Opinion | Do not fund crisis pregnancy centers

Crisis pregnancy centers spread misinformation about reproductive health.


Kyle Tristan Ortega, Opinions Contributor

People should have access to legitimate reproductive health care.

We all know that accessible reproductive health care is significant for good public health. But what we do not often think about is that the health care we have access to being legitimate and unbiased is just as significant, if not more so.

Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa Republicans are pushing to increase funding for crisis pregnancy centers. But crisis pregnancy centers are a source of biased and misleading information that could be detrimental to public health.

These centers are non-licensed clinics that provide free services such as ultrasounds, pregnancy counseling, pregnancy tests, and more. The fact that they are non-licensed clinics could lead to some skepticism, and these clinics also attempt to dissuade patients from getting abortions or using birth control through misinformation.

This is problematic for multiple reasons. First, the misinformation the centers provide could prevent a patient from getting medical treatment they need.Specifically, pregnant people could come to one of these centers seeking advice and receive biased information without knowing it, which opens them up to the possibility of health complications.

One testimony from a patient noted that their experience in a center left them feeling deceived, as they went in thinking it was a real clinic. Another patient’s account notes that they were not only given erroneous medical information, but also a religious speech from one of the workers about the effectiveness of contraception.

 Additionally, the time they spend at the centers could delay their decision-making in terms of what to do with their pregnancy, which can be a significant problem in states with gestational age bans. These bans are laws that make abortion illegal after the fetus reaches a certain gestational age.

According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, pregnancy complications and sexually transmitted diseases account for one-fifth of the global diseases among women.

Therefore, considering its possible demand, accessible reproductive health care is necessary. But if someone is seeking reproductive health care, they must be given access to facilities that want to help them, not facilities that push a political agenda.

This is significant because the U.S. Agency for International Development states that legitimate reproductive health care reduces maternal deaths by 30 percent annually and saves 1.4 million children under five each year.

If we continue to fund crisis pregnancy centers, we would only be putting people with reproductive health care needs at risk. Thus, Reynolds and Iowa legislators should not increase funding for these clinics and facilities.

Instead, funding should go to licensed clinics that are managed by trained professionals under the medical field, such as Planned Parenthood. Additionally, funds should go toward making health care more available for marginalized and vulnerable populations in Iowa, such as those in rural communities without accessible reproductive health care clinics.

There is a lot we can do with the state’s funding, but funding crisis pregnancy centers should not be one of those things. The main problem with these facilities is that they push a political agenda on people when they are most likely in need of advice or help, which is highly unethical.

Politics should be kept in the realms of argument and debate, not in the dissemination of misinformation on medical care.

If one wants to argue against abortion, they are free to do so. However, using “fake” clinics to trick patients into believing something is another story — a very problematic one.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.