The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ted Miller, 202.973.3032

66,608 Americans Call on and to Stop Allowing Deceptive Anti-Abortion Ads

So-called “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” Mislead Women by Advertising Abortion Services They Don’t Provide


Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, today
sent a petition with more
than 66,000 signatures to the chief executive officers of and that calls on the sites to
enforce their policies against misleading advertising practices.

NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation's research uncovered that
so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) in 25 states are using the
sites, which garner millions of visits each year, to advertise under
abortion-related services or referrals. Calls made by staff to these
CPCs confirmed that they don't offer this medical care or referrals to
legitimate providers that do.

"CPCs, adapting their strategies to incorporate today's technology,
use deceptive, online-advertising techniques to mislead unsuspecting
women, and that's just wrong," Keenan said. "It is fine for groups that
oppose abortion to advertise, but CPCs shouldn't be allowed to advertise
services they don't provide. No matter how a person feels about the
question of legal abortion, everyone can agree that women should never
be misled when seeking information about their health-care options."

NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation's efforts against deceptive
online advertising coincided with action on Capitol Hill. Late last
week, Rep.
Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) reintroduced legislation that would give
the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the authority to protect women from
anti-choice CPCs that use deceptive advertising practices.

Keenan said that the petition delivery marks the latest phase of
NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation's grassroots mobilization to educate
the public about the threats that CPCs pose. Recent investigations by
NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation and its state affiliates, along with
a congressional study, have revealed that most CPCs are not regulated and
engage in deceptive practices
. CPCs often advertise as if they
provide abortion services or counseling, when, in fact, they are centers
created to dissuade women from exercising their right to choose.

The CPCs' misleading and false advertising practices are garnering
attention across the country. The city councils of Baltimore, Maryland
and Austin, Texas have passed ordinances requiring CPCs to inform women
of the services they don't provide. Local leaders took this action after
NARAL affiliates published reports showing that CPCs were misleading
women in their communities.

Note to reporters: See examples of misleading ads. This file is rather
large and may take a few moments to download.

For over 50 years, Reproductive Freedom for All (formerly NARAL Pro-Choice America) has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for everybody. Reproductive Freedom for All is powered by its more than 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.