A pro-choice North Carolina foundation has released results from a yearlong undercover investigation of more than 100 pro-life organizations that receive state funding, and is calling on some Christian crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to raise their operation standards.
In a report titled "Truth Revealed: North Carolina’s Crisis Pregnancy Center," the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and its Pro-Choice North Carolina Foundation (NPCNCF) suggests certain ways in which pro-life centers can strengthen their practices with better transparency and honesty. Highlights include suggestions that CPCs practice "honest advertising, increased staff training, provide medical sound information and uphold patient confidentiality."
The research was preformed by NPCNCF staff and volunteers from Oct. 2010 to July 2011. The investigation included 27 in-person visits, 47 website analyses and 40 phone calls to 66 of the state's crisis pregnancy centers.
According to the findings, NPCNCF staff members were allegedly told medical inaccuracies such as "the AIDS virus is smaller than the holes in condoms" and that "30 percent of women attempt suicide after an abortion." In total, 61 out of 66 facilities did not report any medically trained or medically supervised personnel on staff, according to NARAL report.
According to NARAL's findings, the centers they researched had little to no regulations in place regarding confidentiality, accuracy for facts and services that adhere to certain care standards.
"No matter how a person feels about the question of legal abortion, everyone can agree that women should never be misled when seeking information about pregnancy, birth control, abortion, or sexually transmitted infections. Yet it is happening across the state," said Carey Pope, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina.
Bobbi Meyer, State Director at Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship, recently told The News and Observer of Raleigh that clients are treated with respect and make up their own minds about how to approach a pregnancy at CPCs. According to Meyer, there is at least one nurse on staff and workers at centers in the fellowship's network who have undergone training.
"We're not twisting women's arms," Meyer told The News and Observer. "We're not manipulating them."
Although the NARAL report is critical of Christian crisis pregnancy centers, such centers exist to provide housing to pregnant teenagers, help new mothers with adoptions, offer classes about prenatal care, and financial planning for expectant mothers.
According to Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship (NCChooselife.org), 60 CPCs in North Carolina are eligible to receive state-regulated money every time a "Choose Life" license plate is purchased. "Choose Life" license plates encourage women with unplanned pregnancies to consider adoption as a choice instead of an abortion.
The relase of "Truth Revealed" report is timely as the Women's Right To Know Act, which tightens abortion requirements, went into effect Wednesday in North Carolina.
Women in the state are now subject to a 24-hour waiting period and have access to information about the risk of abortion and alternatives to the procedure.
A full text of NARAL's report can be found here.