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.
- South Dakota State House
As legislators during these difficult economic times, I recognize you are faced with many challenges in order to help see the residents of South Dakota through. HB 1217 will not do anything to improve the lives of South Dakotans, however. This bill mandates that pregnant women must provide a written statement that they've visited a pregnancy center in order to access a legal abortion and as such is simply the kind of government intrusion into the private, personal medical decisions of South Dakotans which has been rejected many times over. Please ensure that HB 1217 does not make it any further in the House.
We all want to make sure that pregnant women receive access to the most comprehensive information, resources and high-quality care, regardless of what legal, safe option they chose to access. Numerous reports commissioned by policy makers, providers and advocates over the years have shown that pregnancy centers, also known as crisis pregnancy centers, provide consistently false or misleading information to women seeking care. These centers are predicated on the position that legal abortion is wrong; which is their right. However, pregnancy centers do not generally employ medical professionals or health care providers. It's imperative that pregnant women needing honest, timely information and care receive that care from an actual health care provider.
Please oppose HB 1217. It does not regulate pregnancy centers, 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.
Thank you for your attention to this!
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