Fake women’s health centers have been recently emerging in different states trying to mislead women and give false information about reproductive health care options. Apparently, these fake health centers are out to get Black women specifically.
Jessica Estes had a firsthand experience with one of those. She was then a 16-year-old teenager worried about being pregnant. She went to Birthright, a clinic that offers free pregnancy tests and other services.
Little did she know that it would be a horrific experience that would make her feel afraid, lowly, and ashamed. An older White woman sat directly across her and lectured her. She can’t remember exactly what she told her but the intimidation she felt remained.
“I was afraid, and I was alone. I wanted more than anything to simply know the results of my test and leave, but the power dynamics at play said otherwise, with her being an older white woman and I a young black teenage girl. I was trapped. I felt powerless. I was at an incredibly vulnerable moment in my life, looking for someone to help. I thought I could trust them. Eventually, she told me my pregnancy test was negative,” Estes said.
Fourteen years later, she learned that Birthright is not really a women’s health center and there were most probably even no health care professionals on staff.
These fake clinics, also known as “crisis pregnancy centers,” take advantage of women’s vulnerability using misleading and deceptive advertisements. The staff is trained to cover up the important matters and twist questions regarding reproductive health care options and family planning.
Furthermore, these fake women’s health centers are strategically located near the real health care clinics. Its marketing strategy involves placing large pictures of Black women, attempting to specifically draw them in.
Every woman deserves access to real and honest information about their reproductive health care options. Different organizations are now speaking up and fighting back against these fake women’s health centers.