Maurer’s experience is common among people seeking services at similar centers. According to a study conducted by the Gillings School of Global Public Health, crisis pregnancy centers operate with the primary goal of convincing people who are considering abortion to continue with their pregnancies. The study indicates that by mixing free material resources like pregnancy tests and infant supplies with the dissemination of often misleading information through counseling and courses, pregnancy centers in crisis are blurring the lines between healthcare providers and “pro-life” advocacy groups for decades.
This has been the case with the CPRC since the center opened in 1983 – back then it was called the Crisis Pregnancy Hotline and Services, Inc. and began as a 24-hour helpline for people who inadvertently became pregnant.
A section of the CPRC’s 1986 Bylaws states that the specific purpose of the organization “is to encourage the full term births of babies of pregnant women by providing counselling, helping to provide clothing and other necessities of life for mother and child, and giving instructions on child care. A 2017 amendment to these articles goes further, stating that “the primary purposes for which this Christian society is organized are to glorify God by serving his people, especially those who face unplanned pregnancies.”
Their main website doesn’t mention anything about God or religion, and instead displays pictures of sullen women with text that says “Pregnant? Now what?” or “Consider abortion?” The services they advertise include free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, STI tests, and “abortion information.” The link for the latter only leads to a list of statements like “We think you need to slow down, breathe, and take a moment to gather all the information you need before making a decision”, along with a link to the calendar. an appointment.
Gillings’ study indicates that because crisis pregnancy centers typically have ambiguous names and advertise pregnancy-related services, they often appear to be legitimate healthcare providers. People wishing to have an abortion may visit an emergency pregnancy center without realizing that it does not provide them.
Given this, it’s easy to see how someone in need of reproductive health care services – especially in a place like Tulare County, where services are much harder to access than in other parts of the State – could be brought to cross the door of the CPRC.