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Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), also known as pregnancy resource centers[1] are non-profit organizations established by pro-life supporters that work to persuade pregnant women to give birth rather than have abortions.[1] Most CPCs are in the United States. CPCs are usually affiliated with life affirming organizations such as Ramah International,[1]Care Net and Heartbeat International.[2] CPCs are distinct from centers providing pregnancy options counseling, a non-directive form of counseling where secular, medically-based information about all available choices, including abortion, is provided.[3]

Contents

CPC activities

Crisis pregnancy centers typically offer free pregnancy tests and adoption referrals, as well as baby supplies such as diapers and formula. Some CPC's offer STD/STI testing or ultrasound screening. CPC staffers typically advise women against aborting, and offer counseling from an explicitly pro-life point of view. [2][4] [5] [6] [7] Most crisis pregnancy centers use counseling to try to persuade women to carry their children to term. [8] Many CPCs offer bible study sessions and "peer counseling" for women who have recently terminated a pregnancy.[2] Abortion providers, most notably Planned Parenthood, have expressed vehement opposition to CPCs and their methods. [9] Other pro-choice advocates claim that some crisis pregnancy clinics falsely advertise that they offer abortion services. [2]

Use of sonograms

About a quarter of CPCs conduct sonograms as a way to persuade women not to abort.[1][7][10] According to the Heidi Group, a Christian organization that advises crisis pregnancy centers, most women who visit CPCs and see their babies through the use of ultrasound technology decide against abortion.[11]

Colorado-based Focus on the Family has a goal of equipping 800 CPCs with ultrasound machines by 2010, through its "Option Ultrasound" program.[12][13] As of November, 2007, they had donated ultrasound machines to 270 CPCs.

The Southern Baptist Convention—the largest Protestant denomination in the United States—has formed an Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).[14] The ERLC works to equip more CPCs with ultrasound machines, through what they call the "Psalm 139 Project". ERLC President Richard Land wrote: "If wombs had windows, people would be much more reticent to abort babies because they would be forced to confront the evident humanity of the baby from very early gestation onward."

Legal and legislative action in response to CPCs

In 1994, some CPCs were legally determined to have engaged in dishonest tactics, including false advertisement.[15] This resulted in such CPCs being court-ordered to stop representing their centers as providing a complete range of health services, including abortion.[15]

U.S. House of Representatives minority report

A United States House of Representatives minority report by Congressmen Henry Waxman concluded that CPCs provide "false and misleading information" on an alleged link between abortion and breast cancer, on the alleged effects of abortion on fertility, and on the alleged mental health effects of abortion.[1]

The summary of the report states:

The individuals who contact federally funded pregnancy resource centers are often vulnerable teenagers, who are susceptible to being misled and need medically accurate information to help them make a fully informed decision. The vast majority of pregnancy resource centers contacted for this report, however, provided false or misleading information about the health risks of an abortion. This may advance the mission of the pregnancy resource centers, which are typically pro-life organizations dedicated to preventing abortion, but it is an inappropriate public health practice.[1]

Pro-life advocates criticized Waxman's report, alleging that it contained inaccuracies and distortions.[16][17][18]

The Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women's Services Act

On March 30, 2006, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced a bill called the "Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women's Services Act", which aims to hold crisis pregnancy centers up to truth in advertising standards.[19] Maloney said of CPCs, "When women are making a health decision, they should never be subject to deceit and trickery... Some of these Crisis Pregnancy Centers should be called ‘Counterfeit Pregnancy Centers.’ They have the right to exist, but they shouldn’t have the right to deceive in order to advance their particular beliefs."

Public criticism

The Pearson Foundation is a St. Louis organization, founded in 1969 to assist local groups setting up anti-abortion counseling centers. CPCs which operate under the Pearson Foundation approach have been criticized as "deceptive" by the Federal Centers for Disease Control, the Texas Attorney General, the North Dakota Supreme Court, the American Civil Liberties Union,[19] pro-choice advocates, and some pro-life groups, such as Birthright International, which also operates CPCs.[20]

Critics charge that CPC administrators portray their businesses as "medical facilities", when they do not have professional licensing from local or state health departments, and are staffed primarily with volunteers rather than medical professionals.[21] A 2002 Washington Post article noted that Planned Parenthood disagreed with the way CPC administrators presented their organizations.[3]

Prevalence

As of September, 2006, there were over 2,200 pro-life pregnancy centers in the United States.[7] While they are most prevalent in the United States, CPCs are also present internationally.[22] Most crisis pregnancy centers are affiliated with one of three major pro-life, Evangelical and Roman Catholic organizations that fund CPCs; these are Care Net, Heartbeat International, and Birthright International. Care Net is the largest network of CPCs in North America, with 1,100 centers advising over 350,000 women annually.[1] Heartbeat International is associated with over 1,000 centers.[23] The largest UK organisations are CareConfidential and LifeUK.

United States government funding

State funding

At least eight U.S. states, including Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas, subsidize crisis pregnancy centers.[24]Cathie Adams, chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, has long been active in the pro-life cause, and began her career at a crisis pregnancy center in Plano, Texas.[25]

In seventeen U.S. states, individuals can support CPCs by purchasing Choose Life license plates.[26] Motorists in these states can request these plates and pay an extra fee, a portion of which is used by the state to fund crisis pregnancy centers and adoption support organizations.

Federal funding

As of July, 2006, 50 CPCs had received federal funding.[1] Between 2001 and 2006, over $60 million in federal funds were given to crisis pregnancy centers.[27]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Waxman, Henry (July 2006). ""False and Misleading Health Information Provided by Federally Funded Pregnancy Resource". United States Government (United States Government): p. pdf. http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20060717101140-30092.pdf. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  2. ^ a b c d Bazelon, Emily (2007-01-21). "Is There a Post-Abortion Syndrome?". The New York Times (New York Times Company): p. cover story. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/21/magazine/21abortion.t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&adxnnl=0&adxnnlx=1190386628-YJ8YY6wRm1G3NshX/wMaAg. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  3. ^ a b "Abortion Battle: Prenatal Care or Pressure Tactics?" The Washington Post
  4. ^ http://www.wpctucson.com/pregnant/services/pregnancy_test.php
  5. ^ http://www.rcpc.org/services.html
  6. ^ http://www.venturacpc.org/
  7. ^ a b c Chandler, Michael Alison (2006-09-09). ""Antiabortion Centers Offer Sonograms to Further Cause"". Washington Post (Washington Post): p. html. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/08/AR2006090801967.html. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  8. ^ "Major Complaints Against Crisis Pregnancy Centers and Efforts to Protect Women" Crisis Pregnancy Center Watch
  9. ^ http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/pregnancy/standard-21507.htm
  10. ^ The Columbus Dispatch "Pregnancy centers stir debate"
  11. ^ Baptist Press: 'Story shows that sonograms stop abortions'
  12. ^ Focus on the Family Budgets $4.2M To Provide Ultrasound Equipment to Pregnancy Centers With Goal of Preventing Abortions, Medical News Today
  13. ^ Focus Celebrates Option Ultrasound Success, Focus On the Family
  14. ^ Psalm 139 Project
  15. ^ a b "Anti-Abortion Center's Ads Ruled Misleading" The New York Times
  16. ^ Waxman Report Is Riddled with Errors and Inaccuracies, The Heritage Foundation
  17. ^ Waxman's whoppers, American Life League
  18. ^ Waxman Report Falsely Accuses Pregnancy Centers, Concerned Women for America
  19. ^ a b "Seeking a Crackdown on Deceit by Radical Anti-Choice Centers". Rep. Carolyn Maloney press release. 2006-03-30. http://maloney.house.gov/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=1082&Itemid=61. Retrieved 2006-05-11. 
  20. ^ Gross, Jane (1987-01-23). "Pregnancy Centers: Anti-Abortion Role Challenged". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DE6D91138F930A15752C0A961948260. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  21. ^ Bryant, Amy (2006-04-20). "Stopping Crisis Pregnancy Centers". Plannedparenthood.org. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. http://www.plannedparenthood.org/news-articles-press/politics-policy-issues/abortion-access/pregnancy-centers-6174.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  22. ^ "Worldwide Directory". Heartbeat International. http://www.heartbeatinternational.org/worldwide_directory.asp. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  23. ^ "About Us". Heartbeat International. http://www.heartbeatinternational.org/about_us.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  24. ^ Abortion foes are getting public funds, San Francisco Gate
  25. ^ ""Texsas Eagle: Cathie Adams", September 24, 2008". texaseagle.org. http://www.texaseagle.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=63&Itemid=128. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  26. ^ "Court Allows 'Choose Life' Plates:Federal Court Says Tennessee Can Offer Anti-Abortion License Plates". Associated Press. 2006-03-17. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/03/17/national/main1418908.shtml?source=search_story. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  27. ^ Edsall, Thomas B. (2006-03-22). "Grants Flow To Bush Allies On Social Issues". Washington Post. pp. A01. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/21/AR2006032101723_pf.html. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 

External links

Pro-choice positions

Pro-life positions

Press

Legislation

CPCs


Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), also known as pregnancy resource centers[1] are non-profit organizations established by pro-life supporters that work to persuade pregnant women to give birth rather than have abortions.[1] Most CPCs are in the United States. CPCs are usually affiliated with pro-life Christian organizations; two such organizations are Care Net and Heartbeat International.[2] CPCs are distinct from centers providing pregnancy options counseling, a non-directive form of counseling where secular, medically-based information about all available choices, including abortion, is provided.[3]

==CPC activities==

The majority of CPCs do not offer medical services; this is true of three-quarters of CPCs in the United States.[1] Some CPCs in New York offer medical services, such as STD testing and pregnancy tests.[3] This resulted in an investigation by then-attorney general Eliot Spitzer.[4] Some CPCs offer bible study sessions and peer counseling for women who have recently terminated a pregnancy.[2]

CPC staff members typically advise women against aborting, in accordance with their pro-life beliefs.[1][2][5] Most crisis pregnancy centers use counseling to try to persuade women to carry their children to term.[6] Many CPCs offer bible study sessions and "peer counseling" for women who have recently had abortions.[2] Abortion providers, most notably Planned Parenthood, have expressed vehement opposition to CPCs and their methods.[7] Other pro-choice advocates claim that some crisis pregnancy clinics falsely advertise that they offer abortion services.[2] In practice however, most CPCs do not want to be associated with abortion in any way, and typically advertise themselves (especially in the local phone book) as an "Abortion Alternative" service,[citation needed] although some CPCs have done this in the past.[8]

Contents

Use of sonograms

About a quarter of CPCs conduct sonograms as a way to persuade women not to abort.[1][5][9] According to the Heidi Group, a Christian organization that advises crisis pregnancy centers, most women who visit CPCs and see their babies through the use of ultrasound technology decide against abortion.[10]

Colorado-based Focus on the Family has a goal of equipping 800 CPCs with ultrasound machines by 2010, through its "Option Ultrasound" program.[11][12] As of November, 2007, they had donated ultrasound machines to 270 CPCs.

The Southern Baptist Convention—the largest Protestant denomination in the United States—has formed an Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).[13] The ERLC works to equip more CPCs with ultrasound machines, through what they call the "Psalm 139 Project". ERLC President Richard Land wrote: "If wombs had windows, people would be much more reticent to abort babies because they would be forced to confront the evident humanity of the baby from very early gestation onward."

Legal and legislative action in response to CPCs

In 1994, some CPCs were legally determined to have engaged in dishonest tactics, including false advertisement.[8] This resulted in such CPCs being court-ordered to stop representing their centers as providing a complete range of health services, including abortion.[8]

U.S. House of Representatives minority report

A United States House of Representatives minority report by Congressmen Henry Waxman concluded that CPCs provide "false and misleading information" on an alleged link between abortion and breast cancer, on the alleged effects of abortion on fertility, and on the alleged mental health effects of abortion.[1]

The summary of the report states:

The individuals who contact federally funded pregnancy resource centers are often vulnerable teenagers, who are susceptible to being misled and need medically accurate information to help them make a fully informed decision. The vast majority of pregnancy resource centers contacted for this report, however, provided false or misleading information about the health risks of an abortion. This may advance the mission of the pregnancy resource centers, which are typically pro-life organizations dedicated to preventing abortion, but it is an inappropriate public health practice.[1]

Pro-life advocates criticized Waxman's report, alleging that it contained inaccuracies and distortions.[14][15][16]

The Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women's Services Act

On March 30, 2006, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced a bill called the "Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women's Services Act", which aims to hold crisis pregnancy centers up to truth in advertising standards.[17] Maloney said of CPCs, "When women are making a health decision, they should never be subject to deceit and trickery... Some of these Crisis Pregnancy Centers should be called ‘Counterfeit Pregnancy Centers.’ They have the right to exist, but they shouldn’t have the right to deceive in order to advance their particular beliefs."

Public criticism

The Pearson Foundation is a St. Louis organization, founded in 1969 to assist local groups setting up anti-abortion counseling centers. CPCs which operate under the Pearson Foundation approach have been criticized as "deceptive" by the Federal Centers for Disease Control, the Texas Attorney General, the North Dakota Supreme Court, the American Civil Liberties Union,[17] pro-choice advocates, and some pro-life groups, such as Birthright International, which also operates CPCs.[18]

Critics charge that CPC administrators portray their businesses as "medical facilities", when they do not have professional licensing from local or state health departments, and are staffed primarily with volunteers rather than medical professionals.[19] A 2002 Washington Post article noted that Planned Parenthood disagreed with the way CPC administrators presented their organizations.[3]

Prevalence

As of September, 2006, there were over 2,200 crisis pregnancy centers in the United States.[5] While they are most prevalent in the United States, CPCs are also present internationally.[20] Most crisis pregnancy centers are affiliated with one of three major pro-life, Evangelical and Roman Catholic organizations that fund CPCs; these are Care Net, Heartbeat International, and Birthright International. Care Net is the largest network of CPCs in North America, with 1,100 centers advising over 350,000 women annually.[1] Heartbeat International is associated with over 1,000 centers.[21] The largest UK organisations are CareConfidential and LifeUK.

United States government funding

State funding

At least eight U.S. states, including Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas, subsidize crisis pregnancy centers.[22]Cathie Adams, chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, has long been active in the pro-life cause, and began her career at a crisis pregnancy center in Plano, Texas.[23]

In seventeen U.S. states, individuals can support CPCs by purchasing Choose Life license plates.[24] Motorists in these states can request these plates and pay an extra fee, a portion of which is used by the state to fund crisis pregnancy centers and adoption support organizations.

Federal funding

As of July, 2006, 50 CPCs had received federal funding.[1] Between 2001 and 2006, over $60 million in federal funds were given to crisis pregnancy centers.[25]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Waxman, Henry (July 2006). "False and Misleading Health Information Provided by Federally Funded Pregnancy Resource". United States Government (United States Government): p. pdf. http://web.archive.org/web/20080731092208/http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20060717101140-30092.pdf. Retrieved 2008-02-21. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Bazelon, Emily (2007-01-21). "Is There a Post-Abortion Syndrome?". The New York Times (New York Times Company): p. cover story. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/21/magazine/21abortion.t.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&adxnnl=0&adxnnlx=1190386628-YJ8YY6wRm1G3NshX/wMaAg. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  3. ^ a b c "Abortion Battle: Prenatal Care or Pressure Tactics?" The Washington Post
  4. ^ "Dillon and Spitzer Clash Over Abortion" New York Times.
  5. ^ a b c Chandler, Michael Alison (2006-09-09). "Antiabortion Centers Offer Sonograms to Further Cause". Washington Post (Washington Post): p. html. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/08/AR2006090801967.html. Retrieved 2008-02-24. 
  6. ^ "Major Complaints Against Crisis Pregnancy Centers and Efforts to Protect Women" Crisis Pregnancy Center Watch
  7. ^ http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/pregnancy/standard-21507.htm
  8. ^ a b c "Anti-Abortion Center's Ads Ruled Misleading" The New York Times
  9. ^ The Columbus Dispatch "Pregnancy centers stir debate"
  10. ^ Baptist Press: 'Story shows that sonograms stop abortions'
  11. ^ Focus on the Family Budgets $4.2M To Provide Ultrasound Equipment to Pregnancy Centers With Goal of Preventing Abortions, Medical News Today
  12. ^ Focus Celebrates Option Ultrasound Success, Focus On the Family
  13. ^ Psalm 139 Project
  14. ^ Waxman Report Is Riddled with Errors and Inaccuracies, The Heritage Foundation
  15. ^ Waxman's whoppers, American Life League
  16. ^ Waxman Report Falsely Accuses Pregnancy Centers, Concerned Women for America
  17. ^ a b "Seeking a Crackdown on Deceit by Radical Anti-Choice Centers". Rep. Carolyn Maloney press release. 2006-03-30. http://maloney.house.gov/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=1082&Itemid=61. Retrieved 2006-05-11. 
  18. ^ Gross, Jane (1987-01-23). "Pregnancy Centers: Anti-Abortion Role Challenged". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0DE6D91138F930A15752C0A961948260. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  19. ^ Bryant, Amy (2006-04-20). "Stopping Crisis Pregnancy Centers". Plannedparenthood.org. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. http://www.plannedparenthood.org/news-articles-press/politics-policy-issues/abortion-access/pregnancy-centers-6174.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-06. [dead link]
  20. ^ "Worldwide Directory". Heartbeat International. http://www.heartbeatinternational.org/worldwide_directory.asp. Retrieved 2007-11-06. [dead link]
  21. ^ "About Us". Heartbeat International. http://www.heartbeatinternational.org/about_us.htm. Retrieved 2007-11-06. [dead link]
  22. ^ Abortion foes are getting public funds, San Francisco Gate
  23. ^ ""Texsas Eagle: Cathie Adams", September 24, 2008". texaseagle.org. http://www.texaseagle.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=63&Itemid=128. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  24. ^ "Court Allows 'Choose Life' Plates:Federal Court Says Tennessee Can Offer Anti-Abortion License Plates". Associated Press. 2006-03-17. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2006/03/17/national/main1418908.shtml?source=search_story. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  25. ^ Edsall, Thomas B. (2006-03-22). "Grants Flow To Bush Allies On Social Issues". Washington Post. pp. A01. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/21/AR2006032101723_pf.html. Retrieved 2007-11-06. 

External links

Pro-choice positions

Pro-life positions

Press

Legislation

CPCs








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