According to NARAL Pro-Choice of Maryland, there are a total of 45 known fake clinics (Crisis Pregnancy Centers, or CPC’s), while there are 22 comprehensive abortion clinics in the state. This should be a concern to anyone who cares about reproductive freedom: these fake clinics lie to patients, maiming an individual’s choice. The staff at my local fake clinic gave me an “abortion information” pamphlet (along with verbal lies) that was not only inaccurate, but traumatic to anyone looking for abortion care. Some of the lies I was told at the fake clinic:
Lie #1: Life begins at conception.
Truth: Fetal age is not measured at conception, but from one’s last menstrual period. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 65.4% of abortions occur at eight weeks or earlier and 88% of abortions occur in the first trimester of pregnancy. A fetus cannot live outside the uterus until at least 22 weeks and it cannot feel pain until 29 weeks. Abortions are generally performed until 24 weeks in the U.S. and only after due to fetal anomaly or medical risk to the pregnant person.
Lie #2: Emergency contraception is medicated abortion.
Truth: Sperm can live inside the body for up to six days. Because pregnancy does not happen immediately after sex, emergency contraception (EC) can be used to stop fertilization. EC simply stops the ovaries from releasing an egg for a sperm to fertilize.
Lie #3: In the first week of development, a baby grows arms.
Truth: At the start of week six of a pregnancy, an embryo, which is less than 1/5 of an inch, forms and buds for future arms develop. The embryo doesn’t even develop into a fetus until after ten weeks.
Lie #4: Medicated abortion is just like giving birth.
Truth: A medicated abortion (the abortion pill) can be taken up to ten weeks after the first day of one’s last period, and results in heavy bleeding and cramping like a period–not birth. Thanks to the abortion pill, people can have an abortion in the comfort of their own homes and don’t have to worry about distance to and from the clinic or additional costs.
Lie #5: Abortion is very painful.
Truth: Pain varies based on how far along the pregnancy is, but most people are able to go back to their daily schedules the day after the procedure. Abortion does not cause breast cancer, infertility, or mental illness, and only causes serious complications in very rare cases. In fact, most people are relieved after they’ve gotten an abortion and say it was the right decision for them.