Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Crisis Pregnancy Centers: "Ask About Our High-Pressure Sales Pitch!"

On Alternet Amanda had an very good article talking about crisis pregnancy centers.

According to a recent Planned Parenthood email, a 17-year-old girl mistakenly walked into a crisis pregnancy center thinking it was Planned Parenthood, which was next door. "The group took down the girl's confidential personal information and told her to come back for her appointment, which they said would be in their 'other office' (the real Planned Parenthood office nearby)."

When she showed up for her nonexistent appointment, she was met by the police, who had been erroneously tipped that a minor was being forced to abort. The crisis pregnancy center staff followed up this harassment by staking out the girl's house, phoning her father at work, and even talking to her classmates about her pregnancy, urging them to harass her.

Okay, first thought…the Austin cops are going to get mighty sick of being sent out on wild goose chases by anti-abortion types.

Second thought, Amanda’s article made me wonder if these places could ever be in danger of being sued by the American Medical Association for medical fraud? They seem to come mighty close to implying they are providing medical care. And also, sonograms aren’t toys!

I followed up by asking what kind of medical staff they had on hand and she replied, "Well, we have sonographers."

When I asked her what a sonographer was, she was curt: "It's someone who can do your sonogram."

Actually performing a sonogram on a client probably adds to the illusion that crisis pregnancy centers are providing care. In fact, this allure explains why there's a bill pending in Congress to grant crisis pregnancy centers ultrasound machines, despite the fact that having a sonogram performed by an unsupervised technician could be dangerous. Dr. Diana Kroi, the ob-gyn who authored "Take Control of Your Period," explained that ultrasounds need a trained physician to look for problems like ectopic pregnancies and other dangerous indications that a woman's health is imperiled.
First of all I love "sonogramer" as a quasi-medical term. "Does your clinic offer surgery?" "Well we have people who have knives. We call them cutters."

You might as well have your Aunt Tillie give you an exam. Apparently she’d be just as trained to do so.

Anyway Amanda highlights a lot more disturbing stuff about the clinics, including the fact they are getting public funding. Go read the whole thing.

Heh, and Jessica at Feministing points out that crisis pregnancy centers are not the just a selling a different flavor of soda than Planned Parenthood.

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