Pregnancy Crisis Center Lawsuit Advances Despite Thrown-Out Request, Opens Path to Challenge Misleading Advertising Claims

Worcester, Massachusetts – A lawsuit brought against a pregnancy crisis center in Worcester has advanced, as the judge denied the center’s request to dismiss the case. The center in question, Clearway Clinic, is accused of misleading a pregnant woman who sought medical advice. Clearway, a nonprofit organization, argued that it could not be sued under Massachusetts business laws governing deceptive advertising. However, the judge ruled that the lawsuit is allowed to proceed. This decision is significant as it may pave the way for false and misleading advertising claims against crisis pregnancy centers in Massachusetts.

Attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, representing the plaintiff, emphasized the gravity of the situation. Her client allegedly received a misdiagnosis from Clearway Clinic, which stated that her pregnancy was healthy. However, weeks later, her life was in danger, necessitating an emergency abortion. Liss-Riordan believes that this ruling will enable people to hold crisis pregnancy centers accountable for deceptive advertising.

Reproductive Equity Now, an organization advocating for expanded abortion access, also voiced concerns about crisis pregnancy centers. Its president, Rebecca Hart Holder, argued that such centers pose a risk to individuals seeking unbiased and accurate information about their pregnancy options. On the other hand, Sam Whiting from the Massachusetts Family Institute defended Clearway Clinic, praising its reputation and its provision of free services, including ultrasounds and diapers. Whiting emphasized Clearway’s pro-life perspective and commitment to supporting women in choosing life for their children.

Clearway Clinic, thus far, has not issued any comment regarding the ongoing lawsuit.