Crisis pregnancy centers are notorious for lying to women. They mislead women about the health effects of abortions and contraceptives. They lie to women about how far along they are in their pregnancies. They try to trick women into not having abortions by telling them they will likely miscarry. They present themselves as comprehensive women’s health providers but are actually crusaders against abortion and premarital sex.
As a congressional report on these centers found, the misinformation doled out at these centers “denies the teenagers and women vital health information, prevents them from making an informed decision, and is not an accepted public health practice.”
The budget proposed by the North Carolina Senate would take $250,000 from the Women’s Health Fund, which pays for family planning services for low-income uninsured women, and give it to the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship (CPCF), an umbrella group for about half of the state’s crisis pregnancy centers. CPCF is a member of Care Net, which requires its affiliates to agree that they will not “recommend, provide or refer single women for contraceptives.” (Yup, this is yet another front in the war on birth control.)
NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina did an extensive investigation of crisis pregnancy centers in the state and found the following:
- 92% of the CPCs studied (61 of 66) had no medical professional on staff.
- Only 24% disclosed that they are not medical facilities.
- 35% provide ultrasounds on site, but only 12% offer tests for sexually transmitted infections.
- 26% falsely said that abortion leads to breast cancer.
- 48% falsely told women seeking family planning services that none of the common methods of birth control are effective at preventing pregnancy.
- 24% suggested the high possibility of miscarriage as a reason to avoid an abortion.
This is what could replace the North Carolina’s Women’s Health Fund, which spends a significant portion of its funds on helping “women obtain long-acting contraceptives that would otherwise be cost prohibitive,” such as IUDs. The National Women’s Law Center continues, “Taking money away from the Women’s Health Services Fund and redirecting it to the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship will continue to exacerbate existing discrepancies and further reduce women’s access to legitimate health care providers.”
Now we have to see if the final state budget includes this diversion of funds, or if North Carolina’s leaders will recognize that lying to women hurts women and families.