MIL-OSI USA: Menendez Leads Senate Colleagues in Introduction of Bicameral Legislation to Stop Anti-Abortion Disinformation by Crisis Pregnancy Centers


US Senate News:

Source: United States Senator for New Jersey Bob Menendez
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) today led a group of Senate colleagues, including Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), in introducing the Stop Anti-Abortion Disinformation (SAD) Act that would crack down on false advertising related to abortion services by Crisis Pregnancy Centers. The bill directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prohibit deceptive or misleading advertising related to the provision of abortion services and collect penalties from organizations in violation.
Every year, thousands of pregnant people seeking objective and medically sound reproductive health care end up walking into crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), who falsely and deliberately advertise themselves as comprehensive reproductive health care providers; however, their intent is to discourage pregnant people from having abortions.
CPCs routinely use a variety of deceptive tactics, including making false claims about reproductive health care and disseminating inaccurate, misleading, and stigmatizing information about abortion and contraception. Additionally, most CPCs in the United States do not employ licensed medical personnel or provide referrals for birth control or abortion care.

“With women’s reproductive rights under a coordinated attack by Republicans across the country, it is more important than ever that women continue to have access to trusted information and comprehensive reproductive health care services,” said Sen. Menendez. “By promoting deceptive or misleading advertisements about abortion services, crisis pregnancy centers jeopardize women’s health and well-being, all while elevating unproven theories about birth control and contraceptive care. Our bicameral legislation would help address this problem by allowing the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on these centers for their misleading tactics and hold them accountable for their actions.”  

“With the Supreme Court poised to potentially strike down Roe v. Wade and Republican state legislatures moving to strip away reproductive rights, every measure possible must be taken to ensure women and birthing people have access to timely and trustworthy information to make decisions related to their reproductive care,” said Sen. Booker. “For too long, crisis pregnancy centers have deceptively advertised themselves as providers of abortion services, even though many do not employ licensed medical personnel. This bill will crack down on this misleading practice and help protect the health and safety of pregnant people as they seek medical care.”
According to the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) Public Health and Surveillance, there are more than 2,500 CPCs in the United States, though some anti-abortion groups claim that the number is closer to 4,000. One study found that, on average, CPCs outnumber abortion clinics nationwide by an average of 3 to 1, but in some states, the ratio is as high as 11 to 1.
Joining Sens. Menendez and Booker in introducing the legislation are Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.).
House cosponsors include Reps. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.-12), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.-01), Jake Auchincloss (D-Mass.-04), Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.-44), Karen Bass (D-Calif.-37), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.-03), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.-16), Anthony Brown (D-M.D.-04), Cori Bush (D-Mo.-01), Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-Fla.-20), Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.-11), Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.-11), Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.-07), Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.-04), Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.-04), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.-01), Ted Deutch (D-Fla.-22), Veronica Escobar (D-Texas-16), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.-18), Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.-13), Dwight Evans (D-Pa.-03), Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas-07), Lois Frankel (D-Fla.-21), Jesús G. “Chuy” García (D-Ill.-04), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.-03), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas-18), Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.-53), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.-07), Hank Johnson (D-Ga.-04), Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.-17), Anne Kuster (D-N.H.-02), Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.-14), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.-13), Andy Levin (D-Mich.-09), Ted Lieu (D-Calif.-33), Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.-47), Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.-07), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.-04), Grace Meng (D-N.Y.-06), Gwen Moore (D-Wisc.-04), Marie Newman (D-Ill.-03), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine-01), Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.-02), Katie Porter (D-Calif.-45), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.-07), David Price (D-N.C.-04), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.-14), Haley Stevens (D-Mich.-11), Marilyn Strickland (D-Wash.-10), Mark Takano (D-Calif.-41), Dina Titus (D-Nev.-01), Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.-13), Marc Veasey (D-Texas-33), Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.-07), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.-23), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.-12), Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Nikema Williams (D-Ga.-05). 
The legislation is supported by: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Center for Reproductive Rights, Advocates for Youth, American Atheists, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Public Health Association, American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Brooklyn for Reproductive and Gender Equity, Catholics for Choice, Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues, Families USA, Feminist Majority Foundation, Guttmacher Institute, In Your Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, Jewish Women International, Medical Students for Choice, MomsRising, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, National Birth Equity Collaborative, National Council of Jewish Women, National Council of Jewish Women – New York, National Council of Jewish Women – Greater Miami, National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, National Health Law Program, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, National Organization for Women, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Women’s Health Network, Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health, Physicians for Reproductive Health, Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, Population Institute, Power to Decide, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Reproductive Equity Now, Sexuality Information Education Council of the U.S., SisterReach, and United for Reproductive & Gender Equity.
The full text of the legislation can be found HERE.