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Abortion rights activists to rally outside of downtown “fake clinic” to expose deceptive practices

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, July 12, 2023

CHICAGO, IL -- Abortion Access Front, Reproductive Transparency Now, and over a dozen other organizations will rally and march outside of one of 97 anti-abortion “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) in Illinois at 2 PM on Saturday, July 15th at 8 S. Michigan Ave. to bring awareness to the growing threat such “fake clinics” pose to public health and bodily autonomy.

“Less than two weeks ago, the Indiana Supreme Court decided to uphold a near-total abortion ban,” shared Lisa Battisfore, founder of Reproductive Transparency Now, “and this means that even more patients seeking abortion will be forced to travel to Illinois in the coming months.” She continued, “So-called ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ know this and intentionally create additional barriers to essential healthcare services.”


CPCs have been run by anti-abortion extremists since the late 1960s with the primary goal of luring vulnerable pregnant people who may be considering abortion. These centers pose as healthcare facilities–often using medical imagery and terminology in their marketing–but most are unlicensed and unregulated. Years of research and recounted personal experiences have documented the heartbreaking shame, harmful disinformation, and–in some cases–downright dangerous practices that these centers inflict on their unsuspecting clients.


Lizz Winstead, founder of Abortion Access Front and speaker at this Saturday’s rally, knows firsthand just how unscrupulous these fake clinics are. “I personally have been a victim of their tactics,” Winstead shared, “I was a pregnant teen that found an ad on a bus for a fake clinic. It looked very real, offering free pregnancy tests and ‘pregnancy options.’ I was looking for guidance and help to access an abortion, and instead was shown horrific photos of fetuses and told my pregnancy options were ‘Mommy or Murder’ by someone who was not a medical professional. It was a terrifying and shaming experience.”


Illinois lawmakers took positive steps toward holding CPCs accountable for their deceptive practices earlier this year by sending Illinois SB1909 to the Governor’s office for signature. Once signed into law, SB1909 will allow the Illinois Attorney General’s Office to investigate CPCs that are suspected of using deception to interfere with an individual’s access to reproductive healthcare. Saturday’s action will highlight this progress and unify the people of Illinois around a common goal to resist anti-abortion bigotry and defend bodily autonomy for all people.

The 2:00 PM rally and march is co-sponsored by Chicago Abortion Fund (CAF)Chicago For Abortion Rights (CFAR), Chicago NOW (CNOW)Gay Liberation Network (GLN), Illinois Choice Action Team (ICAT), Illinois National Organization for Women, Indivisible Evanston, Indivisible Illinois, Men4Choice, Midwest Access Coalition (MAC), National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) Chicago North Shore, Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) Chicago, Personal PAC, and Stop Trans Genocide.


Reproductive Transparency Now is a Chicago-based grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing reproductive justice by raising public awareness about anti-abortion “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) through direct action, public advocacy, and collaboration.


Founded in 2015 by comedian and Daily Show co-creator Lizz Winstead, Abortion Access Front (Abortion AF) is a nonprofit organization made up of activists, comedians, writers, and producers. They use humor to destigmatize abortion and expose the extremist forces working to destroy access to reproductive rights and abortion in all 50 states.


For the past six years, Abortion Access Front’s program Expose Fake Clinics has been raising public awareness about these clinics, gathering data that has led to legislation defunding them, and helping the public look for the warning signs to differentiate between actual healthcare providers and fake ones.

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