New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is launching a public awareness campaign for women on their "reproductive health options," claiming there are "widespread reports that Crisis Pregnancy Centers provide misleading, medically inaccurate information on reproductive services to dissuade abortion."
Cuomo's ads encourage women to visit a website to know their options and get the facts. They are translated into multiple languages and will run on subways and elsewhere.
The governor and the state of New York believe that Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) "often use false and misleading advertising and offer free services to attract women into their offices, where they then are accused in these reports of allegedly misinforming and misleading those who seek pregnancy-related information."
"If Gov. Cuomo wants to inform women, we hope he will include inspection reports from abortion clinics in the state that show clinics are putting the health and safety of women in jeopardy. Abortion is not safe and harms women on so many levels - physically, spiritually, emotionally," Abby Johnson, founder of And Then There Were None, told CBN News.
"Women deserve to know that, and a selective campaign to advertise the Governor's selective truth is going to only harm women," Johnson also said.
The state also believes the CPCs may actually interfere with New Yorkers' rights to seek reproductive health care and may endanger them, according to the news release announcing the ad campaigns.
"While the federal government wages war on women's reproductive rights, New York will fight back to protect women's access to comprehensive, safe and affordable health care," Governor Cuomo said. "In New York, we refuse to let President Trump and Washington take us backwards and jeopardize the rights of New Yorkers. We are launching this public awareness campaign to combat the insidious spread of misleading, medically inaccurate information about reproductive health and to ensure all New York women know the options they are legally entitled to."
But Johnson says pro-life pregnancy centers are the only ones really empowering women "by telling them that they can still work and go to school and reach their goals if they have their child, but also giving them the means and support to get there."
New York's release went on to say, "this campaign builds on the Governor's record of fighting for access to reproductive health services, including abortion."
"My organization, And Then There Were None, has started the only website that compiles inspection reports from abortion clinics around the country in a searchable format so that women can truly make informed choices about their health, CheckMyClinic.org. They deserve to know what kind of abortion facility they are walking into," Johnson also told CBN News.
Governor Cuomo has previously directed New York's Department of Financial Services to force health insurers to provide free contraceptive drugs and devices, and free abortion services "that are medically necessary."
"Reproductive health care is a right and should be accessible, affordable, and safe for all women," Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said in the press release.
"With women's reproductive rights under attack by the Trump administration, in New York we're stepping up to ensure women's health care is protected. With this public awareness campaign, we're increasing awareness of the family care and health services available to women in New York State," she also said.
"Pregnancy centers are the biggest threat to the pro-choice movement and the abortion industry because pregnancy centers do what they don't do -- provide comprehensive support to women facing obstacles to bringing their unborn children into the world and want information and support around decisions other than abortion," said Vincent DiCaro with the pro-life group Care Net.
"Therefore, this campaign is part of a coordinated effort by the pro-choice movement to discredit the great work of pregnancy centers. Frankly, it is the same set of misinformation that the pro-choice movement has been attempting to make stick for years," DiCaro told CBN News.
He says since 2008, Care Net-affiliated pregnancy centers have saved more than 603,000 unborn babies. He said in 2017 alone, these services amounted to $63 million of free services to women, men, and families across America.
"The work that Care Net and its affiliated centers is doing is creating a new movement -- a pro abundant life movement that is not only focused on saving the unborn from abortion, but helping women and men experience abundant life for their families," DiCaro, who is Care Net's Outreach Director, told CBN News.
"As we prepare for the day that Roe v. Wade is overturned, this is the work we need to be doing. Helping people build strong families and connecting them to the life-giving resources of their local churches," he concluded.