CPC Fact Sheet 10-24 by AmericanIndependent


									                       Taxpayer-funded Crisis Pregnancy Centers in Texas
                         Deceiving Texas Women with Your Tax Dollars
                                       October 24, 2011

While Texas lawmakers cut state funding for low-cost family-planning and women’s health clinics
by 66%—or $74 million—they simultaneously increased the $8 million per biennium appropriation
to the non-health-related Texas Pregnancy Care Network (TPCN) by $300,000.i The TPCN contracts
with a statewide network of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs)—unlicensed, unregulated, anti-
abortion pregnancy help centers that offer non-medical ‚counseling‛ services to pregnant women.

CPCs in Texas and nationwide have a history of misleading pregnant women and teens by
providing them with inaccurate medical information and imposing on them dogmatic religious
literature. In 2010 we won a small but important victory in the fight against CPCs’ manipulations
by helping to pass a city ordinance requiring that all CPCs post a disclaimer that they neither offer
nor refer clients to abortion or birth control services. ii

This controversial program, funded by taxpayer dollars, not only violates the federal Charitable
Choice Act, but also endangers women’s health with lies and misrepresentations, at a crucial time
when women’s access to health and wellness is already under attack by the government.

Given continued—and increased—funding for this controversial program, Texas taxpayers should
be gravely concerned about the latest data gathered on the Texas Pregnancy Care Network and its
affiliated crisis pregnancy centers.

      Taxpayer-funded CPCs violate standards of the Charitable Choice Act.

          o 67% of CPCs visited by NARAL Pro-Choice Texas investigators in 2009 offered either
            prayer or religious counseling, despite federal Charitable Choice Act regulationsiii as
            well as the TPCN’s claims that their service providers must ‚agree not to promote the
            teaching or philosophy of any religion while providing services to the client.‛iv

          o 15% of sites visited and officially evaluated by the TPCN did not label religious
            materials properly.v

      Taxpayer-funded CPCs endanger women’s health by propagating medical

             PO Box 684602 Austin, TX 78768     (512) 462-1661    www.prochoicetexas.org
       o Every CPC visited in 2009 referenced a link between abortion and breast cancer.
         Numerous leading medical organizations, including the National Cancer Institute,vi
         have explicitly stated that there is no relationship between induced abortion and a
         subsequent higher risk for breast cancer. One center even claimed that a woman’s risk
         of breast cancer is increased by 35% after an abortion.vii

       o Every CPC visited described a fictional ‚post-abortion stress syndrome.‛ The
         American Psychological Association does not recognize ‚post-abortion stress
         syndrome‛viii and, as reported by Reuters in 2008, ‚no high-quality study done to date
         can document that having an abortion causes psychological distress, or a ‘post-
         abortion syndrome.’‛ix

       o 67% of CPCs visited told investigators that condoms are not effective in preventing
         the spread of STDs, despite scientific and medical evidence to the contrary.x

       o Although the Woman’s Right to Know Act—a state mandate that women seeking an
         abortion be informed about the procedure and its aftereffects—does not recognize the
         following conditions as possible side effects of an abortion, some CPCs told
         investigators they might face depression, weight gain, anorexia, bulimia and/or
         suicide as a result of an induced abortion.xi

   Taxpayer-funded CPCs offer controversial—and unregulated—“counseling” services.

       o The Texas Independent reported that, between 2006 and 2010 by the Texas Health and
         Human Services Commission (HHSC) has never conducted an on-site evaluation of
         the program.xii

       o The only qualification that the TPCN requires for staff of CPCs that participate
         in its network is unspecified ‚pregnancy counseling/mentoring skills
         orientation and training.‛xiii CPCs are under no obligation to either use or be
         supervised by licensed professionals.

       o Staff at one CPC stated that from the moment of conception the embryo is a child—‚a
         fully formed person.‛xiv

       o One client was prompted to imagine ‚putting a vacuum up there‛; the CPC staffer
         then asked her, ‚Doesn’t that seem like it would cause damage?‛ That same CPC told
         an investigator that it would be ‚unnatural‛ to terminate a pregnancy because a
         woman’s purpose is to bear children.xv

          PO Box 684602 Austin, TX 78768    (512) 462-1661   www.prochoicetexas.org
        o 100% of the CPCs visited told an investigator that, as a result of an abortion, she
          would have to answer to her relationship with God. Of the 42 ‚counseling‛ categories
          delineated by the TPCN, the most utilized by clients last year were ‚fetal
          development,‛ ‚medical/health,‛ and ‚pregnancy mentoring and information‛—three
          areas that should be supervised by a licensed medical professional but are not.xvi

        o The Texas Independent’s report found that almost 25% of CPCs investigated employed
          at least one mentor/counselor who was not vetted by the Department of Public Safety
          and Family Protective Services.xvii

   Taxpayer-funded CPCs are wasting $8.3 million biennially.

        o In their budget for the 2011 fiscal year, TPCN allotted almost $200,000 for advertising,
          distribution, and outreach, but only $10,000 for the costs of training clinic staff—the
          people who will be ‚counseling‛ the women who seek out their ‚services.‛xviii

        o In the 2010 fiscal year, the TPCN spent nearly $2.5 million on counseling services
          offered by unlicensed professionals and family-planning classes taught by
          unregulated educators.xix

        o Last year, CPCs statewide saw a total of 13,338 clients. Planned Parenthood in just the
          capital region saw more than 33,000.xx

        o Currently TPCN reimburses CPC’s for ‚services‛ at a rate higher than medical and
          mental-health professionals who provide actual women’s health services to Medicaid

         Pregnancy Help Center of Williamson County, Georgetown, TX, July 13, 2009

            PO Box 684602 Austin, TX 78768               (512) 462-1661        www.prochoicetexas.org
     Texas Alternative to Abortion Services Program, Quarterly Status Report, June 1, 2010 to August 31, 2010
      Texas Pregnancy Care Network Project Work Plan & Annual Budget, 2010–11
      Texas Alternative to Abortion Services Program, Quarterly Status Report, June 1, 2010 to August 31, 2010

        PO Box 684602 Austin, TX 78768               (512) 462-1661        www.prochoicetexas.org

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