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State-Sponsored 'Crisis Pregnancy Centers' Lying About Abortion

Have you ever seen advertisements that read "Pregnant? Scared?" or offer free pregnancy tests? Those are marketing tactics by anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) aimed at luring women through their doors in order to deceive and shame them out of choosing abortion.

NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Foundation recently investigated CPCs in their state to expose the lies and misinformation CPC employees tell women.

Here are a few of the most egregious lies that CPCs tell women who believe they're getting honest medical advice, debunked:

CPC Lie #1: Abortion causes breast cancer.

Truth: This claim has been refuted by the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, and the National Cancer Institute. The most respected scientific studies all show that abortion care does NOT increase a woman's risk of breast cancer.

CPC Lie #2: Abortion will ruin your chances of having children in the future.

Truth: Another unfounded claim. The Guttmacher Institute explains, "The preponderance of evidence from well-designed and well-executed studies shows no connection between abortion and future fertility problems." And according to the Mayo Clinic, abortion (both surgical and medical) does NOT harm a woman's chance of getting pregnant or having a healthy pregnancy in the future.

CPC Lie #3: Abortion is extremely dangerous.

Truth: The National Abortion Federation reports that legal abortion is one of the safest medical procedures performed in the U.S. today. Of the women who received early care - when the majority of women end their pregnancies - "97% percent of women report no complications, and less than 0.5% have more serious complications that require some additional surgical procedure and/or hospitalization." In fact, the complication rate of legal, medically supervised, first-trimester abortion in the United States is significantly lower than the complication rate of most other common outpatient procedures.

CPC Lie #4: Having an abortion will ruin your life.

Truth: The decision to end a pregnancy is a deeply personal one and can elicit a wide variety of emotions, but research has found that "[w]hile some women may experience sensations of regret, sadness or guilt after an abortion, the overwhelming responses are relief and happiness." Another Guttmacher study found that most women do not feel regret after having an abortion procedure. In order to make the best decision for her and her family, a woman must have accurate and comprehensive information. If CPC employees really cared about women's mental health, they wouldn't subject them to coercion and shame.

These lies scare women out of choosing abortion care. When a woman doesn't have honest information about her options, it endangers her reproductive health.

It's happening across the country, too. There are 34 states that currently support these dangerous centers with taxpayer dollars.

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