Featured photo: Salem Pregnancy Center in Winston-Salem is what is known as a crisis pregnancy center, or an organization that offers limited healthcare to women who are pregnant, often working to dissuade them from accessing abortions. (file photo)

On Aug. 30, the reproductive justice news outlet Rewire published an investigative report titled, “Anti-Abortion Centers Spent Over $600M in One Year. That’s the Tip of the Iceberg.”

The piece delves into the money tracking of what are known as crisis pregnancy centers, or CPCs, that have popped up in droves as anti-abortion centers since abortion was first legalized in 1972. And as TCB has reported in the past, on average these fake pregnancy centers outnumber abortion clinics three-to-one. In the Triad alone, there are seven CPCs (if you include clinics in King and Lexington) and only two abortion clinics: one in Greensboro and two in Winston-Salem.

As TCB and various other outlets have reported, CPCs use deceptive tactics like free ultrasounds, which often aren’t administered by licensed health professionals, or the offering of free baby items like diapers, to dissuade people from seeking abortions. They sometimes have mobile “health” units that drive up next to abortion clinics and attempt to funnel patients through their doors.

And since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June 2022, the centers have garnered even more attention as pregnant people have a much more difficult time accessing reproductive health care. 

As of 2021, there were 83 crisis pregnancy centers in North Carolina compared to 15 abortion clinics, down from 26 in 2017 and 37 in 2014.

The Pregnancy Network, a Greensboro crisis pregnancy center, has been operating since 1985. (photo by Sayaka Matsuoka)

And it’s not just about accessibility; it’s also about money.

As Rewire’s reporting points out, many of these centers get funding from both state and federal governments — $495 million in state funding since 2010. NC is one of the 13 states that has funneled taxpayer dollars to fund these centers.

More concerning is the black box of private funding from wealthy donors that seems to be keeping these centers going. According to a 2020 report from the Charlotte Lozier Institute, an anti-abortion organization, “at least 90 percent of total funding for centers is raised through private donations.”

Financial records analyzed by Rewire indicate that nationwide, “CPCs could be receiving and spending more than $1 billion per year.” And most centers are receiving more funding than they ever have.

So, what about locally? Here’s a breakdown of revenue for CPCs in the last few years, according to their nonprofit financial reports, from most to lease revenue:

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