While Cosmopolitan writers usually serve us fluff like hilariously absurd sex tips, sometimes they dive a little deeper into serious topics like unplanned pregnancy.
“Pregnant? Scared?” If you live in an area of the country where abortion services are hard to come by (which is true for vast tracts of the United States, mostly due to recent anti-choice legislation), you might find yourself exploring ever possible option – including local pregnancy crisis centers, which now outnumber abortion clinics 3 to 1. But what actually happens inside these places? Cosmo recently completed a year-long investigation and found (perhaps unsurprisingly) that most of them are faith-based, and not only do they push inaccurate or downright fabricated information onto the people who walk through their doors, they often harass them for weeks afterward.
A yearlong investigation of crisis pregnancy centers — including dozens of interviews with center staff and volunteers, anti-abortion and reproductive-rights advocates, lobbyists, elected officials, and women who have visited centers across the country — reveals that behind the scenes, an orchestrated network of donors, lawyers, lobbyists, and state representatives supports the individual centers. The national organizations Care Net and Heartbeat International train thousands of center staff to attract and dissuade “abortion-minded women.” Online for Life, a deep-pocketed tech nonprofit funded by Texas billionaire Farris Wilks, helps pregnancy centers market themselves to “abortion-determined women” searching online for abortion-related terms, according to an Inside Philanthropy report.