lays out the way fake women’s health centers target historically marginalized groups—including low-income communities and communities of color—the legislative responses to the these centers misleading practices; and how the legal arguments in NIFLA v. Becerra are nothing more than the latest example of the anti-choice movement’s willingness to disregard the lives and health of women in furtherance of its political goals.
“Fake women’s health centers are sophisticated organizations that utilize misleading and manipulative tactics to lure women into their doors. Their attempt to hide behind the First Amendment in NIFLA v. Becerra shows the willingness of the anti-choice movement to manipulate and mislead women in favor of a political agenda,” says Maggie Jo Buchanan, former associate director of the Women’s Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress and the brief’s lead author. “The danger fake women’s health centers pose doesn’t necessarily stem from their anti-choice beliefs—rather, it comes from the centers’ insistence on hiding those beliefs to the detriment of women’s health care. The right to speak should not and cannot be an excuse to do medical harm.”
CAP specifically looked at the disproportionate impact fake women’s health centers have on women of color and low-income women:
- In order to strengthen their ability to lure women in their doors with promises of free services, fake women’s health centers have an outsized presence in neighborhoods where low-income people and people of color without access to affordable medical care reside.
- The centers’ opposition to comprehensive reproductive health care, especially in light of their targeting of certain communities, contributes to disparities in women’s health and economic well-being nationwide.
- The delays and disruptions for which fake centers are responsible can have a significant impact on women’s other health care relationships as well. Women from communities long-affected by reproductive coercion practices already have reason to distrust the medical profession, and the centers’ manipulative tactics risk worsening health care outcomes for these groups.
The fake women’s health centers are attempting to defeat a California state law—the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency (FACT) Act—that requires certain facilities providing pregnancy related services to also provide common-sense disclosures meant to promote public health and well-being. Just as the lower courts did, the Supreme Court should uphold the validity of the FACT Act in NIFLA v. Becerra and prevent the rollback of basic standards of medical care in service of anti-choice ideology.
For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sally Tucker at 202-481-8103 or firstname.lastname@example.org.