New Jersey congressman launches campaign to shut down pro-life pregnancy centers

The Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center in Lynchburg, Virginia, was vandalized hours after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide on June 25, 2022.
The Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center in Lynchburg, Virginia, was vandalized hours after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide on June 25, 2022. | Facebook/Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center

A congressman in New Jersey has launched a campaign to shut down pro-life crisis pregnancy resource centers, drawing an accusation from a leading pregnancy resource center network that he is peddling "lies."

New Jersey Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer staged a press conference outside one of the Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center’s offices on Oct. 6 as part of his strategy to crack down against the nonprofit organizations. 

Gottheimer claimed pregnancy centers "pose as healthcare clinics" but don’t have licensed medical professionals on staff and use “aggressive tactics” to manipulate women into keeping their babies. 

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“Women go to these healthcare hoax clinics thinking they will get 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,” Gottheimer said. 

“We need to do everything we can to shut down these brainwashing cult clinics. We need to stop the fake programming they’re pushing."

Heartbeat International, the world’s largest network of pro-life pregnancy resource centers with over 3,000 affiliates, is calling on abortion proponents like Gottheimer to stop spreading falsehoods. 

Heartbeat International President Jor-El Godsey argues that abortion proponents like Gottheimer are the ones in a “brainwashing cult.”

“They deny the truth about women who don't really want an abortion; they deny the truth about pregnancy centers providing practical help as alternatives to abortion; and they deny the truth that every woman should be loved and supported during a pregnancy,” Godsey said in a Thursday statement provided to The Christian Post. 

“Elected representatives should be serving the people and not protecting abortion profits,” he added. 

The Democratic congressman revealed that he plans to hold press conferences outside of multiple pregnancy centers across New Jersey. 

Gottheimer, who represents most of Bergen County and parts of Passaic County and Sussex County in the New York City suburbs, is also a proponent of the Stop Anti-Abortion Disinformation Act, introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.

The legislation focuses on pregnancy centers, claiming they use “deceptive tactics” to prevent abortion access. The bill would "direct the Federal Trade Commission to prescribe rules prohibiting disinformation in the advertising of abortion services, and for other purposes."

As part of his campaign, Gottheimer sent a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy and other state leaders asking them to "restrict crisis pregnancy centers’ deceptive marketing practices."

Andrea Trudden, vice president of communications at Heartbeat International, says that the women and families these organizations serve are the ones who are hurt the most when people like Gottheimer spread "such lies" about pregnancy centers. 

“Baseless attacks against pregnancy centers are a waste of taxpayer money and a distraction from day-to-day issues families truly care about,” Trudden stated. 

“Rather than try to shut down life-affirming pregnancy help organizations that provide free care and support to women — such as parenting classes and formula — perhaps these elected officials should try and work with them to solve families' real-world problems,” she added. 

Gottheimer's office did not immediately respond to The Christian Post’s request for comment. 

Last July, Godsey issued a similar response after Warren introduced the Stop Anti-Abortion Disinformation Act and took to X, formally known as Twitter, declaring, “We must do everything we can to protect Americans seeking reproductive care." 

The pro-life leader said its network of pregnancy centers advertises to help potential clients find answers after learning about an unexpected pregnancy, noting that abortion facilities use the same strategy to reach people. 

"Of course, they're doing so from a profiteering perspective while we're trying to do so from a service perspective,” he noted. 

He also disagreed that pregnancy centers lie to women about the risks of undergoing an abortion, stressing that women facing such a decision should have as much information as possible. 

"We vehemently disagree with the idea that women have to have abortions in order to be successful," Godsey said. "They're more powerful than that; they've been the cradle of motherhood for millennia." 

Following the U.S. Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade in June 2022 and a leak of the ruling in May 2022, pregnancy centers and churches faced an onslaught of violence. 

Radical activists appeared to echo the claims made by abortion proponents, as some centers had the word “LIARS” spraypainted on their walls or signs. 

Some pregnancy centers, including CompassCare, a group of pregnancy centers in New York, were firebombed around the same time radical activist groups like ANTIFA and Jane’s Revenge were vandalizing pro-life organizations and churches nationwide.

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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