“Women deserve compassion NOT coercion,” read one of the signs this past Tuesday as NARAL members protested a fake women’s health center in Hopkins, Minnesota. Volunteers and NARAL staff gathered outside the deceptively named ‘Southwest Options for Women,’ a fake women’s health center off of Hopkins’ Main Street. Other signs reading, “Honk if you’re pro-choice!” encouraged drivers to honk their support in an effort to raise community awareness about the presence and problematic mission of the fake heath center.  

The “coercion” referred to by the volunteer’s sign is one of the standard tactics used by fake women’s health centers to prevent pregnant women from choosing abortion. Fake women’s health centers, also called crisis pregnancy centers or CPCs, target vulnerable women searching for pregnancy options, most commonly abortion. NARAL reports that anti-choice leader and fake health center trainer Abby Johnson claims, “The best client you will ever get is one that thinks she is walking into an abortion clinic.”(NARAL). CPCs deliberately market themselves to attract women attempting to exercise their right to choose by publishing misleading online marketing, working under deceiving names that imply that they offer abortion services and by strategically placing centers across from or next to legitimate abortion providers(NARAL). This strategy not only effectively displaces women seeking abortion options but denies women access to true, medically accurate information about their reproductive health. Because of their intentional misrepresentation, CPCs and their illegitimacy often are unquestioned by the local community. In Minnesota, fake women’s health centers outnumber abortion-providing clinics 15:1, a statistic that reveals the unfortunate commonality of such organizations.(NARAL). Tuesday’s protest was an effort to shine light on their presence and call to action Hopkin’s residents in resisting anti-choice tactics and organizations.

“Women deserve compassion NOT coercion” read signs of NARAL members this past Tuesday as they protested a fake women’s health center in Hopkins, Minnesota. Volunteers and NARAL staff gathered outside the deceptively named ‘Southwest Options for Women,’ a fake women’s health center off of Hopkins’ Main Street. Other signs reading, ‘Honk if you’re pro-choice!” encouraged drivers to honk their support in an effort to raise community awareness about the presence and problematic mission of the fake heath center.  

The “coercion” referred to by the volunteer’s sign is one of the standard tactics used by fake women’s health centers to prevent pregnant women from choosing abortion. Fake women’s health centers, also called crisis pregnancy centers or CPCs, target vulnerable women searching for pregnancy options, most commonly abortion. NARAL reports that anti-choice leader and fake health center trainer Abby Johnson claims, “The best client you will ever get is one that thinks she is walking into an abortion clinic.”(NARAL). CPCs deliberately market themselves to attract women attempting to exercise their right to choose by publishing misleading online marketing, working under deceiving names that imply that they offer abortion services and by strategically placing centers across from or next to legitimate abortion providers(NARAL). This strategy not only effectively displaces women seeking abortion options but denies women access to true, medically accurate information about their reproductive health. Because of their intentional misrepresentation, CPCs and their illegitimacy often are unquestioned by the local community. In Minnesota, fake women’s health centers outnumber abortion-providing clinics 15:1, a statistic that reveals the unfortunate commonality of such organizations.(NARAL). Tuesday’s protest was an effort to shine light on their presence and call to action Hopkin’s residents in resisting anti-choice tactics and organizations.

Sources: Naral Pro-Choice America. “Fake Women’s Health Centers”. End the Lies. 2018.  

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