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Anti-Abortion Centers

Equity Forward examines anti-abortion centers (AACs) and alternative to abortion programs (A2As), including the tactics they use, states that use taxpayer dollars to fund them, the elected officials and lawmakers that support them, and the negative impact they have on people, families, and communities.  

Anti-abortion centers are also referred to as crisis pregnancy centers. Equity Forward uses AAC as it accurately describes all centers that oppose abortion and engage in tactics that seek to discourage, delay, and divert people from accessing abortion care. 

On This Page:

Key Facts

AACs are often funded with tax-payer dollars.

Across the country, state legislatures are funneling millions in taxpayer dollars to anti-abortion centers. In some of these states, in addition to state tax dollars, federal TANF funds (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families), which are meant to support families working to make ends meet, are also diverted to AACs. 

However, as awareness of AACs’ deceptive practices grows, states are increasing oversight and ending the practice of public dollars flowing to AACs. In recent years, Michigan, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania have ceased funding of these centers. As parents and pregnant people need access to support, states that terminate AAC funding should reallocate those dollars to programs that provide comprehensive services and resources instead of biased counseling and propaganda. 

Below are fact sheets and a map providing information on public funding for AACs. 


AACs put people’s privacy at risk.

AACs collect people’s information – including STIs, past pregnancies, and how many partners they have had. Most AACs are not medical providers and are not governed by the privacy protections afforded under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Some AACs purposely model their centers after medical facilities, even when they are not. This makes it difficult for people to know if a center is an actual medical clinic and whether or not their health information will be protected.

AACs engage in deceptive marketing practices.

Anti-abortion centers use multiple advertising tactics to make people believe they are medical centers or provide abortion care. AACs rely on search engine optimization to target people searching for abortion care and serve them misleading online ads. These ads direct them to websites that look like abortion clinics but instead are AACs.

Animation of a search engine query that returns anti abortion centers

AACs claim to provide free services that aren’t actually free.

Anti-abortion centers tout free goods such as baby clothing and diapers. However, participants must earn these items by attending mandatory counseling sessions and classes that are often religiously based. The dispensation of material support is contingent upon course completion. 

AACs in many states have been found to misuse funds and harm people seeking care but still face little or no oversight.

AACs have been the subject of investigations and complaints regarding how they use public funds and deceive people. Despite this, many states continue to provide them with funding and fail to put guidelines in place to protect people’s privacy or to ensure transparency from AACs. 


Public Funding  


  • Year program/funding began: 2022
  • Most recent funding: $3,000,000


  • Year program/funding began: 2022
  • Most recent funding: $1,000,000


  • Year program/funding began: 2004
  • Most recent funding: $25,000,000


  • Year program/funding began: 2017
  • Most recent funding: $1,981,009


  • Year program/funding began: 2022
  • Most recent funding: $500,000


  • Year program/funding began: 2015
  • Most recent funding: $3,000,000


  • Year program/funding began: 1999
  • Most recent funding: $338,846


  • Year program/funding began: 2003
  • Most recent funding: $2,260,000


  • Year program/funding began: 2007
  • Most recent funding: $8,658,561

North Carolina

  • Year program/funding began: 2013
  • Most recent funding: $20,650,000

North Dakota

  • Year program/funding began: 2005
  • Most recent funding: $600,000 over two years + $1,500,000 in one-time funding


  • Year program/funding began: 2013
  • Most recent funding: $6,000,000 over two years 


  • Year program/funding began: 2006
  • Most recent funding: $3,000,000

South Carolina

  • Year program/funding began: 2022
  • Most recent funding: $2,550,000


  • Year program/funding began: 2021
  • Most recent funding: $20,000,000


  • Year program/funding began: 2005
  • Most recent funding: $140,000,000

West Virginia

  • Year program/funding began: 2023
  • Most recent funding: $1,000,000


  • Year program/funding began: 1985
  • Most recent funding: $138,200 over two years


Successfully Defunded States


  • Period of funding: 2013 - 2020
  • Total funding misused: $2,600,000


  • Period of funding: 2005 - 2023
  • Total funding misused: $48,493,000


  • Period of funding: 1990 - 2023
  • Total funding misused: $210,958,444


Key Players

Profiles of organizations that either operate anti-abortion centers or have been instrumental in supporting them.



In The Grand Scheme: Six Sinister Tactics Employed By Anti-Abortion Centers

This report looks at the six major tactics used by anti-abortion centers and how those tactics support the proliferation of AACs nationwide. 

  1. Search engine optimization (SEO) - How AACs target and mislead people seeing abortion care
  2. Model legislation - How anti-abortion extremists influence policymaking
  3. “Choose Life” license plates - How a seemingly benign ‘90s trend raised over $28 million to fund AACs
  4. Medical licensing and the use of ultrasound technology - How AACs mimic medical providers and dupe patients 
  5. Mobile AAC units - How AACs target high school and college students 
  6. “Earn While You Learn” programs - How AACs trade mandatory religious education for diapers and other material necessities 

Mapping Deception: A Closer Look at How States’ Anti-Abortion Center Programs Operate

This report maps Alternatives to Abortion programs that receive public dollars and analyzes the patterns of these programs across state lines.

Seven Reasons Why Anti-Abortion Centers Are A Problem, Not A Solution

Even More Reasons Why Anti-Abortion Centers Are a Threat to Our Communities: AAC and Allied Organizations’ Activity Since Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

Families Need Legitimate Support, Not Anti-Abortion Propaganda

Recent Court Ruling Makes Need For AACs Accountability Crystal Clear

Deception With Your Dime: Anti-Abortion Centers Are Misusing Funds to Harm People and Enrich Themselves