Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: The Legal Standing of Fake Abortion Clinics

  • Leela de Paula Smith College

Abstract

Across the United States, fake abortion clinics calling themselves “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) are being set up in record numbers by pro-life organizations. These centers operate to compromise the reproductive autonomy of women by dissuading them from getting abortions, disproportionately targeting women from minority communities through deceitful advertisement, scientific misinformation, and false promises of after-birth care. Despite their highly questionable practices, CPCs have little to no regulation as compared to real abortion clinics, relying on legal technicalities and conservative political support in state legislatures for their ongoing operation. An analysis of their legality shows a history of court cases and legislation challenging their existence, often overturned in their favor by conservative forces, and the potential of a few ongoing cases to grant them further influence in communities by limiting abortion access. However, there are promising options to undermine their current legal standing using both medical and consumer laws. As abortion rights stand to be overturned in the Supreme Court, it is important to recognize the CPCs’ crucial role in the anti-abortion movement and to curb their growing influence by limiting their scope of operation through the law and other forms of legal action.

Published
2022-04-11
How to Cite
Leela de Paula. (2022). Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: The Legal Standing of Fake Abortion Clinics. feminists@law, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.22024/UniKent/03/fal.1056
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