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Undermining Life:Expose Fake Clinics

Updated: May 29

By: Allie Roehl


This series began last week, with an article exposing the work of Abortion Access Front (Abortion AF; AAF) This 2 part series continues by exposing the tactics of the pro-abortion group Expose Fake Clinics (EFC) that also seek to disparage the initiatives pregnancy help centers (PHC) of by providing targeted training to abortion advocates . Expose Fake Clinics and their partner organizations have developed resources and strategies to support abortion services and directly oppose the work of pregnancy help centers by damaging public reputation.


EXPOSING "FAKE CLINICS"

As mentioned previously, even more than ensuring support and awareness for the pro-abortion movement (see part one), these sites target much of their time and resources into trying to dismantle PHCs. Below are some of the key takeaways from the Expose Fake Clinics online campaign and the criticisms that this group aims at pregnancy help centers.


  1. Expose Fake Clinics (EFC) Campaign:

  • This campaign focuses on identifying and discrediting PHCs, so-called "fake clinics" for EFC, that PHCs allegedly use deceptive practices to deter abortion services. They offer a toolkit to help advocates understand how to effectively challenge these centers' credibility and services. Information provided includes how to inform women of how to discern if Google ads are for abortion providers or not, lists of questions to ask on the phone or in person in order to expose the center with the intention to subsequently leave a damaging review on Yelp or Google. Taking it a step further, they even suggest turning this into a "fun" girls' night activity, promoting the idea of collectively leaving negative reviews as a form of activism.

  • EFC offers informational videos about PHCs. These videos, one of which is purveyed under the guise of a comedy set from Patton Oswalt, display a very derogatory attitude towards PHCs. The goal of the videos provided are to “prove” that PHCs do not provide legitimate medical care, do not follow any HIPAA-compliant guidelines, and try to deceive women into what they call “forced birth.” Some of claims include that an “options consultation” will be made available, but there will be much false information about abortion provided and the center will try to deter women from exercising their choice (e.g., resources will be provided for parenting and adoption, but not abortion).

  1. How EFC Presents the Tactics Used by “Fake Clinics”:

  • Fake clinics advertise to target pregnant people who may be seeking abortion care.

  • Fake clinics work with protesters to intimidate people going into abortion provider offices.

  • Fake clinics lie to patients once they're inside.

  • Fake clinics do not follow HIPAA regulations (because HIPAA only applies to actual medical providers).

  • Fake clinics share patient data, and they try to intimidate legit providers.

These alleged “facts” are presented in the language provided by these sites. While certainly there are concerted efforts to advertise to pregnant women considering abortion, this list is provided to be able to understand the false claims that EFC alleges regarding PHCs. Since these are the claims being made about PHCs, it is crucial that centers operate within the highest standards and with integrity.

EFC, unfortunately, does have some legitimate gripes regarding some integrity-lacking practices that have been captured on camera, and they certainly do not hold back on promoting this footage. In one video, someone received care undercover. Throughout the video, those making phone calls and recording their visit showcased moments in which occasional unprofessional care was administered. In one example, one of the advocates emphasized that she was being “honest” multiple times, which certainly could come across as lacking credibility. If anything, these claims ought to be inspiration to combat any such criticisms by offering a standard of care on par with other professional medical facilities.


EFC also maintains that PHCs aim to “stall” when it comes to booking appointments. This, they claim, is so that centers can manipulate the situation to ensure that by the time a woman would receive the necessary information and ultrasound, it would be too late to receive an abortion procedure or it would be too expensive for the client.

In the dynamic debate surrounding reproductive rights, it is imperative for life advocates to remain well-informed about the strategies and operations of groups with opposing views. Gaining insight into the tactics and messages of organizations like Expose Fake Clinics (EFC) empowers pregnancy support centers to better prepare and effectively safeguard their reputation from undermining attacks. This knowledge also ensures that their practices and communications maintain the highest ethical standards. Although there are concerted efforts to discredit these centers and sway decisions toward abortion, it is noteworthy that pregnancy help centers outnumber abortion providers by approximately 3 to 1 in the U.S. This significant numerical predominance highlights that, despite the opposition's efforts, they face a formidable challenge.




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