There was also the story of a woman in Georgia who was misdiagnosed as having an ectopic pregnancy. Swartzendruber’s findings found that 77% of CPCs advertised ultrasound during pregnancy, but these were prenatal caregivers Unlike ultrasound, which is used to check the health of They are used only as a tool to influence pregnancy decisions, she said Swartzendruber.
The woman was taken to the hospital emergency room, where she learned it was not an ectopic pregnancy.
Equally concerning is the more general experience with CPC.
“There has been a great deal of misunderstanding about what a crisis pregnancy center is and what services it provides,” says Swartzendruber. “There were people who said they were very stigmatized, they were ashamed, they were feeling very guilty.”
Critical pregnancy centers first developed in the 1960s as faith-based, life-saving institutions that advised women with unwanted pregnancies to avoid abortion. The centers have since grown into a nationwide network of about 3,000 facilities, operating under various names and employing questionable tactics to lure abortion-seeking women to their doors.
Other than promoting abstinence and discouraging people from abortion and contraceptive use, the role of CPCs in reproductive health care is unknown.
In 2022, state officials will ask taxpayers to fund these facilities statewide, according to data from the Charlotte Rozier Institute, an abortion prevention research agency affiliated with Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America. allocated $2 million in dollars.
There are 89 Georgian CPCs in the searchable database created by Swartzendruber’s team. Over the years, many CPCs have changed their names to include words such as “medical” and “clinic” as part of a strategy to strengthen their claim to providing medical services, but the centers are medical Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), not facilities, raises many safety and privacy concerns.
“None of their medical services are performed according to national standards and are not regulated,” Swartzendruber said.
Although national guidelines suggest that those at risk for pregnancy are also at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), Swartzendruber’s findings show that only about 22% of CPCs offer STI testing,8 Only % offer HIV testing.
Some centers that provide STI treatment do not have a long-term strategy. If someone leaves without going to his CPC and being tested for chlamydia, not tested for HIV, and counseled about future contraceptive use, they are at even greater risk, he said. pointed out.
In Georgia, which had the highest number of STD infections in a decade in 2021, the treatment could be life-threatening.
The Center also employs tactics to connect with a wider range of women. Her one CPC in Macon offers girls to sport her physicality as a way of responding early to those who may be pregnant and considering an abortion.
CPC is a repository of information about pregnant women by collecting data through several contacts, including telephone calls, online queries, and in-person visits. Some of her CPCs have posted policies on her website stating that they keep personal data confidential except in certain circumstances.
One such situation, Swartzendruber said, is when a person is seen as a danger to themselves or others. However, according to Lozier Institute data, the majority of CPC staff (75%) and volunteers (88%) are not licensed health professionals. Someone is putting another at risk, she said.
Swartzendruber said centers will likely continue to expand nationwide and seek to capitalize on the abortion ban by promoting limited services as viable options for reproductive health care. In July, two Republican lawmakers wrote to the UGA asking the university to end its involvement in the CPC map.
Using taxpayer money to ensure pregnant people have access to quality, regulated health care services is one thing. Funding unregulated centers that engage in misinformation and misrepresentations while providing less comprehensive medical services that can physically or mentally harm pregnant people is another story.
Lawmakers should know the difference. Unfortunately, they have left it to unsuspecting Georgians to figure it out for themselves.
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