The Florida Senate yesterday adopted a resolution sponsored by state Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, that makes January 2012 ”Pregnancy Resource Center Month.”
Pregnancy resource centers, often referred to as crisis pregnancy centers or CPCs, are controversial centers with mostly religious aims that seek to convince women facing unwanted pregnancies to not have abortions.
Reproductive rights advocates have long called these centers misleading. CPCs diseminate medical information to women, even though they are not medical facilities. Some in Florida have been found to distribute inaccurate medical information about abortion to women seeking help.
In a press release, Planned Parenthood says that “instead of praising [CPCs], the Florida Legislature should be monitoring these centers that often pretend to offer women help, and instead give women incomplete – or false – information in an effort to bully them into carrying their pregnancies to term.”
“Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) are not health care providers – and they should have no role in the delivery of women’s health services, including pregnancy testing,” said Judith Selzer, vice president for public policy at the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates.
Two state legislators, one Democrat and one Republican, are seeking to impose regulations on the centers. State Rep. Lori Berman, D-Delray Beach, and Sen. Evelyn Lynn, R-Daytona Beach, have filed legislation that would require CPCs to protect the private medical information of women who visit them.
Planned Parenthood’s statement from today says explains that these centers “often lure women in by offering free pregnancy testing.”
“Once women are inside the center, women are given over-the-counter pregnancy tests and endure anti-choice propaganda,” the group explains. “Often, these centers do not have any medical professionals on site.”
“These are not medical facilities, yet their staff and volunteers gather personal and health information from women and men at a vulnerable time and that information should not be shared without their consent,” Selzer said.