Since 2016, we’ve organized students on campuses to #SmashTheStigma around reproductive rights and abortion care. We still hear a lot about anti-abortion centers, also known as “fake clinics”, that lurk near college campuses under the guise of offering reproductive care but really are pushing disinformation to advance national anti-abortion agendas. Using deceptive advertising— like omitting, minimizing or obscuring disclaimers that they don’t offer or refer abortion care or emergency contraception while seeming as if they do—, anti-abortion centers target folks looking for reproductive care then provide patients with biased counseling and inaccurate information about abortion and contraception. For many, the result of a visit to an anti-abortion counseling center is shame, confusion, and serious delays to seeking and scheduling reproductive care.
Some anti-abortion centers purport to offer “abortion pill reversal,” an unethical and unproven practice denounced by respected medical associations. A study conducted on the safety of attempts at so-called abortion pill reversal was halted due to safety concerns.
Anti-abortion centers present themselves as the only credible option for receiving reproductive health care, often targeting communities historically without access, wealth or resources, including students, folks living on lower incomes, immigrants, and communities of color. Unfortunately, in some areas, they are the only choice: five Colorado counties–Custer, Fremont, Las Animas, Otero and Rio Blanco–have anti-abortion centers but zero state or federally funded birth control options. Currently, anti-abortion centers outnumber credible abortion providers 51 to 20 across Colorado.
Recents events in Pueblo made it clear: Colorado is a target of national anti-abortion actors. That’s why New Era Colorado Action Fund and our friends at COLOR are working to regulate the deceptive practices of anti-abortion centers. In addition to stopping anti-abortion centers’ deceptive practices, we’re working with our friends in the Colorado Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice Coalition on the Safe Access to Protected Health Care package. Bills include:
- SB23-190: Deceptive Trade Practice Pregnancy-related Service: When someone is making a decision to continue or end a pregnancy, they deserve accurate information about all of their options so they can determine what is best for their health and well-being. Anti-abortion centers (AACs), also known as crisis pregnancy centers or “fake clinics,” use disinformation, intimidation, and delay tactics to withhold essential and time-sensitive reproductive healthcare. This bill will prohibit the use of deceptive advertising by anti-abortion centers and prohibit them from offering abortion pill reversal – a dangerous and unregulated treatment. This bill is led by COLOR and New Era Colorado and sponsored by: Rep. Elisabeth Epps, Rep. Karen McCormick, Sen. Faith Winter, and Sen. Janice Marchman.
- SB23-188: Protections for Accessing Reproductive Health Care: Colorado needs strong shield legislation to protect patients, providers, and assisters of politically targeted healthcare services, including abortion and gender-affirming care, from interstate criminal threats. This bill will shield legally-protected health care patients, providers, and helpers from criminal prosecution and imprisonment; court summons, subpoenas, and arrests; interstate investigations, divulging information or assistance with investigations; professional de-licensing and other discrimination. This bill is led by Cobalt Advocates and Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and sponsored by: Sen. Julie Gonzales, Sen. Sonya Jaquez Lewis, Rep. Meg Froelich, and Rep. Brianna Titone
- SB23-189: Increasing Access to Reproductive Health Care: Reproductive health care is an essential component of primary and preventive care. High deductibles and gaps in coverage create barriers to patient access, even for those who are fortunate to live in Colorado, where reproductive health care is protected and legal. This bill closes several access gaps related to sexually transmitted infections and abortion care. This bill is led by Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, Positive Women’s Network, and Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and sponsored by Senators Dominick Moreno and Lisa Cutter, and Representatives Dafna Michaelson Jenet and Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez.