Haley Pollock carries a box of chalk in her car, ready for action.
In her spare time, she and fellow community activists convert the sidewalks outside of crisis pregnancy centers into political canvases, scrawling phrases such as “Fake Women’s Clinic Ahead” and “End the Lies.”
Her team soon plans to carry out nighttime sorties — guerrilla-style — so people living near these centers find the pink, blue and yellow messages first thing in the morning.
Abortion-rights activists in California and beyond have launched or stepped up information campaigns in response to a June U.S. Supreme Court ruling that crisis pregnancy centers cannot be required to tell women about the availability of publicly funded family planning services, including contraception and abortion.
In an email to California Healthline, Anne O’Connor, vice president of legal affairs for the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, lambasted the campaigns by abortion-rights activists as dishonest. Her organization filed the lawsuit taken up by the Supreme Court.
“There is nothing ‘fake’ about our medical professionals or our medical services,” she wrote. “Pro-abortion advocates will find that campaigns maligning pro-life pregnancy centers in this way are ineffective because they are not true.”
Nearly 1,200 of her group’s 1,450 member centers nationwide are licensed medical facilities staffed by doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants, O’Connor said. The remaining centers do not provide medical assistance, but rather counseling and social services, she said.
Of the 142 centers associated with the institute in California, about 100 are licensed medical clinics, O’Connor said. (Women who want to check whether a pregnancy center is a licensed clinic can search the state Department of Public Health’s “Cal Health Find Database.”)
Full story at Kaiser Health News.