I spoke with a reporter who went to interview one of the anti-abortion centers in August. The staff there thought the reporter was a patient and gave her a brochure that said that abortions cause cancer, among other things. This is not true!
These crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) were created to persuade pregnant people not to have abortions by any means necessary. These tactics include their longtime practice of sharing inaccurate health information, including misinformation about pregnancy (that people are further along or not as far along as they are), abortion and birth control, and their use of deceptive tactics and advertising. Some CPCs describe themselves as Christian ministries. According to the American Medical Association (AMA) Journal of Ethics, CPCs Are Legal but Unethical. “They strive to give the impression that they are clinical centers, offering legitimate medical services and advice, yet they are exempt from regulatory, licensure, and credentialing oversight that apply to health care facilities.”
Even worse, since CPCs are not licensed medical facilities, they are not bound by HIPAA privacy law. They are primarily staffed by volunteers, and there is nothing to stop the CPC volunteers or staff from giving the pregnant person’s personal information to anyone, including individuals or anti-abortion organizations that may stalk or harass these women and girls.
With these problems in mind, consider that North Carolina’s state budget is heaping taxpayer money upon CPCs and CPC umbrella organizations.
N&O article “NC’s new state budget funds pregnancy centers that steer clients away from abortion,” talks about where a new $3 million allocation in the 2022 state budget is going, but did not explain that this is *an extra 3 million dollars!* They had already given away an astounding $15.8 million over 2 years in the state budget in 2021, so the $3.1 million addition in 2022 increased the 2 year allocation to about $19 million.
The growth in tax giveaways to the current $19 million has been exponential. The increase of $3 million in 2022 was more than the total allocation in the 2 year 2017 budget. In the 2017 budget, which was the last to be signed by a governor before 2021, the allocation was $2.6 million over two years ($1.3 million a year). 2017 was a great leap from 2015, when the allocation was for $300,000. The first amount was $250,000 in 2013. Before 2013, no money went to CPCs, as it should be.
Many believe these anti-abortion clinics are harmful, and state funding of them is unconstitutional. In 2019, Professor and constitutional scholar Gene Nichol wrote about how the state giving taxpayer money to CPCs violates the First Amendment. Professor Nichol wrote that funding CPCs is government sponsored religion.
It is not clear how the 2021 allocation got to be so unbelievably high because the 2022 state budget was written in secret, with no input from the public or even many legislators, as reported in the News & Observer. It is clear that no North Carolina taxpayer money should be funding these anti-abortion clinics.
– Gailya Paliga
President, NC National Organization for Women (NC NOW)
Find more issues NC NOW had with the 2021 state budget at “2021 State Budget BAD for Women.”