Clergy Statement on So-Called "Crisis Pregnancy Centers"
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America Clergy Advisory Board (CAB) believes that the role of religion is to guide people in making decisions about complex issues. We therefore strongly oppose so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) because of the biased and often inaccurate information they provide to women who are seeking honest answers to honest questions about the choices available to them. CPCs disrespect liberty of conscience and a woman’s right to follow her faith’s instruction.
We stand in opposition to CPCs’ deceptive practices, which include, but are not limited to, the following:
• disguising that they are affiliated with religious organizations that are driven by an anti-choice agenda
• claiming to provide “all options” counseling while withholding information from women
• using scare tactics, visuals, and unsolicited ultrasound exams to intimidate women and stop them from choosing to have an abortion
• misinforming women about the safety of abortion procedures
• falsely claiming to be a medical and/or family planning facility by using such deceptive words as “clinic,” “medical,” or “pregnancy” in their advertising
• refusing to refer a woman to a pro-choice medical provider or reproductive health care center when she requests an abortion or birth control
• violating the confidentiality of patients by contacting women at their homes without their consent
• tricking women into carrying unwanted pregnancies by lying about their test results — telling them they are not pregnant when they are
These practices endanger the physical and emotional well-being of women who find themselves in a vulnerable and sometimes difficult time of life.
We believe that women of reproductive age should have access to affordable family planning and information about all forms of birth control. As clergy who have counseled women on both planned and unintended pregnancies, we know that when a pregnancy occurs, women need unbiased, non-directive, and medically accurate information about all their options, presented to them in a non-judgmental fashion. Interfering with a woman’s decision about whether to continue a pregnancy denies her right to self-determination.
The Planned Parenthood Federation of America Clergy Advisory Board (CAB), launched in 1994, leads a national effort to increase public awareness of the theological and moral basis for advocating reproductive health and justice. CAB members are dedicated pro-choice clergy from different denominations and communities throughout the U.S. who work with Planned Parenthood at the national and state levels to further the goal of full reproductive freedom for all women and men.