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Crisis Pregnancy Centres- I can't believe this is legal

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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-11 02:19 PM
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Crisis Pregnancy Centres- I can't believe this is legal
"Once while working as an HCA at Planned Parenthood, I had an interesting experience with a patient. I remember looking at her ultrasound before I went into the exam room. She was around 19 weeks pregnant, so I prepared to do a standard mid-trimester abortion counseling session. When I walked in though, I saw a young girl in stunned silence in her chair. Soon she started to cry and told me that the people at the other clinic I went to last week said I was only 12 weeks pregnant. She went on to say that the staff at this other clinic told her that getting an abortion could increase her risk for breast cancer, give her post-traumatic stress disorder, and make her infertile. She was clearly very scared.

The moment she said all of this, I knew what exactly what had happened: she visited a crisis pregnancy center. I told her that although ultrasounds can be an approximation (possibly a few days off), there was no way that she was in her first trimester. I talked about the people who work at these centers, most posing as doctors or nurses, who date ultrasounds earlier to trick unsuspecting patients into thinking their pregnancy is earlier than it really is. By manipulating the pregnancy dating, it makes women think they have more time to decide about what to do about a pregnancy. These centers hope that these women will then run out of time and be unable to get a legal abortion in their state. After explaining all of this to my patient, she asked me when the real doctor was going to see her. I told her she just saw the real doctor.

I wish I could tell you that this is a rare story I hear, but it isnt. CPCs are places that exist solely for the purpose of deterring women from pursuing abortion procedures. Many are affiliated with religious organizations, few disclosing their relation, and they often lure women in with free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and counseling. They usually place themselves near college campuses, lower income areas, and near abortion providers. Sometimes the staff makes the girls and women watch graphic videos depicting abortion procedures while waiting for the pregnancy test results, giving her brochures and pamphlets with false information about fetal development, birth control and abortion procedure side effects. They do not have to adhere to HIPAA compliant laws as medical offices do, so your contact information may be used as they wish. I once started the medication abortion video in a counseling room before I went over a patients paper work, and she started to scream: Please dont make me watch this! I dont want to watch the video about Jesus and hell again!"

more at: /

There must be some kind of regulation even on private clinics/centres that offer medical tests and it must be illegal to impersonate a doctor or nurse. Don't these places have to be licensed? Is there any kind of action that can be taken to stop them spreading false information and shoving their hurtful opinions down the throats of vulnerable women?
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inademv Donating Member (738 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-11 02:24 PM
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1. I sure hope so.
Forward this to Maddow, she's sure to cover it since she's pretty vocal in the fight.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-11 02:29 PM
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2. Impersonating licensed medical personnel is illegal in most areas
so if they get video of these bastards introducing themselves as doctors or nurses when they're not, they can be arrested.

It will probably be plea bargained down to a misdemeanor and slap on the wrist, of course, since they're all such good churchgoing family people.
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JoeyT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-11 02:36 PM
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3. It depends on whether they're real doctors and nurses or not.
If they do have real doctors and they are knowingly lying to patients, then it seems like they'd be liable for it anyway.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-11 02:46 PM
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4. Most CPC's are carefully crafted to avoid breaking the law.
Typically, they'll have a licensed ultrasound tech on staff, but that tech will avoid giving any information to the woman. Instead, they'll hand it off to a "counselor". Legally, anyone can call themselves a counselor. A priest can be a counselor. Your neighbor can be a counselor. Your 12 year old kid can be a couselor. "Counselor" simply means "one who counsels", or provides opinions or advice. In most states, there are no legal requirements that counselors be trained or hold any type of permits, degrees, or certifications. Many (all?) states DO offer licensing for counselors, but it isn't technically required to use the title.

So, what typically happens is this. The ultrasound tech hands an image over to the "counselor". The counselor looks at the image and offers a comment like "I'm not a doctor, but based on my experienced opinion I'd guess that's about 19 weeks along."

Legally, they're not offering medical services, but are merely offering opinions. That's usually enough to protect them from prosecution. Opinions, even incorrect opinions peppered with bald faced lies, are protected speech. They could tell women that they will grow horns on their backs and turn purple if they get an abortion, and it would still be protected speech. Like it or not, lying isn't illegal in most circumstances.

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undergroundpanther Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-11 03:27 PM
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5. Why not
Protest the crisis centers,do what the pos fundies do,block access to the liars, create signs,call them woman haters christian nazi assholes etc,bout time we fought back, ya think?
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musette_sf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-11 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I'd do this in an NY minute
if they weren't sociopathic murder co-conspirators. ("Lone Wolf" My @ss)
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Feb-17-11 07:48 PM
Response to Original message
7. They also don't have to follow HIPAA privacy laws. k&r for shame on them
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Vogon_Glory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-18-11 09:03 AM
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8. Crisis Pregnancy Centers, Anti-Abortion Activists Have Fought Regulations To
So-called "crisis pregnancy centers" and anti-abortion activists have fought regulations that would require them to have licensed, professional medical professionals dealing with their distraught patients. While not surprising, I find it bitterly ironic that anti-choice, anti-birth-control politicos would require clinics providing abortion services to have more medical equipment on hand than many regional clinics do on the one hand, while exempting themselves from any responsibility--or any accountability--from giving unsound medical advice to distraught, pregnant women.

A couple of cities have decided to defy anti-abortion fanatics and have required that "crisis pregnancy centers" should have qualified medical professionals on their premises.

When the great turn-around comes about, progressives should force through regulations requiring "crisis pregnancy centers" to have licensed medical professionals on their staff (even if those professionals are anti-choice) and hold them accountable for their bad medical calls.

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