Protest Against Crisis Pregnancy Centers
The opinions expressed in this post are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect opinions or positions held by Indivisible Northampton-Swing Left Western MA.
In these fraught times when women’s reproductive health in much of the country is subject to legislative interference and women are criminalized for seeking reproductive healthcare, in Massachusetts our state legislatures and the past two governors have secured women’s reproductive rights, folding them into a vision of “reproductive justice”.
Massachusetts has been at the forefront in defending women’s healthcare and reproductive rights. Through measures like the 2020 “Roe Act” that guaranteed Massachusetts women access to safe, reliable and affordable abortion care, and the November 2022 bill signed by Governor Baker to enhance payments to reproductive health care providers to underwrite women’s healthcare, Massachusetts has demonstrated that it values women’s lives and trusts them to make their own informed health decisions. More recently, Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa’s (D. 1st Hampshire) bill to make abortion and birth control more economically accessible, and Governor Healey’s recent defense of Massachusetts’ pharmacies stocking medical abortion drugs, misoprostol and mifepristone, women’s access to birth control and abortion should be guaranteed in this state. However, there are powerful forces seeking to undermine those efforts.
In Massachusetts, there are 29 “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” which obfuscate their true purpose in subverting women’s legal rights to birth control and abortion access. They engage in deceptive advertising to confuse women into thinking they are offering legitimate reproductive health services. Often sponsored by evangelical Protestant and Catholic Church associations (i.e. Massachusetts Citizens for Life), they disseminate false information about the risks of birth control and abortion to a woman’s physical and mental health and mask their demand that women give birth regardless of personal circumstances and health risks.
In Springfield, the Clearway Clinic offers “free and confidential pregnancy testing” and “pre-abortion counseling.” Although their ads claim they are a “non-profit Massachusetts medical clinic” and picture various people posing in medical uniforms on their website, they don’t list any of their “licensed medical experts” and only refer to one registered nurse as a care provider. Their “services” include “abortion pill reversal” and “post-abortion grief counseling”, a sham since the majority of women express relief after having an abortion.
The Feminist Action Team of the Indivisible Mass Coalition will join statewide demonstrations against these anti-abortion centers in our region on May 13 where they will hand out truthful reproductive health information and list the local reproductive health clinics. (435)
In Greenfield there will be a rally at the Commons at 10 a.m. and a march to the “Alternative Pregnancy Center on 466 Main Street. In Springfield, people will gather at the Clearway Clinic at 1258 E. Columbus Avenue, #102. We urge you to defend reproductive justice and join one of these standouts.