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Crisis Pregnancy Centers


Many of our patients have brought to our attention certain deceptive practices of so-called “crisis pregnancy centers”. In response to questions about these centers, we’ve included this report on crisis pregnancy centers based on information from the NARAL Foundation for Reproductive Freedom and Choice, The Guttmacher Institute, and a couple national news organizations. Together, these sources explain in depth the deceptive trade practices of these centers (collectively, CPC’s).

What are crisis pregnancy centers?

These centers attract women faced with unintended pregnancies who are “at risk” for abortion. They advertise themselves under various aliases of neutral-sounding themes, including but not limited to “Crisis Pregnancy Center,” “Pregnancy Counseling Center,” “Pregnancy Care Center,” “Pregnancy Aid,” and others of similar theme.

Although some centers do provide an open and honest setting to ensure that women facing an unintended pregnancy receive the support and information they need, many of these pro-life centers only bombard women with anti-abortion propaganda. Women are lured into these centers under the false impression that they will receive balanced information and the full range of reproductive options, which may include pregnancy tests, sonograms, birth control, and in extreme cases, abortion.

While most centers do provide free, commercially-available pregnancy tests (similar to a product you can find in any drug store), this is often the limit of their services that can be provided legally. These centers do not have a license to practice medicine, and their counselors do not have state-mandated training or literature. While many of these centers are careful not to tread in unlicensed medicine, there are medical malpractice suits pending against some of these centers.[1]

What happens at these centers?

The staff at these misleading organizations (usually volunteers) have been known to use anti-abortion propaganda, misinformation, and intimidation to dissuade women from receiving an abortion. The main objective of these centers is to instill a sense of fear and guilt in women considering an abortion by distorting the medical facts and imposing a specific moral doctrine. Strongly question the information they provide you on abortion procedures .[2]

Many clients of these centers express feeling duped, manipulated, and pressured by religious preaching. Women are often persuaded to watch distasteful videos, and are shown pictures of stillborns that are portrayed as aborted fetuses. In some cases, women are harassed and physically impeded from leaving the center after telling their counselor they were going to have an abortion.[3]

Misleading advertising and medical foul play have landed many CPC’s in legal trouble. In 2002, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer investigated twenty-four CPC’s in his state. [4]

Deceptive or misleading CPC practices have also been challenged in Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio and California.[5]

For more on the legal challenges of CPC practices, please see NARAL’s report: Deceptive Anti-Abortion Crisis Pregnancy Centers.

How do I recognize anti-abortion counseling centers?

There are some general rules you can follow to protect yourself from these centers. We have also included a list of suspicious crisis pregnancy centers in Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky, for your information.

General rules to follow for consumer protection:

  1. Ask Questions, and Avoid Centers Who Do Not Give You Straightforward Answers
    This is the most effective way to determine the nature of a pregnancy center. Before going to a center, call their phone number and ask questions. Avoid clinics whose staff do not provide full, clear answers regarding their services. Avoid clinics that refuse to give a straightforward answer.Ask if they refer to abortion clinics or places where they can receive birth control. If they do not, they are a pro-life center and you will not likely receive unbiased, accurate medical information.Ask if they are a state-licensed medical facility. If they are not, and you are looking for a professional medical opinion, you should seek an OB/GYN or other trusted source for information or a referral.
  2. Free Offerings are a Red Flag
    If it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. Many of these centers promise free medical services, unbiased information, maternal aid (clothes, toys, etc.), and other free assistance. These free offerings are a red flag, and centers offering free “services” should be considered suspicious.Many of these centers do not have the financial means to make due on their promises, nor will they have the resources to hold a state medical license or hire a licensed doctor/nurse if their services are completely free of charge. Several lawsuits have been filed against centers advertising services they do not actually provide, or have failed to provide upon request.In 1993, Ohio Attorney General Lee Fisher found that five crisis pregnancy centers in the state “violate the law by advertising themselves as clinics when they are not medical facilities, provide no medical services, and have no doctors on staff. Some of the centers also promise additional services they do not provide, such as offering free pregnancy tests, when the center does not perform or interpret pregnancy tests for clients [6].”
  3. Be Wary of Center Names
    Become familiarized with the names of the centers listed below. You will notice that most names are neutral, and do not indicate a pro-life affiliation (which is intentional). Pregnancy centers with neutral-sounding names, which include words like “crisis,” “help,” “problem,” or “support” should be considered suspicious.
  4. Be Wary of Traditional and Internet Yellow Pages Listings
    Although tactics vary from center to center, the following patterns have emerged as typical of anti-abortion counseling centers.They falsely suggest or promise a full range of reproductive health services, and list themselves in the yellow pages of telephone directories under any or all of the following headings [7] :-Abortion
    -Abortion Clinics
    -Abortion Alternatives
    -Birth Control Information Centers
    -Clinics, Medical
    -Family Planning Information Centers
    -Social Service Organizations
    -Women’s Organizations

Suspicious Pregnancy Centers in Ohio
These state-by-state lists are based on affiliations with pro-life organizations, customer complaints, and legally filed complaints, but do not include all deceptive centers in these states. Use your best judgment before deciding whether to visit a suspicious center.
Akron

  • Akron Pregnancy Services
  • Suburban Pregnancy Services
  • Pregnancy Care

Cincinnati

  • Abortion Accurate Information
  • Birthright
  • Cincinnati Crisis Pregnancy Center
  • Pregnancy Care Center
  • Pregnancy Center of Clermont (Milford)
  • Pregnancy Center West
  • Pregnancy Help Center
  • Pregnancy Problem Center East


Cleveland

  • Birthright
  • Faith Wellness & Pregnancy Center
  • Healing Journey

Columbus

  • Alpha Pregnancy Counseling Center
  • Birthright of Columbus (Downtown)
  • Birthright of Columbus (North)
  • Pregnancy Distress Center of Columbus
  • Pregnancy Distress Center, East
  • Pregnancy Distress Center (High Street)
  • Pregnancy Distress Center (Ohio State University)
  • Pregnancy Distress Center, West



Dayton

  • Dayton North Womens Center
  • Elizabeth’s New Life Center
  • Miami Valley Women’s Center
  • Womanline of Dayton
  • Women’s Support Center

Hamilton

  • Problem Pregnancy Center

Kent

  • Birthright of Portage County
  • Portage County Crisis Pregnancy Center

Lebanon

  • Crisis Pregnancy Center for Hope


Mansfield

  • Emergency Pregnancy Aid Contact (EMPAC)
  • Richland Pregnancy Services

Medina

  • Birthcare of Medina County

Middletown

  • Community Pregnancy Center

Oxford

  • Oxford Pregnancy Care Center

Springfield

  • Crisis Pregnancy Center of Springfield
  • Women’s Network

Toledo

  • Pregnancy Center of Greater Toledo
  • Heartbeat of Toledo (Madison Ave.)
  • Heartbeat of Toledo (Southwyck Blvd.)


Xenia

  • Crisis Pregnancy Center of Greene County

Suspicious Pregnancy Centers in Indiana
Bloomington

  • Crisis Pregnancy Center of Bloomington, Inc.

Evansville

  • Birthright
  • Pregnancy Resource Centers (Bellmeade)
  • Pregnancy Resource Centers (Weinbach)
  • Pregnancy Center West
  • Pregnancy Support

Fort Wayne

  • Crisis Pregnancy Center


Indianapolis

  • Central Indiana Crisis Pregnancy Center
  • Crisis Pregnancy Center West
  • Crisis Pregnancy Center North
  • Crisis Pregnancy Center South
  • Crisis Pregnancy Center East


Lafayette/West Lafayette

  • LifeCare Services
  • Matrix Lifeline Pregnancy Center

Lawrenceberg

  • Dearborn County Crisis Pregnancy Center

Muncie

  • Birthright
  • Heart to Heart
  • AAIM Crisis Pregnancy Center


Richmond

  • Birthright

South Bend

  • Women’s Care Center (St. Louis Blvd.)
  • Women’s Care Center (Ironwood Circle)
  • Women’s Care Center (Chapin Street)
  • Women’s Care Center (S. Miami Street)
  • Pregnancy Help Line

Terre Haute

  • Birthright
  • Crisis Pregnancy Center Wabash County

Suspicious Pregnancy Centers in Kentucky
Bowling Green

  • Pregnancy Support Center


Florence

  • Pregnancy Center of Northern Kentucky

Lexington

  • AA Pregnancy Help Center

Louisville

  • A Woman’s Choice Resource Center (Preston Hwy.)
  • A Woman’s Choice Resource Center (E. Broadway)
  • Birthright
  • Opportunities for Life (South Shelby St.)
  • Opportunities for Life (Poplar Level Rd.)
  • Pregnancy Helpline
  • Pregnancy Helpline East

Where can I find professional, non-deceptive pregnancy counseling centers?

Select clinics and pregnancy counseling centers that have clearly established reputations. Avoid centers with ambiguous names or descriptions. Ask friends and relatives you trust, or a family doctor or OB/GYN for a referral. Family Planning Services, Planned Parenthood, or any other established women’s health medical facility will provide unbiased answers in a non-pressured environment. Most clinics that provide abortions also provide free pregnancy tests, state-mandated counseling or literature, and adoption resources.

Complete Reports & Articles on the Deceptive Practices of CPC’s:

Deceptive Anti-Abortion Crisis Pregnancy Centers (NARAL)
Anti-Abortion Counseling Centers: A Consumer’s Alert to Deception, Harassment, and Medical Malpractice (Planned Parenthood)
Crisis Pregnancy Centers Seek To Increase Political Clout, Secure Government Subsidy (The Guttmacher Institute Report on Public Policy)
Clinic Crisis (AlterNet)
 New York State Probes Pro-Life Centers (WorldNetDaily)

Works Cited in Report

[1] Moore, Art. (2002). New York State probes pro-life centers. World Net Daily. Retrieved November 11, 2003: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=26054
[2] Deceptive Anti-Abortion Crisis Pregnancy Centers. (1999). NARAL Foundation for Reproductive Freedom and Choice. Page 5. Retrieved November 11, 2003.[3] Deceptive, page 8.
[4] Moore.
[5] Deceptive, page 3.
[6] Deceptive, page 5.
[7] Anti-Abortion Counseling Centers: A Consumer’s Alert to Deception, Harassment, and Medical Malpractice. (1991). Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Retrieved November 11, 2003: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/library/opposition/antiabcenters.htm

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