by Andrea Grimes
July 26, 2011
The Texas Independent reports today on violations ranging from fire safety to client privacy in Texas’ many “alternatives to abortion” contractors. You know them as crisis pregnancy centers, and also as one of the few state-funded programs that saw their funding increase in this atrocious budget year–from $4 million to $4.15 million, despite the fact that they provide no medical care, no medical advice and are staffed by religious-motivated volunteers who undergo a minimum of training. Actual medical care that serves women and children in Texas been slashed, and Planned Parenthood has lost $47 million in funding.
The Texas Pregnancy Care Network conducted what amounts to an internal audit–with faith-based, religious-motivated inspectors looking into violations in clinics they have a vested interest in keeping afloat. There has not yet been an official third-party, or even Texas Department of Health and Human Services inspection into these CPC’s.
The Independent has the entire CPC inspection report available to read, but I’d just like to pluck out one totally not surprising finding: 15 percent of contractors did not, during supervised inspections, separate religious and educational material:
Official records of TPCN follow-up visits — conducted after they’ve begun receiving state money — show violations ranging from fire safety to possible breaches of client privacy. During 15 percent of inspections (which were not undercover visits), subcontractors had failed to separate and label spiritual and educational materials properly.
Do you know why this doesn’t surprise me? Because the entire point of “alternatives to abortion” programs is not, in fact, to help pregnant women in need but to ensure that they feel the appropriate amount of God-sanctioned guilt so that they don’t abort. Full stop. That is the beginning and end of what CPC’s are interested in, and while they talk a big game about adoption services and prenatal care, the fact is, many if not most of them aren’t licensed to provide either. We can take “alternatives to abortion” very literally–any alternative to abortion is alright by these folks, regardless of the impact it has on a woman’s life. As long as it’s not abortion, the means aren’t exactly important.