A fake clinic (sometimes known as a Crisis Pregnancy Center) is a facility set up by abortion opponents whose goal is to provide biased, anti-abortion counseling in the effort to discourage women who are or think they may be pregnant from having abortions. With names that sound like real women’s health clinics, exam rooms with medical equipment, and workers wearing medical scrubs or white coats, fake clinics mislead people into thinking they are real full-service reproductive health care providers. But they are often not licensed to provide any medical care or, at most, provide very limited medical services.
Fake clinics do not counsel pregnant women about all of their options – they actively counsel women against abortion often using false or misleading information. They do not provide abortion or contraceptive care, prenatal care or emergency contraception, nor do they refer patients for that care elsewhere.
In New York, fake clinics are legally referred to as Pregnancy Service Centers, and are defined as: unlicensed facilities that provide services to women who are or may be pregnant. This may include mobile facilities but does not include facilities where a licensed medical provider is present. They must either offer a few limited aspects of prenatal care, like obstetric ultrasounds and obstetric sonograms, or have “the appearance of a licensed medical facility.”
The appearance of a licensed medical facility can be determined by: medical attire, examination tables, medical supplies and/or medical instruments, the collection of health insurance information and co-location with legitimate medical facilities.