Combating Crisis Pregnancy Centers

This month,

Austin [Texas] City Council Members unanimously voted to require CPCs [Crisis Pregnancy Centers] to post signs disclosing the services they don’t provide – becoming only the second city in the nation with this protective measure!


What an awesome new law! Baltimore (Maryland) is the only other city to do this. Now women who want to be informed of all their options will not be mislead, lied to, or have their time and money wasted!

What’s wrong with full-disclosure? Patients should be made aware up front of what services are provided and who could argue with that? After all, if these Crisis Pregnancy Centers are so against abortion and refuse to provide the service, they should be proud to proclaim that! I mean, unless they intend to intentionally defraud customers. That’s the only reason they’d have a problem with this, right?

And guess what, they do have a problem with this!! I think that says a lot about them.

They are doing a lot of “This is unconstitutional! What happened to free speech?!” arguments. What free speech are they defending? The right to LIE to customers and mislead them about what services you provide? Classy! You aren’t allowed to circumvent “Truth In Advertising” laws in the name of “Free Speech!” Otherwise McDonald’s would have the “Free Speech” right to tell you that Big Macs might be a great diet plan! Phillip Morris certainly wasn’t able to win the “Free Speech” argument when they were forced to put Surgeon General’s warnings on their cigarette packs! How is this any different, really?

While one might argue that everyone knows that CPCs are (in most cases) unlicensed and thus unable to offer any medical services. But not everyone knows that! Even if it was common knowledge, then putting the sign out front to reiterate what everyone already knows won’t hurt a thing, will it?

Keep in mind, this law does NOT force these CPCs to offer abortion services or abortion referral services. The law is not asking them to do anything against their own “morality” (unless you consider lying to be part of your moral code – apparently many of them do). All it asks is that they are up front about what they refuse to offer. Period.

How brain-damaged (or unethical) do you have to be to have a problem with this? Do you realize that these CPCs take money (at least in Texas) from the government under the “Alternatives to Abortion” program? They do. And then… they don’t really provide any services.

Indeed, in 2005, lawmakers took $5 million that would otherwise go to providers of traditional family-planning services for low-income women to create the new Alternatives to Abortion program as a way to directly fund CPCs and task them with “promoting childbirth.” In a series of articles, the [Austin] Chronicle found that the money hasn’t exactly done much to provide women with any real services – aside from referring them to other state and federal programs and providing a nice annual raise for Vincent Friedewald, the executive director of the Texas Pregnancy Care Network, which administers the state contract.


Are these CPCs all run by teenagers? They certainly have the typical teenaged attitude down pat: “Gimme money but keep your nose out of my business and don’t tell me what to do!

Oh, wait! NOW I get it! These CPCs are nothing more than a get-rich-quick scheme! Step 1: Open up a phony “pregnancy counseling center.” Step 2: Collect state funds. Step 3: Offer no real services, thus keeping costs down. Step 4: Pocket the money and go on a shopping spree! Wheeeee!

The bottom line is that these folks are afraid that once people find out they don’t provide any services (well, maybe they buy home pregnancy tests and administer them – how much can that cost?) they’ll have to shut down and stop getting free money. If these groups were forced to get licensed and offer some form of medical care, why, there would be far less money to line everyone’s pockets! Can’t have that, now can we?

I find this really outrageous and offensive and –

I’m sorry, I lost my train of thought. I just realized I live in Texas (not Austin) and I just figured out a new early retirement scheme plan. I gotta go.