FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2010
66,608 Americans Call on Yellowpages.com and Superpages.com to Stop Allowing Deceptive Anti-Abortion AdsSo-called "crisis pregnancy centers" mislead women by advertising abortion services they don't provide
Washington, DC – Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, today sent a petition with more than 66,000 signatures to the chief executive officers of Yellowpages.com and Superpages.com that calls on the sites to enforce their policies against misleading advertising practices.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation's research uncovered that so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) in 25 states are using the sites, which garner millions of visits each year, to advertise under abortion-related services or referrals. Calls made by staff to these CPCs confirmed that they don't offer this medical care or referrals to legitimate providers that do.
"CPCs, adapting their strategies to incorporate today's technology, use deceptive, online-advertising techniques to mislead unsuspecting women, and that's just wrong," Keenan said. "It is fine for groups that oppose abortion to advertise, but CPCs shouldn't be allowed to advertise services they don't provide. No matter how a person feels about the question of legal abortion, everyone can agree that women should never be misled when seeking information about their health-care options."
NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation's efforts against deceptive online advertising coincided with action on Capitol Hill. Late last week, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) reintroduced legislation that would give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the authority to protect women from anti-choice CPCs that use deceptive advertising practices.
Keenan said that the petition delivery marks the latest phase of NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation's grassroots mobilization to educate the public about the threats that CPCs pose. Recent investigations by NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation and its state affiliates, along with a congressional study, have revealed that most CPCs are not regulated and engage in deceptive practices . CPCs often advertise as if they provide abortion services or counseling, when, in fact, they are centers created to dissuade women from exercising their right to choose.
The CPCs' misleading and false advertising practices are garnering attention across the country. The city councils of Baltimore, Maryland and Austin, Texas have passed ordinances requiring CPCs to inform women of the services they don't provide. Local leaders took this action after NARAL affiliates published reports showing that CPCs were misleading women in their communities.
Note to reporters: See examples of misleading ads. This file is rather large and may take a few moments to download.
Rachel Boyer, 202.973.3032