YZEPPA MACIAS: Mayor Adams has announced new legislation intended to expand safe and affordable access to abortion. The plan includes an educational campaign. Aviva Zadoff is with the National Council of Jewish Women New York. She’s a fan of the Mayor’s new initiatives. She says, education is a great way to destigmatize medication abortion and treat it as a normal procedure. And she also thinks educating the public is key especially because of what are called - Crisis Pregnancy Centers. AVIVA ZADOFF: We also refer to them as fake clinics or anti abortion centers, which are really what we call the service arm of the anti choice movement.
MACIAS: A big part of Zadoff’s job is working with the Pro-Truth campaign. That's a non-profit that focuses on making sure people know what Crisis Pregnancy Centers really offer. The centers typically provide counseling, support groups and medical services for pregnant people. But the medical services are mostly limited to sonograms which you don’t need a license to do. What these centers don’t provide is abortions. Instead Zadoff says they try to dissuade people from getting them.
ZADOFF: They set up to look and sound like a legitimate health care facility, but they are, they're there with the intention of keeping people from being able to access abortion services.
MACIAS: According to the city of New York “Some crisis pregnancy centers try to prevent people from accessing abortions or even provide misinformation about abortion”. 311 even has a page explaining that although Roe v Wade was overturned, abortion services are still available to all patients in New York State. But If you google “crisis pregnancy center” you’ll come across websites offering assistance to women facing unplanned pregnancy. One of the first sites that pops up says “Pregnant, need help? You are not alone!” There’s a 1800 number as well as a text helpline. The service offered by the archdiocese of New York, ZADOFF: So their whole model is created on, you know, keeping people from being able to access abortion, creating barriers, you know, intimidating people, scaring people, telling people lies about their bodies, their pregnancies, all as a way of keeping them from having an abortion. MACIAS: A spokesperson who answered the phone at the archdiocese communication center said they are not a clinic and that they did not wish to comment on the claim that they dissuade people from getting abortions. But Zadoff says that many of these centers are purposefully located in low- income areas of the city where women and pregnant people don’t have as much access to healthcare options. According to pro truth data there are 120 crisis pregnancy centers in the state of New York but only 70 abortion clinics. Yzeppa Macias, Columbia Radio News.