On Thursday, July 19, 10 activists gathered outside of the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center in Washington, D.C., to expose it as an anti-abortion fake clinic. The action was organized in response to the recent ruling in the Supreme Court case NIFLA v. Becerra, in which the court sided with anti-abortion fake clinics that mislead and shame people seeking abortion. Activists showed up with a clear message that regardless of what the courts say, it’s time to hold fake clinics accountable for the harm they do in our community.
Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center sits at the corner of an intersection, and has been quietly deceiving people in the Washington, D.C. area for decades. The faith-based center is associated with two of the largest fake clinic networks, Care Net and Heartbeat International, and claims to serve more than 2,000 women per year. There are no signs outside or inside the center that indicate it’s not a medical facility.
Activists lined the corner of the street holding signs with messages reading, “Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center lies,” and “Abortion access is awesome.” The action caught the attention of residents returning home from work, who were able to chat with activists about what they thought of the center. One person driving by, circled back around to talk to activists about how he never realized that the center was a fake clinic and that he once considered taking his pregnant partner there. Other people passing by were confused by the center, which sports a banner reading, “Pregnant? Need help?” One person commented, “If this isn’t a real clinic, why are they here?”
By the time the sun went down, it was clear there was still a lot of education to be done in the community. Reproaction looks forward to organizing more direct actions outside of Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center, and educating community members about the harm fake clinics cause in our region.