Fake Clinic Network Repackaging the Same Old Lies in Deceptive New Website

| Reproaction

By: Shireen Shakouri

Say you have a disgraced business selling a product no one wants, but you’re awash with cash from deep-pocket funders and government-subsidized programs? [1-3] Sounds like it’s time to revive your image with some rebranding!

The M.O. of anti-abortion fake clinics is to mislead and shame people considering abortion, often employing grotesque scare tactics and outright lies about the supposed risks of the procedure itself and purported after-effects of abortion on the body. These lies have been roundly discredited time and again, in countless academic studies and in other media, but fake clinics are still trotting out falsehoods to sell a product no one wants: lies and stigma. [4]

Heartbeat International, one of the largest fake clinic networks in the country that claims to operate 2,600 centers internationally, recently launched a website: pregnancycentertruth.com to “bust pro-abortion myths.” [5] The problem is, they’re doubling down on the lies they’ve been exposed for pushing in the past, [6] claiming it’s a show of “hope,” “compassion,” and “truth.” Wouldn’t it just be easier for them to accept that the truth is, in fact, in favor of abortion rights and access?

Here’s a breakdown of some of the lies they’re trying to pass as verified facts:

  • LIE: Abortion causes breast cancer. The official statement of the American Cancer Society on the topic states that, “At this time, the scientific evidence does not support the notion that abortion of any kind raises the risk of breast cancer or any other type of cancer.” [7]
  • LIE: Abortion causes suicide, drug use, and depression. The American Psychological Association convened a task force to study the mental health outcomes of women who had abortions, which determined that there was, “No evidence sufficient to support the claim that an observed association between abortion history and mental health was caused by the abortion per se, as opposed to other factors.” [8]
  • LIE: Abortion causes pre-term birth in future pregnancies. Multiple studies have found that there is no correlation between modern surgical abortion procedures and pre-term birth, infertility, ectopic pregnancy, or miscarriage. [9-10]
  • LIE: Abortion causes maternal mortality. Abortion is not only a remarkably safe procedure, according to numerous studies, [11] but states that have increased abortion restrictions have worse maternal health outcomes. [12]

For a broader and more comprehensive look at the research about the safety and minimal risks involved in abortion, you can check out AbortionIsSafe.com, which details the recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report concluding that abortion is safe in all forms.

Heartbeat International also claims to have sourcing for their lies, but let’s dissect that a bit: Their main resource appears to be studies conducted or supported by AAPLOG, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Heartbeat International and AAPLOG doctors are some of the same folks behind the abortion pill “reversal” myth. I don’t have the time to get into that malarkey here, but I recommend checking out our webinar, article in Truthout, and blog series on the topic. The long and short of it is that these groups are no strangers to pushing unsupported bunk as if it were real science.

It says a lot that the anti-abortion camp has to establish its own research institutions to pretend its lies are science. Why not listen to the unbiased experts instead of a bloated industry of zealots and propagandists trying to tell us that pregnant people can’t be trusted to make decisions about their own bodies?




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