About anti-abortion centers

Learn about anti-abortion centers, why they are harmful, how to spot one, and where to find trusted comprehensive care.

Table of Contents

What are anti-abortion centers?

Avoid anti-abortion centers

Anti-abortion centers, often called “crisis pregnancy centers,” are facilities or mobile vans that: 

  • Look like medical facilities but don’t offer comprehensive care
  • Do not provide information and counseling about all your options if you are pregnant
  • Do not provide abortion care or referrals
  • May attempt to delay your care and potentially put your health at risk

There are more than 30 anti-abortion centers in Massachusetts. Even if you’re not looking for an abortion, these centers are not a safe or trusted place to go for reproductive health care.

How do anti-abortion centers cause harm?

Deceptive advertising:

Anti-abortion centers may advertise themselves as reproductive health care facilities, but do not offer comprehensive care.

They may advertise abortion-related care, but don't provide abortions, counseling on the full range of pregnancy options, or referrals to providers who do. Many put ads on Google so that they appear in search results for abortion or pregnancy-related searches.  Some anti-abortion centers operate near comprehensive reproductive health care clinics. Some even mimic their names and logos to try to look like they are connected.

Misleading practices:

Beware of "free" products or services.

Some anti-abortion centers provide free resources like pregnancy tests or ultrasounds to get you in the door. However, they will often mislead you about how far along your pregnancy is. They may offer other free products but may make you participate in classes or programs to access the items. 

Delayed health care:

Anti-abortion centers may try to delay your care and prevent you from accessing abortion care.

They may delay scheduling your appointments so that you miss the timeframe when you can obtain an abortion. When you call to ask about abortion care, they may require you to come in for an appointment before giving any information, which delays your care.

Medical disinformation:

They often provide misinformation about abortion to prevent you from making an informed choice about your care.

This may include false information about access to abortion, promotion of “abortion pill reversal”, and exaggerated information about the risks of abortion. In fact, abortion is very safe. Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures; it has a lower complication rate than many other common medical procedures. 

Untrained staff and volunteers:

Many anti-abortion centers have staff or volunteers who are not trained or licensed medical professionals.

Some may even wear white coats or other attire to look like medical professionals. Staff and volunteers who are not licensed medical professionals may not be required to follow codes of ethics and standards or to keep your records private.

Some staff or volunteers at anti-abortion centers may interpret (read results) of ultrasounds without the required training or medical background to do this. This can lead to inaccurate results about your pregnancy, including how far along your pregnancy is. 

Intentional targeting:

Many anti-abortion centers purposefully operate and advertise themselves in lower income communities and communities of color, where there may be fewer options for comprehensive reproductive health care.  

How can I spot an anti-abortion center?

Anti-abortion centers purposefully try to look like medical facilities. Learn common warning signs to help you spot them. 

Warning signs online
  • The center name includes words like hope, options, or choice/choices
  • They use terms like pregnancy resource center, pregnancy help center, pregnancy care center, or women’s resource center
  • There are negative online reviews from previous patients that warn about the facility
  • They advertise free pregnancy tests or services like abortion counseling, pre-abortion screenings, and abortion education, but don’t say that they provide abortion services or referrals
  • They have information on their website or say they offer “abortion pill reversal”  
Warning signs when you call or visit  
  • When you call to ask about abortion care, they say they require you to come into the center before they can give an answer about the services they offer
  • When you call to ask for an appointment, they tell you that you can schedule one later, or they try to delay an already scheduled appointment
  • The facility waiting room has pictures of babies and children
  • They try to pressure you into continuing a pregnancy, for example, by providing a small plastic fetus, images of aborted fetuses, or baby clothes 

Where can I find a trusted reproductive health provider?


Abortion is safe, legal, and accessible in Massachusetts. You can search for abortion care using this map, which also alerts you to anti-abortion center locations with a "Fake Abortion Clinic" label. (This map is maintained by the Reproductive Equity Now Foundation, a trusted partner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.) 

If you are seeking comprehensive services, search for a DPH-funded sexual and reproductive health provider. These health care providers offer birth control and emergency contraception (EC) prescriptions, comprehensive pregnancy options counseling and referrals, infertility services, STD/STI testing and treatment, and more.

How can I file a complaint?


If you have been harmed by an anti-abortion center or had a concerning experience, you can file a civil rights complaint online with the Attorney General's Civil Rights Division or call (617) 963-2917.  

You can also file a complaint about staff at an anti-abortion center who may have violated standards of professional conduct:

For free legal advice about lawful abortion, you can call the Abortion Legal Hotline at (833) 309-6301. The hotline is a free and confidential abortion information resource created by the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, advocates, and private law firms.

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