Busted: NARAL’s deceptive claims about ‘deceptive’ crisis pregnancy center ads

Pregnant woman at work with laptop looking stressed

As we all know by now, there’s nothing pro-choice organizations like NARAL hate more than crisis pregnancy centers. Nothing. On April 28th, NARAL announced that it had persuaded Google to remove “deceptive ads” from “anti-choice” centers. NARAL claimed that 79% of the CPCs that advertise on Google pose as abortion clinics in an effort to mislead pregnant women.

To anyone familiar with CPCs, NARAL’s “analysis” sounded like a big, fat lie, and now we have proof that it is. Jill Stanek’s blog has evidence that the ads weren’t “deceptive,” and in any case, no CPC ads were removed. It appears Google itself was responsible for CPC ads popping up in searches for abortion clinics.

Bottom line, NARAL fabricated the Google storyline, and the mainstream media willingly or ignorantly fell for it. NARAL got what it wanted in the short term – free media to tarnish the brand of pregnancy care centers…But NARAL also revealed the desperation of an industry that is bleeding its only source of income, abortion, to the pro-life movement, and the industry obviously and rightfully deems pregnancy care centers to be major culprits.

But NARAL better be careful what it wishes for. A Google search today of “crisis pregnancy center” turned up an ad for none other than Planned Parenthood…

Oh, the irony! By NARAL’s own standards, isn’t Planned Parenthood also trying to deceive pregnant women?

The campaign against CPCs has been going on since at least 2006, when the National Abortion Federation issued a major report called “Crisis Pregnancy Centers: An Affront to Choice.” The report clearly intended to make CPCs sound unscrupulous, but was woefully short on details.

Apparently, CPCs deceive women by hiring medical professionals:

Although CPCs historically have not employed medical staff, there is an emerging trend on the part of CPCs to gain validity by hiring part-time anti-choice medical providers and purchasing ultrasound equipment.

CPCs deceive women if they “look like” abortion clinics:

CPCs’ deceptive tactics extend to their physical appearance as well. CPCs often design their facilities to look like actual health care facilities with a waiting room, a partitioned check-in desk, and an ultrasound machine. They typically locate themselves near clinics that offer abortions in a deliberate attempt to increase their legitimacy and lure potential patients away from receiving abortion care by capitalizing on patients’ confusion.

And, of course, there was the usual complaining about CPCs advertising with keywords an abortion clinic might use, such as “Pregnancy” and “Medical.” They even suggested that the term “abortion alternatives” was confusing, since women apparently aren’t smart enough to figure out that “abortion alternatives” means…exactly what it sounds like.

Yawn. This latest witch hunt targeting CPCs should surprise no one. As usual, pro-choicers made outlandish accusations that CPCs set out to  “deceive” women—and turned up nothing to support this claim. I suspect NARAL’s real problem isn’t that crisis pregnancy centers use misleading Google ads, but that organizations that help women through their pregnancies exist at all.


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