How can I tell crisis pregnancy centers and real reproductive health centers apart?



Someone asked us:

I heard about crisis pregnancy centers and how it gives incorrect and biased information about abortion, and in my area, an Open Arms Pregnancy Center opened near my school and how would I be able to tell if it’s similar/bad?

Oh man, crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) really grate my cheese.  It can sometimes be tough to tell whether a clinic is a CPC because they’re specifically designed to be deceptive.  They use the ol’ bait-n-switch to trick vulnerable people dealing with unwanted pregnancies into thinking they’ll get legit health care and counseling. Instead, visitors are treated to an alarmist, medically-inaccurate, liar-liar-pants-on-fire speech intended to scare them out of having an abortion or even just using birth control. EW!

CPCs often:

  • Are not staffed by doctors, nurses, ultrasound techs, or any other real health care professionals.
  •  Say that abortion causes breast cancer, sterility, and long-term psychological damage (lies, lies, and more lies).
  • Provide misleading information about the side effects and failure rates of birth control and condoms.
  • Use manipulative tactics to get pregnant women to delay real counseling or medical care until it’s too late for a legal abortion.
  • Subject people to religious and ideological propaganda against abortion, birth control, condoms, and/or sexual activity, instead of giving non-biased, factual information about their sexual health.
  • Set up shop very close to legitimate reproductive health centers, hoping to confuse patients.

Probably the easiest way to determine if a clinic is a CPC is to call and inquire about their services. If they say they don’t provide abortion, birth control, STD testing, or condoms, or they won’t refer you to places that do, it’s a pretty clear indication that something’s fishy. Often they won’t give you any information about their services at all over the phone, demanding that you visit the CPC in person. A health center that is not up front about their services is probably up to no good. Sad face.

Everyone deserves quality, factual, non-judgmental medical care, which is the last thing you’ll get at a CPC. So good for you for keeping an eye out and being smart and proactive about your health care! You can always rely on your local Planned Parenthood health center for unbiased information about all of your reproductive health options.

-Kendall at Planned Parenthood


About tooimpurenangel

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