There are more than 140 centers throughout Ohio that offer services to help women who are dealing with unintended pregnancies. Advocates for abortion rights say these centers do not offer sound medical services and say they have a study that proves it.
Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports.
The centers are often called crisis pregnancy centers. These mostly non-profit organizations plaster ads all over college campuses and areas where there could be a high number of women who unexpectedly find themselves pregnant. Jamie Miracle of NARAL Ohio says a new study by her group shows these centers are not offering medical help.
Miracle – What we found was a pattern medically inaccurate information, coercion and scare tactics to force a woman to make a decision that these centers want the woman to make which is to give the child up for adoption or to parent the child and not to make the decision to have an abortion.
Miracle says the centers often use fear tactics…telling women that abortions carry more physical risks than they actually do. And she says that’s not all.
Miracle – 47% percent gave misleading information on the mental health issues like suicide, depression and substance abuse and abortion. That’s been proven inaccurate by medical research. The American Psychological Association….all of the big names have shown there’s no link between suicide, depression or substance abuse following and abortion.
And Miracle says there’s something these centers don’t provide – comprehensive birth control options. She says advocates of these facilities often try to make people think they provide legitimate medical services that they don’t provide.
Miracle – Do you want to roll the dcie in the doctors office where half of the time he’s going to give you medically inaccurate information rather than the medical information you need before you decide what kind of medical care you get. These are places people go to get sound medical information and they are getting the exact opposite of that.
Gonadakis – It’s another attempt by a shrinking abortion industry to maintain some level of market share for abortions.
That’s Mike Gonadakis, President of Ohio Right to Life. He says the NARAL study is not accurate. He says these pregnancy centers provide women with unexpected pregnancies with real help.
Gonadakis - Women, regardless of color, political persuasions, walk into their facilities day in and day out , whether that be prenatal care, ultrasounds but more importantly, it provides access to food, formula, parenting classes, baby clothes. These are one stop shops for young women. Sometimes they come with their boyfriends and sometimes they don’t, to get real life help and more and more women are choosing pregnancy centers over planned parenthood.
Gonadakis admits not all centers provide comprehensive birth control options but he says they aren’t set up to do that anyway.
Gonadakis - There’s no mandate that they have to do so at all. Most of them are 501C3 non profit and they perform the mission they were set up to do. They don’t receive any Medicaid dollars or anything to that affect so it’s not applicable.
But Gonadakis says there is a push afoot to get some government health care dollars directed into these crisis pregnancy centers in the future. And that’s worries abortion rights advocates like Miracle. She says her group will fight any attempt to try to channel taxpayer money into these centers in the future.