So-called crisis pregnancy centers have come under fire for years for allegedly using misinformation to talk vulnerable pregnant women out of having an abortion, and John Oliver took up the topic Sunday on Last Week Tonight. "What is happening with CPCs is that, way too often, women with unplanned pregnancies are being actively misled while trying to access health care," he said, explaining that the centers, which are often church-affiliated, basically pretend to be abortion providers—many of them, for example, include the word "choice" in their names, among other questionable tactics like offering free ultrasounds. Even media often cover CPCs as if they offer women all their options, though they don't. Once inside a CPC, women are often presented with information that's simply not true—fake statistics like "abortion almost doubles the risk of breast cancer."
Some CPCs will even lie to women about how late in pregnancy they can get an abortion, resulting in a woman delaying the decision too long and being unable to terminate. And if you're wondering whether the centers at least offer women birth control, the answer is no. CPCs also manage to avoid regulation as health care providers, and in many cases they get federal funding. Oliver added there are about 2,700 US pregnancy centers, but only 1,600 or so abortion providers. And there's about to be a new pregnancy center—one set up by Oliver, who's filed paperwork for "Our Lady of Choosing Choice," which will be housed in a van (a tactic used by many CPCs) so it can go where needed. "There is absolutely nothing stopping us from parking outside an abortion clinic tonight and haranguing people first thing in the morning—and ... there really f---ing should be." See the video in our gallery or here.