Man Sued for Fake Abortion Referral Service
The Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit on Monday accusing a Louisiana man named William Graham of falsely advertising his business as a referral service for women seeking abortions. Graham purported to provide legitimate appointments with private physicians who perform abortions, CRR maintains, then would postpone and "reschedule" their appointments past the 24th week of pregnancy, at which point Louisiana law prohibits abortions. He assured those who sought his help that putting off an abortion is better for a woman's health, according to the Associated Press. Graham also advised women against obtaining an abortion from a clinic, telling them clinics were unsafe and plagued by malpractice lawsuits.
The Center for Reproductive Rights filed the suit on behalf of four women, Causeway Medical Clinic, and James DeGuerce, who is a physician at Causeway. "When I started talking to people in a regular clinic, they knew exactly who this man was," Priscilla Cabrera, one of the plaintiffs, told AlterNet.org. "He'd been out there doing this for a long time." For the women who did not catch on to Graham's scheme until it was too late, not only were they stripped of their reproductive rights, but because of their intent to have an abortion they had not obtained proper prenatal care, according to the Times-Picayune.
This is just one case among many in an alarming trend of anti-choice activists who pose as neutral, medically-trained counselors with the intent of convincing women not to exercise their reproductive choice. AlterNet.org reports that there are estimated to be 2,500 to 4,000 of what the anti-choice movement calls "crisis pregnancy centers," misguiding women all over the country.
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Media Resources: Center for Reproductive Rights, 6/7/04; Times-Picayune, 6/9/04; Associated Press, 6/7/04; AlterNet, 6/12/04; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report, 6/10/04