Ever since the Supreme Court’s leaked abortion decision in May and then the subsequent overturning of Roe v. Wade last month, dozens of pro-life churches, organizations, and pregnancy care centers around the country have been vandalized. California pregnancy care centers were further alarmed when their State Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a press release attempting to discredit the good work they provide women and their babies.
In a press release issued last month, Bonta warned Californians seeking “reproductive health services” of the “potentially misleading nature” of pro-life pregnancy care centers that try and persuade women not to get abortions.
“As reproductive freedom nationwide comes under threat, my message to Californians is simple: Know your rights. Do your research. Connect with programs that will provide you with truthful information and timely reproductive healthcare,” Bonta stated in a press release. “Because in California, your right to reproductive healthcare includes the right to safe and legal abortion.”
He concluded by encouraging clients of pregnancy care centers to file complaints with his office if they believe they have been the victim or target of deceptive, misleading, unfair, or unlawful conduct.
Bonta’s slander against California’s pregnancy care centers disappointed pro-life leaders. “I am saddened to hear Attorney General Bonta’s misleading and unsubstantiated statements regarding the safety and legitimacy of pregnancy centers,” said Heidi Matzke, director of the Sacramento-based Alternative Pregnancy Center. “However, his press release draws attention to what sets Pregnancy Centers apart from abortion clinics. We celebrate that difference.”
“Not every individual faced with an unplanned pregnancy desires an abortion,” she explained. “Now all Californians know where they can go for free medical services when faced with an unplanned pregnancy – clinics that don’t financially benefit from any choice made.”
Marie Leatherby, executive director of the Sacramento Life Center, and president of California Alliance of Pregnancy Care had a similar reaction to Bonta’s public condemnation of pro-life pregnancy care centers. “I was disappointed by the consumer alert from AG Bonta regarding pregnancy clinics and centers in the state of California,” she said.
“Pregnancy centers and clinics provide over 15 million dollars of free medical services and support for over 100,000 new and expecting mothers each year, which is not on the taxpayers’ dime. Many low-income women rely on this support to be able to have a healthy pregnancy and get the care and resources they need. Nine-five percent of pregnancy clinics are state-licensed medical clinics with licensed medical staff. They should be celebrated for the good work they have provided to their communities for the past 50 years.”
Matzke also highlighted the free services Pregnancy Care Centers provide, something Bonta failed to mention. “Alternatives Pregnancy Center (amongst others in CA) is a fully licensed OBGYN medical practice offering free essential services to expectant mothers,” she explained. “It is important to note that many of our medical professionals have experienced abortion for themselves and understand what each patient is facing on a personal and professional level.”
“I believe that every community with an abortion clinic also deserves a Pregnancy Clinic as a free alternative. Patients deserve support with all options. Thank you for allowing us to clarify who we are and our mission. It is a privilege to serve these patients and show them the value of life before making any decision. The decision to carry out the pregnancy is ultimately left up to the mother, but we love her and advocate for her even after her abortion experience,” Matzke concluded.