The State of “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” as of January 2023

The State of “Crisis Pregnancy Centers” as of January 2023
The abortion war has been raging since abortions were first done. This was approximately the time when the first unwanted pregnancy came about. One of the most insidious in seductive tactics of the pro-life movement is the Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC). For those unfamiliar with CPCs, they are centers that are financially supported by pro-life supporters, supposedly to give those in crisis with an unwanted pregnancy the opportunity to get a different point of view than that offered by institutions such as Planned Parenthood and other medical abortion clinics. Some of them also provide goods and services, such as counseling, diapers and other home necessities, and even housing for women who choose not to have abortions (1). These aspects of the charities are very admirable. However, the deception and intimidation these centers employ is not.

 

History of Deception

As early as 1990 (2), reports have come out of these clinics coercing women, deceiving them, and using heavy-handed influencing tactics such as guilt, manipulation, and leveraging women’s religious beliefs against them to prevent them from having an abortion.  

Misleading Online Advertising

Many women who search for abortion clinics online are frequently directed to CPC sites instead, due to heavy spending by Pro-life advocacy groups.  CPC websites do not identify themselves as being pro-life (75% of those surveyed in New York) (3), but do claim to be unbiased. Many websites appear to provide the same services as reputable abortion clinics. Women might think they have made an appointment for an abortion and instead receive unwanted counseling directing them not only to not have an abortion, but telling them, in a vulnerable state, that abortion is wrong and they are committing murder. This deception practice has become so prolific that Google has forced CPCs and Abortion clinics to place a prominently placed notice on their search information stating whether they do or do not provide abortions.

 

Provide Blatant Misinformation

They have been known to provide flagrant misinformation (3)(4). They have reportedly told women that abortion will cause them health problems, such as preventing them from getting pregnant in the future and increasing their chance of getting breast cancer. In fact, abortions are much safer than delivering a baby at full term. One undercover producer working for NBC News described the information she received as “offensive” and “shaming” (4).

 

Misleading Placement Tactics

CPCs frequently try to locate themselves near legitimate, medical abortion care facilities and within medical buildings to try to lure women searching for abortion care.

 

Many CPCs are Publicly Funded

There are several conservative states, including Texas and Mississippi, that have legislation that funds these sham clinics. In May of 2022, the Republican Governor of Mississippi signed into law a provision that allows tax breaks for businesses and organizations that donate to CPCs. Texas ‘ Alternative for Abortions program donated more than $48,000.00 in 2021. Additionally, states are permitted to use funds designated for actual family planning and welfare relief programs to CPCs.

 

CPCs collect and share client and browser information with their affiliates.

Though many CPCs claim to follow HIPPA guidance, their websites collect and sell private information of browsers so they may be targeted in the future by affiliate pro-life organizations (6).

 

CPCs outnumber legitimate abortion clinics 3 to 1

Two professors at the University of Georgia have tracked and mapped all the CPCs in the US (5). They list 2546 CPC clinics active today in all 50 US states. Notably, as of this writing, Mississippi has 29 CPCs. When Mississippi’s trigger law banning abortions went into effect last year, the states’ last remaining abortion clinic, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, closed its doors.

 

What should you look for when trying to find a legitimate Abortion Clinic? 

  • Carefully research any abortion clinic you make an appointment with.
  • Make sure there is actual medical staff employed by the clinic
  • Try to use well-known resources such as Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and https://www.abortionfinder.org/
  • When you call, ask if they actually perform abortion services.

Notes

  1. Quinn, M. (2022, July 21). Anti-abortion pregnancy centers see chance to grow in wake of Supreme Court's ruling. Cbsnews.com. Retrieved January 10, 2023, from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/crisis-pregnancy-centers-abortion-supreme-court-ruling/
  2. Mertus, J. A. (1990). Fake abortion clinics: The threat to reproductive self-determination. Women Health, 16(1), 95-113. https://doi.org/10.1300/J013v16n01_07
  3. NARAL (n.d.). CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTERS LIE: THE INSIDIOUS THREAT TO REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM. Prochoiceamerica.org. Retrieved January 10, 2023, from file:///Users/nicoledoss/Desktop/cpc-report-2015.pdf
  4. McFadden, C., Amorebieta, M., & Martinez, D. (2022, June 29). In Texas, state-funded crisis pregnancy centers gave medical misinformation to NBC News producers seeking counseling. Nbcnews.com. Retrieved January 10, 2023, from https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/texas-state-funded-crisis-pregnancy-centers-gave-medical-misinformatio-rcna34883
  5. Swartzendruber, A., & Lambert, D. (n.d.). Identify CPCs. Crisispregnancycentermap.com. Retrieved January 10, 2023, from https://crisispregnancycentermap.com/
  6. McKenna, J., & Murtha, T. (n.d.). Designed to deceive: A study of the crisis pregnancy center industry in nine states. Alliancestateadvocates.org/. Retrieved January 10, 2023, from https://alliancestateadvocates.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/107/Alliance-CPC-Study-Designed-to-Deceive.pdf

Related by tags


    ×