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Centers "Deceive" on Reproductive Health, Study Finds

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Tuesday, November 2, 2021   

HELENA, Mont. -- A new report investigates facilities that dissuade women from getting abortions.

Known as crisis-pregnancy centers, the facilities have proliferated across the country.

Kim Clark, senior attorney for reproductive rights, health and justice at the advocacy organization Legal Voice, said crisis pregnancy centers purposely deceive people.

"They draw people in by misleading folks and giving the false impression that they are full-service reproductive health clinics," Clark explained. "And then, really all they're providing is the drug-store pregnancy test and potentially an ultrasound that is useless, if not actually harmful, insofar as it could be misleading."

The Alliance: State Advocates for Women's Rights and Gender Equality partnered with Legal Voice on the study, called "Designed to Deceive." According to the report, there are nearly 3.5 times more crisis-pregnancy centers in Oregon than there are abortion-care clinics.

Sometimes known as pregnancy-resource centers, the organizations running them state their purpose is to provide medical resources to expectant mothers.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard challenges to a Texas law, which would essentially ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

Clark pointed out crisis-pregnancy centers are connecting and in contact with pregnant people, and the Texas law allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and people who aid women with getting abortions.

"Which creates an incentive for, basically, the surveillance of pregnant people," Clark contended. "And crisis-pregnancy centers are really in the ideal position to serve that function."

Clark noted there are measures states can take if they are interested in reducing unintended pregnancies.

"Expanding access to reproductive-health care and access to comprehensive medically accurate sexual health education, both would go a long way," Clark asserted.

The report found some crisis-pregnancy centers have been able to secure public funding, although Clark said it is not the case in Northwest states.


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