Judiciary

published : 2023-10-15

Liberal NJ lawmaker slams pro-life pregnancy centers as 'brainwashing cult clinics,' attempts to close them

The pro-life centers say they are being mischaracterized

An image of Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., speaking at a press conference, passionately advocating for his stance against pro-life pregnancy centers. (Taken with a Nikon D850)

A liberal New Jersey lawmaker is facing backlash for labeling pro-life pregnancy centers as 'brainwashing cult clinics' and attempting to shut them down.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., accused the centers of engaging in deceptive practices and promoting dangerous medical information.

He claims that these centers fail to provide prenatal care and aim to 'brainwash' women with their own ideological agenda.

Gottheimer stated in a press release, '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.'

He added, 'We need to do everything we can to shut down these brainwashing cult clinics. We need to stop the fake programming they’re pushing.'

However, Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center and the New Jersey Consortium of Pregnancy Centers have vehemently denied these allegations.

A photo of Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center showcasing the facility's welcoming environment, with staff members assisting expectant mothers. (Taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV)

They claim to be 'outraged by the inflammatory, false comments made against them.'

Eileen S. Den Bleyker, Esq., an attorney representing the Consortium, accused the lawmaker of mischaracterizing Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center.

Debbie Provencher, executive director of Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center, clarified that they have been providing free and confidential services to women and couples facing unexpected pregnancies for four decades.

Contrary to the allegations, Provencher stated that the centers have 'steered clear of politics' and focused on helping families overcome generational poverty and grow their medical staff.

She expressed sadness over the misrepresentation of their services and highlighted the positive reviews they have received from the community.

Provencher expressed her willingness to meet with Gottheimer and address any concerns he may have about the centers.

A heartwarming picture of a happy couple, supported by the New Jersey Consortium of Pregnancy Centers, receiving prenatal care and counseling services. (Taken with a Sony Alpha a7 III)

The attorney general of New Jersey issued an alert against the crisis pregnancy centers last year, but the Centers claim that no documentation of any problem has been revealed to date.

The Consortium requested records justifying the state’s claims against them, but their requests were denied.

In July 2023, a judge ruled that the state wrongfully denied access to the public records and ordered their release.

Den Bleyker pointed out the unfairness of the allegations, emphasizing that without proper evidence, it is impossible to defend against them.

The NJ Consortium of Pregnancy Centers offers women facing unexpected pregnancies free consultations, medical confirmation of pregnancy, services by licensed medical professionals, and parenting preparation with material aid.