April 19, 2022 Press Release


April 19, 2022

Contact: alexa@conwaystrategic.com

(512) 861-8079 

NEW REPORT: Equity Forward Examines Six Major Tactics Used by Extremist Anti-Abortion Centers

Today, research and accountability organization Equity Forward released a new report, “In The Grand Scheme: Six Sinister Tactics Employed by Anti-Abortion Centers,” which identifies and examines the primary methods anti-abortion centers (AACs) operating in the United States use to coerce and deceive pregnant people away from abortion care.

Currently, there are more than 2,500 AACs operating nationwide with the primary goals of coercing people away from abortion care and pushing aggressive propaganda – often on the taxpayers’ dime. The new report highlights:

  • The massive proliferation of model legislation aimed at expanding AACs. For example, one anti-abortion entity alone is responsible for 35 model bills distributed to legislators. 

  • The millions invested in digital deception via SEO targeting to serve people ads that look like legitimate providers, when in fact they’re AACs. For example, in 2014, the massive AAC network Heartbeat International admitted they wouldn’t be able to attract people without this deceptive practice.

  • The use of “Choose Life” license plates to fund and expand AACs. For example, Choose Life  America sells license plates in 32 states and has affiliates in every state which administer and/or benefit from the expansion of AACs.

  • The widespread and unregulated use of ultrasound technology, including in states like Texas where AACs and anti-abortion legislators are aware that the ultrasounds conducted by unlicensed AAC staff do not even meet the state’s mandated ultrasound requirements. 

  • The weaponization of mobile ultrasound units that prey on young people. The report finds, for example, that one AAC program funded $18.6 million in grants to 1,037 AACs to install and train on ultrasound use for targeted use on high school and college campuses.

  • The use of mandated, biased counseling through “Earn While You Learn” programs that target pregnant people and their partners. For example, one such program advises AAC “Daddy Dollars” be used for tools and sporting goods, rather than actual parenting supplies

“The anti-abortion center (AAC) network has developed, deployed, and replicated an aggressive scheme of sinister tactics that targets people who are looking for abortion care and instead drives them to their centers,” said Equity Forward DirectorMolly Bangs. “AACs are not benign entities. They are the multi-million dollar propaganda machine of the highly coordinated anti-abortion movement. AACs are intentionally deceitful and provide little in the way of healthcare or material support. Their tactics are designed to stand between people and vital reproductive health care, and to make matters worse, they’re often doing so at the taxpayer's expense.”

“It’s already hard enough for people to access abortion care, and it’s only going to get more difficult as we expect the Supreme Court to allow states to decimate legal abortion for half the country. What the research makes clear is that anti-abortion center resources are not going to support for pregnant people, but instead, to fund tactics that serve as yet another barrier to access,” said Jack DobkinEquity Forward Research Associate and author of "In The Grand Scheme: Six Sinister Tactics Employed By Anti-Abortion Centers." "This report is intended to be a resource to support the work that activists in states have been engaged in for years, raising awareness about these centers so people can avoid these traps and get the care they need.”

The new report follows Equity Forward’s “Mapping Deception” report, a deep dive into how these centers operate, including their widespread misuse of public funding.