Two state lawmakers — one Democrat, one Republican — have come together to file legislation that would require pregnancy resource centers, or crisis pregnancy centers, to protect the private medical information of women who visit them.

The Pregnancy Confidentiality Act was filed by state Rep. Lori Berman, D-Delray Beach, and Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Daytona Beach.

These centers, commonly known as CPCs, are religious-based centers that dissuaded women from having abortions. In Florida, some CPCs receive state funds: Last year the state’s pregnancy resource services received $2 million in taxpayer money — a fixed amount it has received each of the past six years — while other health centers saw deep cuts to their state funding.

As Marcos Restrepo here at The Florida Independent wrote in October of 2010, despite their state funding, the centers have received little oversight and regulation from state agencies in the past. Berman and Lynn’s legislation would reverse the trend by creating a regulation.

The Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates wrote in a press release today that Lynn and Berman’s bills focus on “protecting privacy of Floridian’s who utilize facilities in the ‘pregnancy resource center’ industry often referred to as ‘crisis pregnancy centers.’”

According to the release:

These centers are currently not regulated medical facilities and are not mandated to keep information provided private and confidential.

“Crisis pregnancy centers” are non-medical facilities that often provide free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds and counsel pregnant women against abortion and emergency birth control services. Many receive government funding and often advertise themselves in a way that suggests that they offer comprehensive reproductive health services by trained doctors and nurses, even when that is not the case.

This bill will ensure that women and men who are given a medical diagnosis or information at a “crisis pregnancy center” will have their personal and medical information protected, despite the fact that these are not medical facilities.

A state senator recently filed legislation that would commend “the compassionate work of the volunteers and staff at Florida’s pregnancy resource centers.” The bill would celebrate CPCs providing ”important support and resources for women who choose childbirth over abortion.”

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