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What are Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) and Why Should I Avoid Them?

A CPC, or Crisis Pregnancy Center, is a fake clinic. While they may offer free services like ultrasounds or parenting classes, their mission is to discourage you from accessing abortion care.

Written by

Sally Rashid

Reviewed by

Dr. B

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A CPC or Crisis Pregnancy Center is a fake clinic. While they may offer limited free services like ultrasounds or parenting classes, their mission is to stop you from getting abortion care. CPCs are not regulated like regular medical clinics, and though they may appear clinical, they’re not real health care facilities. CPCs often tell people innaccurate information about abortion, contraception, STDs, and sexual health in general. Because they’re not a medical clinic, they’re not required to give accurate medical information or services. They sometimes prevent or delay people from receiving medical care by withholding their medical records. At Hey Jane, we discourage our patients from using the services CPCs provide and are here to help you find alternatives.

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How to Spot a CPC?

First and foremost, check out these lists of known Crisis Pregnancy Centers. If you’re looking for free ultrasound services from a clinic on this database, we don’t suggest making an appointment.

CPCs are often made to look like medical facilities and use tactics like free ultrasounds or diapers to lure people in. They might have volunteer nurses, doctors, or ultrasound technicians but many have no medical professionals on staff whatsoever. These clinics generally do not practice any medicine (outside of an occasional ultrasound or STI test), and they do not provide factual information or adhere to standardized medical ethics.

They may offer "abortion reversal,” a practice advertised to reverse medication abortions but that is not proven effective and can be dangerous. Staff or volunteers at CPCs often falsely suggest that abortion causes infertility or breast cancer or long term mental trauma, myths which have been proven false through years of lengthy research. Despite their efforts to confuse pregnant people, please know that abortion is safe, effective, and does not cause any long term medical concerns. 

A quick internet search of “what are my pregnancy options?” may provide lots of results, but much of the information is actually written by  CPCs. They may use common buzzwords like “pregnancy options,” “pregnancy resource center,” “pregnancy care center,'' “pregnant and scared?” or “need help?” to advertise their services online, on billboards, or on their storefronts. 

If you’re interested in checking out a clinic, but aren’t sure if they’re a real medical clinic, call before you walk in and ask what services they provide. If at any point they won’t explain who they are or what services they offer— or if they refuse to refer you to an abortion provider— they might be a CPC.

What Clinics Can I Trust?

When looking for a place to have an ultrasound performed, confirm your pregnancy, or find your real pregnancy options, know that a trustworthy medical clinic will answer all of your questions related to your pregnancy and won’t hesitate to help you find an abortion provider.

Here are two trusted sites to guide you to legitimate abortion providers:

At Hey Jane, we are a fully accredited and regulated abortion provider and are happy to help keep you informed and comfortable, so that you can make the best choice for you.

Meet Hey Jane: modern, virtual abortion care

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Written by

Sally Rashid

Sally Rashid is a Registered Nurse and writer living in Detroit, Michigan. She has worked in reproductive care for a decade as a doula, nurse, and advocate for abortion access. Sally was a 2020 winner of Yes, And Laughter Lab's competitive incubation program for her work as writer and co-creator of Darling, a dark comedy about an abortion clinic at constant risk of closure. On top of writing for the beauty and healthcare industries, Sally is an all-around creative lady who loves music, making connections, and chilling with her two cats.

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