HACKENSACK, N.J. (PIX11) — One of New Jersey’s most powerful lawmakers is going after what he calls quote “brainwashing cult clinics” that target women when they are pregnant. 

He wants so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” to end their deceptive advertising practices. 

Though they are much more common in the South, the 21 counties of New Jersey all have at least one crisis pregnancy centers. 

“We need to do everything we can to shut down these brainwashing cult clinics, and they are brainwashing cult clinics,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer, (D) Wyckoff. 
Standing across the street from the Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center Gottheimer was joined by other local leaders. They are calling for State and Federal action to limit the deceptive marketing practices they said are used to lore women into thinking they will get real medical care when they find out they are pregnant. 

“But instead, they are greeted by people with no medical background with a goal to brainwash women with their own extreme agendas,” Gottheimer said. 

However, those involved with Lighthouse, which operates a total of 4 centers around North Jersey said CPCs are misunderstood. 

“It is just sad to me because I think it becomes from misinformation and not true first-hand knowledge of what takes place here,” Debbie Provencher Lighthouse Executive Director. 

She said there is limited medical staff on premises to do ultrasounds to confirm pregnancy. 

If a pregnancy is confirmed, she said women are offered information about pregnancy, adoption, and abortion. However, Lighthouse clearly takes a dim view of abortion, its website dwells on the risks of what has become common and safe ways to end pregnancy. 

“We do not provide a referral for abortion care,” Provencher said. “So, we do not tell them where to go, but we do say our doors are open and provide abortion recovery services if someone needs to process their feelings.” 

Late last year, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office issued a consumer alert. It advised women to be wary that crisis pregnancy centers are not abortion providers, and in fact, discourage abortion.