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April 14, 2023

SIGNED! Bill to Crack Down on Deceptive Practices by Anti-Abortion Centers Becomes Law

New law prohibits deceptive advertising by anti-abortion centers

DENVER, CO – Governor Jared Polis today signed legislation sponsored by Senators Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and Janice Marchman, D-Loveland, and Representative Karen McCormick, D-Longmont, to protect Coloradans seeking reproductive health care by prohibiting the use of deceptive advertising by anti-abortion centers (AACs).

SB23-190 makes it a deceptive trade practice to share information or advertise providing abortion care, emergency contraceptives or referrals of either of these services when the service is not actually provided. This bill also clarifies it is a deceptive practice to advertise providing a “medication abortion reversal”. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists describes “medication abortion reversal” as “unproven and unethical,” and says that “claims regarding abortion ‘reversal’ treatment are not based on science and do not meet clinical standards'' of care.

“We’ve made tremendous progress in Colorado to protect reproductive rights, but marginalized communities like people of color, low-income folks, young people, LGBTQIA+ communities, and immigrants still struggle to obtain the care they need - and AACs only make matters worse,” said Winter. “AACs use deceptive advertising practices to lure folks in and steer people away from abortions and other time-sensitive care by not providing them with the full, medically accurate spectrum of options. I’m proud of this new law that cracks down on AACs’ deceptive practices and makes reproductive health care more attainable and equitable for all Coloradans.”

"Patients across Colorado deserve access to honest, factual medical information so they can make informed decisions about their own reproductive health care,” said McCormick. “Our law protects patients by putting an end to the deceptive advertising practices used by some anti-abortion centers to lure patients in under the guise that they offer the full range of reproductive health care when they do not. Deceptive practices put Coloradans at risk, limit their access to care and spread misinformation about the so-called ‘medication abortion reversal’ which is medically unethical and unproven.”

“In Colorado and across America, maternal outcomes are declining, and anti-abortion centers that use deceptive advertising to draw in vulnerable people seeking care and misleading them with biased and inaccurate information about abortions and contraceptives are only making the problem worse,” Marchman said. “People who go to these centers looking for help are often misled and stigmatized – the exact opposite of the safe and essential care we are beholden to protect as elected officials. This new law will crack down on deceptive practices used by some of these bad actors, and is a proactive step we can take towards a future where Coloradans’ freedom to access essential and affirming reproductive health care is truly protected.”

In Colorado, AACs outnumber abortion-providing clinics 51 to 20. Further, AACs particularly target locations that may lack a comprehensive clinic, often posting Spanish-language billboards in neighborhoods with large immigrant populations and offering free services to low-income communities.

Anti-abortion centers are the on-the-ground presence of the national anti-abortion movement. Also known as crisis pregnancy centers or anti-abortion counseling centers, AACs pose as comprehensive reproductive health care clinics to intercept patients seeking abortion care, provide false information, and prevent people from seeking abortions.

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