Now I could try to supply you vague information about what I have heard, or talk about what I have seen first hand, but of course my limited experiences won’t apply to all crisis pregnancy centers. I have heard good things lately about how these centers do provide pre-natal care, post-natal care, as well as various assistance programs for up to 2 years post-partum. All of that sounds marvelous, but I needed to look into it for myself, so I did.
Step 1: Go Back to the beginning
start here with the history of the movement, it might not be where they are anymore but the spiritual heart of the institute is still very much beating. http://www.motherjones.com/files/cpchistory2.pdf
Basically the movement started out as a way of tricking women into not having abortions, not using contraception, and above all carrying their fetuses to term.
Step 2: Consider their current practices
So there is this great video by VICE news https://news.vice.com/video/misconception, and also a great review about the video on the Moderate site Slate, http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2014/09/18/vice_news_exposes_how_crisis_pregnancy_centers_lie_to_women_to_stop_abortion.html
Then there is NARAL’s big study here, http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/what-is-choice/abortion/abortion-crisis-pregnancy-centers.html
Also there is Cosmopolitan’s year long investigation here, http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/news/a43101/pregnancy-centers-august-2015/, and Salon’s nice little breakdown of it here, http://www.salon.com/2015/07/14/how_crisis_pregnancy_centers_are_using_taxpayer_dollars_to_lie_to_women/
There is another great article by Slate about this here, http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2015/06/crisis_pregnancy_centers_three_legal_strategies_for_bringing_them_down.html
But by far the best article on all of this is the one by the Huffington Post, which incidentally is based on the NARAL study.
CPC’s routinely misinform their potential clients, and this is intentional rather than accidental. Potential clients are lied to about the links between abortion and breast cancer, psychological trauma (which the APA clearly has debunked http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/abortion/), that modern contraceptive methods are abortifacients, that abortion can lead to sterility.
CPCs are mostly staffed by volunteers, but there is NO requirement that these volunteers have any medical training whatsoever. Of course a trained physician may volunteer at one of these clinics but their hiring practices do not require their employees to know anything about obstetrics or women’s health (professionally speaking anyways, which is important).
CPC’s misrepresent the services that they provide in order to get people through the door and persuade them not to have an abortion. The advertising, literature, and training is designed to present the center as providing all of the legal medical options when in most cases the only services provided are counseling services. They do NOT provide pre-natal care (blood tests, urine tests, weight tests, fetal heart rate checks, vaccines, information about nutrition, they do not have a delivery room, maternity care providers, counseling on costs of insurance, counseling on your rights in terms of medical care) some provide ultrasounds (but not medically diagnostic ultrasounds, aka their ultrasound technicians are not trained to spot fetal abnormalities or refer those test results to a health care provider) but this is not at all the sum of what a pregnant woman needs.
CPC’s are well-funded by major Christian organizations whose goals run counter to providing women with access to contraceptives or abortions. Also in eleven states (including PA) they are funded by taxpayers. For instance in PA, according to the article from Salon cited above, the state has a $24 limit on an individual pregnant woman’s material needs (food, clothing, baby gear etc.) But the state reimburses these centers at the rate of $1 per minute of counseling provided to clients (counseling which as I have already stated) is often based on misinformation. Also a client must receive at least 20 minutes of counseling before they can even get access to that $24 worth of material needs. These centers provide little to no postpartum care.
This is my initial study, and it is largely based on the studies of Vice News, NARAL, and Cosmopolitan. Sure my sources have their limitations, and I am not accusing any of these centers of breaking the law. Although the supreme court has upheld a decision which “forces crisis pregnancy centers to inform clients whether they have a licensed medical provider on staff.” http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/03/us-usa-court-abortion-idUSKBN0IN1A720141103
I cannot in good conscience support these centers or their mission. Christian Organizations which break the 9th commandment to protect the 6th have probably missed the point of the 10 commandments.