California Law Prohibits Phony Pregnancy Centers From Lying And Evangelicals Are Furious

Image from Cosmopolitan, Aug 2015
Image from Cosmopolitan, Aug 2015

One of the things parents teach their children from a very young age is not to lie and always be truthful. The prohibition on lying is included in all mainstream religions, but interestingly the only law against lying is if it is in a judicial proceeding or giving false information to law enforcement. Maybe it is because there is no law against lying that Republicans and Fox News lie pathologically and why evangelical Christians running phony women’s “crisis pregnancy centers” base their entire enterprise on mendacity. Now, however, crisis pregnancy centers in California will be required to follow their bible’s ninth commandment and stop lying because in the Golden State Democrats believe women deserve to hear the truth about their reproductive health choices.

Last week, in a signal that California Democrats believe that women warrant “reproductive freedom and dignity,” California Governor Jerry Brown signed a statewide bill, the Reproductive Fact ACT that forces faith-based crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to stop lying and stop posing as medical providers. Crisis pregnancy centers are religious anti-choice organizations that use the appeal of free pregnancy testing to trap women into suffering through a sermon where they are told blatant lies about abortion and birth control to discourage the use of both. The new law is not any kind of a burden for a legitimate business providing medical services, and primarily requires the churches to post signs alerting women that they are going to be given false information founded on religion, and that church activists are not really medical professionals or providers.

The overwhelming majority of CPCs, many funded by taxpayers, are no more “medical facilities” than a snake-handler’s revival tent, nor do they employ any medical staff. For the record, wearing a white lab coat or medical scrubs does not make one a medical professional; just a very bland, lazy, and unimaginative dresser. With the new consumer protection law, the churches posing as licensed medical providers are required to post a sign at the entrance, in plain view, that says:

This facility is not licensed as a medical facility by the State of California and has no licensed medical provider who provides, or directly supervises the provision of, medical services.”

The CPCs are also now required, by law, to inform every woman entering the ‘church’ of all their reproductive health options with either an easily visible sign or clearly-stated handout that says:

“The State of California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services including all FDA-approved methods of contraception, prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women.”

The CPCs are also now required to list phone numbers and locations of county social services offices that are actual medical facilities with actual medical providers licensed by the state to provide the full range of reproductive medical care. The CPCs almost immediately filed suit against California’s Attorney General, Kamala Harris, for some bizarre notion that a law requiring truth in advertising, or prohibiting false advertising, is a gross violation of their freedom of speech and religious liberty to lie.

If the CPCs were not founded on pathological religious lies, nothing whatsoever about these “required disclosures” should bother them, particularly if they were real Christians and not on a crusade to frighten women into giving birth when they do not want to. What should be welcomed by the CPCs is that there is nothing in the new law that prohibits them from preaching at women that “consequence free,” non-procreative sexual relations are an abomination and a mortal sin. But that was not enough of a concession for the religious right and they hope their appeal for judicial redress will allow them to continue using religious lies as sound medical advice.

What the CPC system is so terrified of with California’s new “truth in advertising,” or prohibition against “false advertising,” law is that the entire crisis pregnancy center system is founded on the principle that it is necessary and acceptable to lie to women to trick and frighten them into giving birth and in many cases getting pregnant. It is just a typical and standard anti-choice procedure closely related to the Mormon concept of “lying for the lord” which is all well and good to garner more tithing adherents, but it is unacceptable for deceiving women with “medical advice” borne of religious mendacity to make them birthing machines.

Many CPCs tell women the chance of miscarriage is much higher than it actually is hoping that a woman will take a chance rather than abort the unwanted pregnancy. Some lie and tell women how woefully ineffective and dangerous contraception is, or just drastically minimize the chance of getting pregnant if a woman does not use birth control to convince women to stop. The faith-based medical experts also greatly exaggerate the risks of having an abortion, or just do what comes naturally to liars and make up bizarre risks that have never existed or been documented. There is no end to the CPC lies to frighten women into believing that real medical experts intend to maim or kill any woman who believe it is their decision as to when they give birth.

However, the evangelicals at CPCs actually know for a fact, and believe, that not only is “abortion incredibly safe,” it is actually 14 times safer than giving birth. CPCs claim that “abortion is bad and has many adverse side effects. Abortion is associated with preterm birth, emotion (sic) and psychological impact, and spiritual consequences.” As the pro-choice organization NARAL reported in a study of California CPCs, lying is the norm and most important tool that CPCs use to pressure and frighten women into giving birth no matter the consequences to the woman. Lying for religion is what CPCs regard as sound, fact-based medical advice, and now the organization is very, very angry that California passed a law forcing them to be truthful.

In their lawsuits, the CPCs claim that the new truth in advertising law is unconstitutional and argue that “at minimum the consumer protection law unconstitutionally compels the clinics (churches) to speak messages that they have not chosen, with which they do not agree, and that distract, and detract from, the messages they have chosen to speak.” The also threw down the “religious freedom” to lie card and complained that the new “mandated state message is inconsistent with plaintiffs’ religious convictions.” And so there it is in their own words: lying is part and parcel of the CPC system’s “deeply-held religious convictions.”

One of the new law’s sponsors, Attorney General Kamala Harris said that,

“California has been a national leader in promoting and protecting equal access to the full range of women’s reproductive health care options. The Reproductive FACT Act will ensure that women are empowered to make informed and timely decisions about their health and their bodies.”

Harris’ statement was echoed by NARAL state director Amy Everitt:

California sent a clear message that women deserve information to help them make the best health care decisions for themselves and their families. With this law, California leaders are demonstrating to the rest of the country what it means to truly respect reproductive freedom and the dignity of women.”

One might hope the concept of “truly respecting reproductive freedom and the dignity of women” would be the law of the land, but this is America where evangelical liars and churches posing as medical facilities are just part of what Republicans love to claim make this country exceptional. In California, respecting and protecting women, their reproductive freedom and dignity is not exceptional, it is just what decent human beings do as a matter of course.

30 Replies to “California Law Prohibits Phony Pregnancy Centers From Lying And Evangelicals Are Furious”

  1. These CPCs should all be shut DOWN. This new California law should help expedite that.

    I love being a born and bred and resident of California!

  2. State funded = State rules..
    If you can’t abide, then the state needs to shut them DOWN and revoke any tax breaks…

    IS that the cross of Jesus lying on the floor and being walked on??

  3. …amazing how these bastids can pull “Commandments” outta thier asses; then pretend that thier twisted outta context screed equals Teachings of Jesus Christ…

  4. Yet again, California leads the way. Let’s hope this becomes national news and makes its way into the Presidential election. Let the churches and the CPC’s stand up and PUBLICLY state that they have a right to lie as part of their “religious freedom”.

    Does the Bible not clearly and explicitly state “Thou shalt not bear false witness”? And where in the Bible does it state “Thou shalt not terminate thine pregnancy”?

    Nowhere, that’s where.

  5. This is the first I’ve heard of CPCs being taxpayer funded. Seems that’s illegal if the facilities’ can be tied to a religious organization. If this is true, one of two things should happen, stop funding them with tax dollars, or stop the religious organization from receiving any tax exemptions.

  6. Very FUNNY law! They will simply refuse to put up the sign, and if there’s a fine, which I highly doubt they will pay that fine out of OUR taxpayer money.

    Will Cali shutdown offenders??? Cali Dems are too weak to do so.

  7. These people are evil. God’s love for everyone? These people show no love for human beings. They’re all fakes, snakes & everything evil in between & then some. Republicans are making themselves out to be false prophets and it shows throughout the Republican Gang member alumni.

  8. The churches need to have a “Counseling Office” designated in the churches for their members that have gone astray. Like a review session in case the girls/women slept thru the many sermons! But give the girls the right to go to a legitimate medical clinic if they feel they can’t live by the churches hypocrisy. Perhaps each church needs to have a huge monument at their entrance of the 10 Commandments to remind their members Thou shalt not lie!

  9. I have a sign in the back window of my older Cadillac that says “Doing my part to Piss Off the Christian Right” On the other side is a sign that states “Conservatism IS a Mental Disorder” I have had idiots assail me for one or both and It’s always funny to shut them down and piss them off all at one time. Good for California!!!

  10. In religious hell holes like Texas, doctors are legally required to lie to their patients and manually rape them before performing an abortion.

    Where is their concern for these doctors’ free speech rights?

    Never mind one of the Ten Commandments specifically condemns lying.

  11. “Golden State Democrats believe women deserve to hear the truth about their reproductive health choices.”

    What a concept!!

    I’ve lived in beautiful CA since the midpoint in Reagans disasterious 2nd term.
    Can you guess when that was?

    Read this, it’s great!
    I didn’t even remember we had a $42 BILLION deficit in 2009, OH MY F*CKING GOD.

    #2 – When the congressional districts were fairly redone, they became more democatic…what a concept, right?

    5 Reasons California Went From A $42 Billion Deficit To A Surplus

  12. Using MY CA tax $$$, they’ll be monitered for inforcement.

    Oh and we use CA, CAL or California, we don’t use Cali.

  13. Republicans in Congress want to defund Planned Parenthood. Why is no one talking about defunding these so-called clinics?

  14. The same influences are in all aspects of our lives with their lies, we have infections of the liars and haters in our media and our government. Mikey Weinstein at the MRFF (please access his site and donate, he could save us all, he’s an American hero) now has over 40,000 clients whom he supports over the take over of our military by the dominionists (lie, hate, murder and war), so that he is using our Constitution and laws to put an end to it. I notice he’s now addressing Federal employees to also contribute (tax exempt) to report christianist bullying and intimidation in Federal offices. Please if you are a Federal employee and are being harassed, contact Mikey’s organization and ask him to begin to intercede into the dominionization of Federal workers.

  15. these fools who lie for jesus do so because they are mandated to convert others by their gods, and separation of church and state stands in the way. These jesus folks use lying hatred (gays, blacks, women, you know the drill) murder and war to achieve their ends, all these are tools of the devil, and they are working to infect all of our institutions, including this media.

  16. …news flash Jimbo…these Teahadist jagoffs have NOTHING to do with Jesus Christ…they just use His name as a facade to hide thier own sins…
    …every now and then I wish God would come down and LIVE judge these assholes…be one Hell o’ an example!!!
    {All puns intended}

  17. this site and others ‘moderated’ by disqus uses the logic stated in their disclaimer above to censor my inputs, based on the fact that there are no gods. This is pure discrimination of an atheist, even though my comments are factual. I demand that if christianists are given privileges based on their beliefs in non-existent supernatural beings and my factual views are censored, then I am discriminated against. It’s time for disqus and facebook to quit censoring the truth. Of course they will be reluctant to give up their lying and hating, but sooner or later the truth will out. Instead of censoring me, why don’t you argue my points. Of course I know you folks can’t do that, because what I say is factual, which necessitates your lying and censoring in the first place. Their disclaimer is total bullshit, it just gives them an out for their lying and hating and manipulation and censoring of comments.

  18. So here’s a thought, let’s steal the playbook of David Da lie Dude from the so called center for medical progress. We’ll get video of these so called health centers under false pretenses, edit the feces out of the video and show the results to selected members of Congress. Just like Da lie Dude’s Planned Parenthood video and presto chango, Congressional investigation and end of these fake centers’ federal funding. Simple, no? Yes sarcasm intended.
    These places are a big sham just like the sham center for medical progress is a lie and should not be tax exempt. It’s time to shut down these RWNJ tax free and tax funded organizations down!

  19. it’s even worse than that: not only are they trying to defund PP, they’re saying that funding should GO TO the CPC’s! Just like Jeb! did when he was Gov…

  20. It’s already happening. Governor Mike Pence in Indiana just announced this past week that he was granting $3.5 million taxpayer dollars to an organization called “Real Alternatives,” which is based in Pennsylvania.

    Look up the “Real Alternatives” website (I’m not very good at posting links, sorry!) and you’ll find that there’s absolutely no benefit there in the way of medical advice or real choices that SHOULD be offered to women.

    Taxpayer dollars! My money, being used to prop up this sham of an organization! Sickening.

  21. Pro choice organizations need to do to these religious crap houses the same thing that was done to Planned Parenthood. Film them in secret and bust the he11 out of them for breaking an actual law.

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