A new video by the group Progress Florida is highlighting the growing phenomenon of “fake” reproductive health-care clinics – in hopes of making women more aware.
“Numbering nearly 200 in Florida, fake clinics use phony ads to trick pregnant women into making an appointment, promising ‘free ultrasounds’ or ‘pregnancy support’,” said Amy Weintraub, reproductive rights program director for Progress Florida. “Once inside, people are lied to, shamed, and pressured about their reproductive health decisions, often delaying their procedure or pushing them past the deadline for a legal abortion.”
The message is aimed at clinics operated by the Florida Pregnancy Care Network, Inc. The clinics, which are designed to provide counseling and promote childbirth, have received some $21 million from the state since 2007, according to Progress Florida.
Last year, former Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation that assured annual state support for the Florida Pregnancy Care Network. It currently receives about $4 million tax dollars a year.
So many fake clinics are popping up in Florida that they now outnumber real reproductive health clinics by 4 to 1, the video says. The fake clinics are often intentionally located near actual clinics which offer reproductive health services like birth control, abortion, and sexually transmitted disease treatment.
“They use free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds as emotional tools instead of medical tools,” the two-minute video says. “Sound a little sketchy? Help us spread the word to keep unsuspecting women and girls from falling prey to their tactics. It all starts with awareness.”
You can watch the full video on the Floridians for Reproductive Freedom Coalition’s website at www.ProgressFlorida.org.