On Friday, January 19, Reproaction, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and the Virginia Latina Advocacy Network hosted a screening of the documentary “12th and Delaware.” The film follows an abortion clinic in Florida, and the crisis pregnancy center (CPC) across the street. In the film, staff at the CPC give an inside glimpse into the tactics these anti-abortion fake clinics commonly use to try to dissuade pregnant people from seeking abortions. The film also centers the abortion clinic, and the patients caught in the crosshairs of a charged political fight.
The event fell on the same day as the annual March for Life, and brought light to the local anti-abortion movement in Virginia. Since the film was produced in 2010, there has been a sweeping increase in fake clinics in the United States. Leaders from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, Reproaction, and Washington Area Clinic Defense Task Force (WACDTF) helped facilitate a discussion that highlighted how these fake clinics are able to strive in Virginia, while abortion clinics continue to be at risk for closure.
The discussion centered how fake clinics are often not held accountable, but continue to be supported by the state government. Many fake clinics in Virginia receive funding through the state’s “Choose Life” license plate program. Adding to the problem, the state health department refers patients to CPCs for services such as free ultrasounds, which is required for patients seeking abortion. WACDTF, which provides clinics in the DC-metro area with clinic escorts, highlighted the number of clinics that have closed since TRAP laws were enacted in 2011. In Northern Virginia, anti-abortion fake clinics now outnumber abortion clinics nearly 3 to 1.
Participants were eager to learn more about how they could fight anti-abortion fake clinics in their communities and shared ideas about how they could take action. Reproaction is excited to work with allies to educate the public and organize direct actions at fake clinics here in Virginia and the DC metro area.
For more information on how to take action on crisis pregnancy centers in your community, check out Reproaction’s toolkit for Taking Bold Action Against Crisis Pregnancy Centers.