The Bay State has launched a new public awareness ad campaign aimed at warning pregnant patients to avoid so-called crisis pregnancy centers, which officials say use deception and fear to steer people away from an abortion.

Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Robbie Goldstein said the state hopes to inform residents about the dangers of “Anti-Abortion Centers,” which he said often disguise themselves as medical facilities even if they aren’t licensed to provide medical care and may use a veneer of professionalism to peddle false information about the supposed risks of available care options.

“Inside they may look like medical clinics, with staff wearing scrubs or lab coats, but most centers are not even licensed clinics nor are the staff that are usually there licensed medical providers,” he said. “These centers offer pregnancy testing, and many perform and read ultrasounds, but ultimately they deceive patients, plying them with pro-life pamphlets, religious information, and fliers about adoption resources and withholding information about comprehensive reproductive options.”

Goldstein, speaking Monday alongside U.S. Reps. Katherine Clark and Jake Auchincloss and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh at Women’s Health Services in Brookline, said that — as a doctor — he finds the practices employed at these centers “unconscionable.”

The untrained staff at these facilities, he said, use fear and “outright lies” to influence an abortion seeker’s decision, inventing possible injuries and warning of the supposed psychological effects of abortion without any basis in medical science. Patients are “bribed” with promises of baby clothes and diapers, he said, and shown misleading ultrasound images used to “shame or guilt” them into going forward with a pregnancy.

People of color, young patients, “and those who may not have the means to afford a child” are specifically targeted by these centers, Goldstein said.

“The tactics they employ to dissuade people from getting abortions are insidious and they are dangerous,” he said.

Clark, the House Minority Whip, said that anti-abortion activists are waging a “nationwide campaign of disinformation, one patient at a time.”

“These extremists are opening fake clinics, to lure in women at their most vulnerable, obstruct their right to choose the treatment that they want, and withhold healthcare that any real doctor would provide immediately. These are con artists posing as healthcare professionals. They are knowingly, and happily, misleading patients for the sake of their ideology,” she said.

Auchincloss, who represents the district where the awareness campaign was launched, said that since the U.S. Supreme Court decided to overturn Roe v. Wade and the federal protection of abortion it provided, the prevalence of anti-abortion clinics has grown.

“Before the Supreme Court gutted Roe, the average American was 25 miles from an abortion provider. In 2023, post Roe, that distance became 86 miles. Nationally, abortion clinics are outpaced by ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ at a rate of three-to-one and there are currently 30 anti-abortion clinics in Massachusetts, and three in my district alone,” he said.

The pro-life Catholic Action League denounced the Healey Administration’s outreach efforts as defamation against pro-life centers, refuting the assertions made by Goldstein.

“Pregnancy care centers offer women compassionate alternatives to abortion. This latest campaign demonstrates the cynical hypocrisy of decades of rhetoric about ‘choice.’ It is now clear that for abortion proponents, only one choice is acceptable,” Catholic Action League Executive Director C. J. Doyle said in a statement.

The $1 million campaign is funded by the 2023 budget to run for the next several months, Goldstein said, and it will include ads in English and Spanish which went live Monday on social media, with ads on radio billboards, and transit to come. More information can be found at


Original story HERE