MT Republican Candidate Funds Dangerous, Deceitful Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Whether it’s ensuring that hate-filled extremists have the right to discriminate against their fellow Americans or donating money to known racists, Greg Gianforte is happy to share his vast wealth with many far-right groups.

Gianforte, the Republican nominee for Montana’s open seat in Congress, has generously funded anti-abortion groups that call themselves “clinics” but which actually provide information that is either factually inaccurate, detrimental to a person’s health, or both.

According to new Right Wing Watch analysis, the Gianforte Family Foundation gave at least $560,000 over three years to self-styled “crisis pregnancy centers” across Montana.

“These facilities present themselves as legitimate medical clinics providing a broad range of comprehensive and caring services when, in fact, they use dishonest tactics to promote an anti-choice agenda,” explained a 2013 report from NARAL Pro-Choice Montana. NARAL found that one of the groups, the Bozeman-based Zoe Pregnancy Caring Center, tells women that miscarriages happen frequently, so an abortion may not be necessary. “Nurses” at the facility reportedly tell patients that abortion “potentially” causes breast cancer and that an abortion will stretch out the cervix and make it impossible to have children later in life. Of course, this is not accurate—but that didn’t stop the Gianforte Family Foundation from donating generously to the clinic: $70,000 in 2014, $120,000 in 2013, and $10,000 in 2012.

Another organization, St. Catherine’s Family Health Care Clinic in Belgrade, Montana, reportedly warned women that medical abortion could cause a blood clot and death, and that surgical abortion can cause cervical incompetence and breast cancer. St. Catherine’s further insisted a patient watch a graphic video of an abortion that was set to “horror movie-type” music. The Gianforte Family Foundation donated $180,203 in 2014, $92,490 in 2013, and $11,000 in 2012 to St. Catherine’s.

These crisis pregnancy centers don’t just lie about abortion. NARAL Pro-Choice Montana found that a majority of these clinics tell patients that condoms don’t work, that birth control is the same as abortion, and that it causes cancer.

Of the groups his foundation supports, Gianforte told the Billings Gazette: “[W]e believe in the work they’re doing,” adding that they “tend to give to organizations that we have relationships with and where we have confidence in their leadership.”