Adolescent health societies publish position statement on crisis pregnancy centers

  • Swartzendruber A & al.
  • J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol
  • 28 oct. 2019

  • de Elisabeth Aron, MD, MPH, FACOG
  • Clinical Essentials
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Takeaway

  • Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) do not support public health and are inconsistent with recommendations of professional medical organizations and ethical health standards of care, a pair of adolescent health societies says in a position statement.

Why this matters

  • There are 2500 CPCs currently operating in the United States.
  • Their primary mission is to dissuade pregnant women from considering abortion and to promote premarital sexual abstinence.
  • CPCs receive governmental financial support through federal grants and sales of "Choose Life" license plates.

Key points

  • CPCs often provide inaccurate health information.
  • They are staffed by volunteers who lack clinical training and licensure.
  • CPCs use digital marketing strategies to direct people to their centers.
  • Staffers often attempt to dissuade adolescents from using contraception or abortion services.
  • CPCs often promote unproven services.
  • Government funds should not be used to support organizations that fail to meet professional ethical standards.

Study design

  • Position statement from the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.
  • The statement was developed through review of scientific publications, advocacy writings, and a discussion among a team of adolescents and reproductive sexual health experts.
  • The statement is based on scientific data, expert opinion, and medical ethics.
  • Funding: None disclosed.