In a time when access to abortions is ever-shrinking, it's particularly egregious that people across the country are still being deceived by fake abortion clinics, masquerading as "crisis pregnancy centers."
Enter: The #ExposeFakeClinics campaign, in which millennial activists are working to expose so-called "crisis pregnancy centers," which work under the pretense of providing people with reliable medical information — and instead try to talk women out of abortions. Earlier this year, we reported that unlicensed and unregulated clinics (many of which are founded on religious principles) often omit the fact that they don't actually provide abortions, and deliberately give women inaccurate information about their health.
Ofelia Alonso, a 21-year-old senior at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, tells Refinery29 that she got involved through the 1 in 3 Campaign, an organization that seeks to end the stigma surrounding abortions.
"These fake abortion clinics target vulnerable patients, and affect our community greatly," Alonso says. "The money used to fund these CPCs could be used to fund Planned Parenthood, a clinic that actually provides affordable medical care to our community."
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After getting involved as a volunteer, Alonso was able to organize a group of fellow students and activists for a week of action in the Rio Grande Valley to work on exposing the aforementioned clinics.
In addition to protests, she and her team also participated in social media initiatives to educate others on why fake clinics are a problem.
A report from Time in 2010 found that there were more than 4,000 CPCs across the country at the time, and according to the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, these clinics receive direct state funding in at least 12 states, further contributing to the false impression that they are legitimate medical centers.
That's why, Alonso says, it's so important to bring awareness to CPCs and shed light on their intimidation tactics and misinformation.
"Forced parenthood and anti-abortion agendas should not be condoned by the state," Alonso tells us. "More than anything, I think it is important to get involved because so many people are unaware that these establishments are shams."
The #ExposeFakeClinics week of action is going on from October 23-28, and you don't have to be a college student (or even a millennial) to contribute. You can review a fake clinic online if you happen to know of one, lead up your own demonstration, or even just spread the word via social media.
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