New Jersey rep plans slander tour against pregnancy centers, calls them ‘brainwashing cult clinics’

UPDATE, 10/24/23: According to the Daily Wire, one of Gottheimer’s targeted PRCs, Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center in Hackensack — which is part of the NJ Consortium of Crisis Pregnancy Centers — has served more than 5,300 clients since 2011 and responded to Gottheimer’s smears. Lighthouse’s executive director, Debbie Provencher, stated, “We are deeply disappointed. I would have been happy to meet with Congressman Gottheimer and educate him on the work we do, had he reached out to me. To our knowledge, he has never visited any Lighthouse facility to learn about the services we offer to those facing unexpected pregnancies and to under-served parents.” She added:

Rep. Gottheimer is directly harming women who benefit from a safe place to think through their pregnancy decisions and obtain medical confirmation of pregnancy for presumptive Medicaid eligibility. The centers also provide women with social support, parenting education, and basic necessities to care for their newborn children. Caring for women and their families is at the heart of what we do as pregnancy centers. Attacks against us are attacks against those we serve.

10/17/23: According to a Pregnancy Center State Impact Report, pregnancy centers in New Jersey served 35,138 women, men, youth, and families in 2019, providing free services and materials valued at nearly $3 million. Yet, in a press release, a New Jersey representative claims those pro-life pregnancy centers are nothing but “brainwashing cult clinics” and called for them to all be “shut down.”

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, who will be a special guest at Planned Parenthood Action Fund of New Jersey’s Power to the Polls event on November 2, announced that he plans to “stop at deceptive crisis pregnancy centers across New Jersey so women know they exist and to fight to shut these dangerous centers down.” He made the announcement while standing in front of Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center, which is a member of the New Jersey Consortium of Pregnancy Centers.



Gottheimer also plans to sponsor the ‘Stop Anti-abortion Disinformation Act,’ which would authorize the Federal Trade Commission to penalize any organizations that give out misinformation or disinformation about abortion. He sent a letter to the governor and state legislators asking them to dictate how pregnancy centers advertise their services, an effort that was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court when California attempted to enforce a similar law.

“Women go to these healthcare hoax clinics thinking they will get real medical help, but instead they are greeted by people with no medical background whose goal is to brainwash women with their own ideological agenda,” said Gottheimer. “We need to do everything we can to shut down these brainwashing cult clinics. We need to stop the fake programming they’re pushing. Today marks my first stop at one of the many healthcare hoax centers around the state – women need to know they exist, and we must shut them down. We will make our voices heard and call out crisis pregnancy centers across the state so no women in New Jersey ever suffer from their abusive tactics. It’s up to all of us to spread the word about these dangerous centers.”

Misinformation at clinics

Gottheimer’s claims against pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) are inaccurate. PRCs exist to help women who are experiencing unplanned pregnancies by providing them and their babies with diapers, clothing, car seats, housing, access to childcare, access to health care, educational opportunities, and more — free of charge. PRCs inform women of the risks of abortion, the process of each abortion procedure, and the fetal development of their preborn babies using scientific research and details provided by former abortionists, such as this video below:



Abortion businesses like The Women’s Centers in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, do not appear to provide details to women on what an abortion entails. Other abortion facilities have been known to lie about fetal development to women and Planned Parenthood has been caught on camera lying to women about the risks associated with abortion.

In addition, the services offered by PRCs are specific — not ‘limited’. Abortion advocates often claim that since PRCs don’t commit or refer for abortion, they don’t offer women the ‘full spectrum’ of services. However, PRCs were founded to provide an alternative to abortion — to help women alleviate the concerns that cause them to consider abortion. Whether it’s housing, material goods, or emotional support, PRCs fill the gap to help women choose life with confidence. Some PRCs have in recent years begun to offer some medical services in order to provide women with even more options, under the direction of licensed health care providers. To label them as “fake clinics” or as “healthcare hoax clinics” is slanderous and inaccurate.

Many abortion facilities, however, only offer abortion and no other alternatives (is this “full spectrum” care?). For example, the Dupont Clinic in Washington, D.C., lists its services as only the following: “first-trimester in-clinic abortion, abortion from 15-26 weeks, abortion from 26-31 weeks 6 days.” That’s it. No adoption referrals, no prenatal care — just abortion.

PRCs are not actively working to prevent access to abortion facilities. They are helping women who want an alternative, who might wish instead to choose life, or who aren’t sure what they are going to do regarding their unplanned babies. To carry out this service, they inform women about the truth regarding abortion procedures and risks, and fetal development — something abortion facilities have also been caught lying about.

No medical staff

Gottheimer claims that PRCs do not have licensed medical doctors and are not licensed medical clinics; however, this is not the full truth.

Some PRCs offer primarily material goods to help support women who want to choose life and therefore, they don’t have a licensed doctor on staff or as a volunteer. Yet some PRCs are licensed medical facilities, including in the state of New Jersey. One example is Solutions Health & Pregnancy Center which calls itself “an abortion clinic alternative that does not perform or refer for termination services.” Its Shrewsbury location is a licensed medical clinic — but does not commit abortions.

Lies and manipulation

Without any evidence to support his claims, Gotteheimer says pregnancy centers “ignore medical ethics,” “lie about the risks associated with abortion” and “use aggressive tactics to manipulate women.” But these are characteristics of the financially profitable abortion industry, which makes money off of every abortion it sells and therefore needs to push its product. Women have testified to this. PRCs give their services away for free and are able to do so based on donations given by the community. The abortion industry withholds full information from women unless forced to provide it (ultrasound requirements are one example), while pregnancy centers seek to give as much information as possible, along with assistance; this helps women who may feel pressured by others or by life circumstances to abort, and would perhaps prefer to choose life if extra support is provided.

Gotteheimer also called abortion pill reversal a “dangerous,” “unproven and unethical treatment.” In reality, abortion pill reversal is the administration of the naturally occurring pregnancy hormone progesterone to counteract the abortion drug mifepristone.

Progesterone has been used for decades to help women who have suffered repeated miscarriages. When administered early in pregnancy, it has helped these women to carry their babies to term.  There is nothing “unproven,” “unethical,” or “dangerous” about it.

Mifepristone blocks progesterone, depriving a preborn baby of nutrients. When a doctor administers progesterone to attempt to reverse the effects of mifepristone, that progesterone is intended to counteract the effects of mifepristone and prevent the death of the child.

The lies that abortion advocates like Gotteheimer are spreading regarding PRCs are efforts to discredit organizations that exist solely to help women and families. But PRCs save babies from abortion, which the abortion industry sees as a threat. Its allies are now coming to its rescue by working to spread lies and attempt to shut down PRCs so more women feel they have no other choice than abortion.

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