A New Jersey crisis pregnancy center has responded after a Democratic lawmaker launched a campaign last week to shut down crisis pregnancy centers in the state, calling them “brainwashing cult clinics.”
Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) announced last week in front of the Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center in Hackensack, New Jersey, that he would be working to shut down the “anti-choice” crisis pregnancy centers. The center responded this week, saying that they believed that Gottheimer had never visited the center and that his efforts targeting them were misguided.
“We are deeply disappointed,” Debbie Provencher, executive director of Lighthouse, said in a statement. “I would have been happy to meet with Congressman Gottheimer and educate him on the work we do, had he reached out to me. To our knowledge, he has never visited any Lighthouse facility to learn about the services we offer to those facing unexpected pregnancies and to under-served parents.”
Provencher said that the center had provided over 5,300 women and men with help since 2011. The center provides ultrasounds and other resources to pregnant women and gives information on the negative side effects of abortions.
In addition to Lighthouse, Gottheimer also criticized other centers part of the NJ Consortium of Crisis Pregnancy Centers. The Consortium is a group of “life-affirming” nonprofits that provide millions of free services every year.
“Women often go to these healthcare hoax clinics thinking they will receive real medical help, but instead they are greeted by people with no medical background whose goal is to brainwash women with their own ideological agenda,” a press release from the Democrat said.
Gottheimer is pursuing legislation targeting crisis pregnancy centers at the national level, pushing the Stop Anti-abortion Disinformation Act in the Republican-controlled House. He has also urged New Jersey Democrat Governor Phil Murphy and the state legislature to pass laws regulating advertising for the centers.
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