Pregnancy Care Centers, otherwise known as Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) are often referred to as the “clinic arm” of the anti-abortion movement because, posing as comprehensive reproductive-health care clinics, they disseminate medically inaccurate information designed to hijack women’s right to choose. HB 1217 recently proposed by anti-choice legislators in South Dakota, among other things, requires pregnant women to visit a CPC prior to an abortion procedure.
While some CPCs may provide appropriate support and information to women facing unintended pregnancies, report after report indicates that many of these centers intentionally mislead and even coerce women who go to them seeking comprehensive pregnancy-related services.
Many CPCs are not licensed medical facilities and are staffed by unlicensed individuals. All individuals seeking health-care services should receive comprehensive, unbiased, medically and factually accurate information. This information is best obtained from the doctor that person chooses to consult. Expectant mothers should make decisions about their pregnancy with their doctors, determining what is best for themselves and their families.
HB 1217 does not create any duties or liability for CPCs, and has no mechanisms in place to ensure that the information provided at those facilities will be accurate. Requiring a woman to receive counsel from someone other than her chosen medical provider regarding her medical decisions is the worst kind of government intrusion. A woman’s decisions on who to consult regarding her pregnancy should be hers alone and not the government’s.