These bills would take away the rights of local governments to regulate so-called Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs). These centers would not have to adhere to existing ordinances with which other entities must comply. PRCs would not be required to comply with rules or ordinances established in the future, such as requirements regarding client confidentiality or false and misleading advertising. PRCs are on record for providing false and misleading information to women, men and young people about pregnancy and sex. Currently, they are not required to provide medically factual or accurate information. PRCs are not regulated in the content of the “medical” advice or referrals they provide.
In contrast, abortion providers adhere to more than 30 laws and regulations, including many medically unnecessary restrictions. This bill would place PRCs beyond the reach of the law.
PRCs do not meet the standard of care for women’s health services.
Many PRCs falsely advertise themselves as health care facilities. These facilities are not licensed medical centers and do not meet the health care or privacy needs of the women they target, yet they receive taxpayer funding. While women may get a free drug-store pregnancy test and, in some cases, an ultrasound (which is not interpreted by a medical professional), they do not receive physical exams, sexually transmitted infection (STI) treatment, birth control counseling, or prenatal care coordination.
The information PRCs provide is unregulated, biased, and often times false.
Staff at most religiously-based facilities offer women medically inaccurate or incomplete information and often use intimidation tactics to dissuade women from obtaining abortions. A woman should have accurate information about all of her options. Information should support her, help her make a decision for herself, and enable a woman to take care of her health and well-being.
PRCs put ideology before women’s health.
These facilities are run by anti-abortion organizations that deceptively market themselves as professional health facilities. The vast majority of staff at these organizations are not medical professionals and are not licensed to provide health care services in Missouri, and therefore are not required to comply with medical ethics or operate under Missouri’s informed consent or privacy laws. A woman's health is often put at risk by staff who are opposed to all forms of contraception and focus on pushing an anti-abortion agenda instead of listening to the needs and concerns of the patient. PRCs do not offer referrals for the reproductive health care women need – even when referrals are specifically requested. This can mean a woman’s reproductive health care is delayed, risking her health and safety.