Crisis pregnancy centers misinform Montana women, NARAL study says

2013-10-31T18:00:00Z 2013-10-31T19:14:18Z Crisis pregnancy centers misinform Montana women, NARAL study says missoulian.com

HELENA – Crisis pregnancy centers in Montana mislead women about their health care options, including abortion, a study released Thursday by NARAL Pro-Choice Montana concludes.

The group undertook an investigation of these centers from May to September 2012. That included sending in women posing as pregnant to nine of the estimated 20 Montana centers to gather information.

“These centers offer services to women facing an unintended pregnancy, but are fraught with problems – most notably biased and incorrect information provided to clients, failure to abide by applicable regulations to protect consumers and their distinct connection to the extreme right-wing political groups,” the study concluded.

Many clinics present themselves as legitimate medical clinics offering comprehensive and caring services, “when, in fact, they use deceptive and misleading tactics to promote an anti-choice agenda,” the study said.

Disagreeing was DeAnn Visser, CEO of LaVie, which operates pregnancy centers in Billings.

“Because we’re a medical clinic that offers evidence-based medical supervision under the direction and supervision of a licensed Montana physician, when then they say that we give misleading and false information about contraception and abortion, that is a misleading and false statement.”

Maggie Moran, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Montana, discussed the group’s study in a telephone news conference on Thursday.

“Women must have access to the full-range of health care options, which includes safe, legal abortion,” she said.

Moran accused the centers of using “coercive, manipulative techniques” that were deceptive and intended to shame women.

The NARAL Pro-Choice Montana had women make undercover or “secret shopper” visits to nine of the 20 centers, posing as pregnant women. It concluded:

- 89 percent, or eight of the nine centers visited, provided inaccurate information about birth control, such as saying contraception is the same as abortion, condoms aren’t effective in preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases and birth control leads to breast and cervical cancer.

- 78 percent, or seven centers, said abortion causes serious psychological damage, when NARAL said numerous studies have found this to be uncommon. No post-abortion syndrome is medically or scientifically recognized, the group said.

- 67 percent, or six centers, linked abortion to breast cancer, and 44 percent, or four of them, said abortion can cause irreversible damage to a woman’s vagina and uterus. NARAL Pro-Choice Montana said that these statements have been repeatedly disproven by medical research teams.

The study said the centers use such “scare tactics and manipulative tools” as showing the women dolls supposedly the size of fetuses to dissuade women from having abortions, but the dolls are developmentally incorrect. Three of the centers showed graphic videos often of late-term abortions.

Although these crisis pregnancy centers provide ultrasounds and pregnancy tests, the study said, they don’t appear to be complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, which governs the confidentiality of clients’ personal health information.

In response, Tracy Ullrey, CEO of Options Women’s Clinic in Helena disputed the study’s allegations as inaccurate and called the study “another bullying tactic from a radical pro-abortion group.”

The Helena clinic opposes all forms of manipulation, coercion and strong-arming and fully complies with HIPAA and Montana’s privacy and security regulations, she said.

“Options is dedicated to providing a safe, caring and respectful professional medical clinic where every woman and teenager may work through their reproductive health options free from pressure so they may make a choice that is best of them,” Ullrey said.

Chuck Johnson is chief of the Lee Newspapers State Bureau in Helena. He can be reached by email at: chuck.johnson@lee.net or by phone at (406) 447-4066 or (800) 525-4920.

Copyright 2015 missoulian.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(2) Comments

  1. walter12
    Report Abuse
    walter12 - November 01, 2013 7:28 am
    Come on, let us be honest. NARAL is an abortion agenda group, and nothing more. This is their religion, this is their life blood. God only knows why. They are closely alligned with their master and leader, this Obama Creature.
  2. Jacob
    Report Abuse
    Jacob - October 31, 2013 9:09 pm
    And naral manipulates everything to get their agenda pushed through.
Missoulian Civil Dialogue Policy

Civil Dialogue Policy for Commenting on Missoulian.com

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Comments can only be submitted by registered users. By posting comments on our site, you are agreeing to the following terms:

Commentary and photos submitted to the Missoulian (Missoulian.com) may be published or distributed in print, electronically or other forms. Opinions expressed in Missoulian.com's comments reflect the opinions of the author, and are not necessarily the opinions of the Missoulian or its parent company. See the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Our guidelines prohibit the solicitation of products or services, the impersonation of another site user, threatening or harassing postings and the use of vulgar, abusive, obscene or sexually oriented language, defamatory or illegal material. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other classification. It's fine to criticize ideas, but ad hominem attacks on other site users are prohibited. Users who violate those standards may lose their privileges on missoulian.com.

You may not post copyrighted material from another publication. (Link to it instead, using a headline or very brief excerpt.)

No short policy such as this can spell out all possible instances of material or behavior that we might deem to be a violation of our publishing standards, and we reserve the right to remove any material posted to the site.

Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick