Story No. 180: Drs. Jennifer and Natasha from California

As part of the #ExposeFakeClinics week of action, we’re sharing stories about Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) and the harm they do to patients seeking real reproductive health care. Learn more about the campaign and what you can do to help stop these deceptive practices: Expose Fake Clinics.

Sammi* was in the clinic with her mother. Her mother was the spokesperson. Sammi was 17, and very pregnant. She was living in Las Vegas with relatives when she found out. She had gone to a “clinic” that said they would help her. That clinic was really a crisis pregnancy center (CPC). Sammi told us how they gave her a free ultrasound, but that it was broadcast all over the clinic on monitors for everyone to see. The woman who was talking to her that day gave her a due date, after Sammi had told them that she wanted to end the pregnancy and that she would fly back to where her mom lives and have the abortion there.

The woman from the CPC began call her almost daily and tell her aggressively that she would die, or end up in hell, or get very sick, if she were to go through with the abortion. This woman would hide under the guise of “checking up on her.” Finally, Sammi called her mom, who lives in California, and her mom flew her out. Based on the due date given by the CPC, Sammi and her mom thought they had more time to seek the abortion. But when they went to a Planned Parenthood and another ultrasound was performed, they were referred to us, because she was too far along. The CPC had given her a false due date—making it so that she would be “too late” to get her abortion in California when she came back. Luckily, when we got her referral we brought her in that day to do an ultrasound. She was over 23 weeks, but still under the gestational age limit.

Hearing her mother tell the story about how her daughter was harassed and lied to, we could tell that she was angry. Sammi was worried that she would not be able to get an abortion as she had started out trying to do when she was earlier in her pregnancy. Once they knew we would take good care of her, Sammi began to open up. She had plans for after high school. She definitely wanted people to know about this awful experience she had with the CPC, as did her mother. We were able to give Sammi her life back, but think about all of the other women who are lured into these CPCs, told falsehoods and misinformation, and harassed about their decisions, who don’t make it to us or another safe place to have their abortions. There are many more women like Sammi who do not make it in time.

*all names changed for privacy