June 7, 2011 — A San Francisco city supervisor is pushing legislation that would require crisis pregnancy centers to prominently display signs that disclose whether they offer comprehensive reproductive health care, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Supervisor Malia Cohen is working with NARAL Pro-Choice California on legislation that would mirror laws in Austin, Texas and New York City, where centers are required to post signs that disclose whether they have medical professionals on staff and provide abortion care, contraception, or offer referrals for such services.
CPCs try to discourage women from seeking abortions and often offer little or no medical care. "Legislation is a priority because there are clinics using misleading advertising tactics," Cohen said. "Women need and deserve to know the whole truth about their health care options," she added.
Two crisis pregnancy centers in the city would fall under Cohen's legislation. NARAL sent undercover representatives to CPCs in the state, including Alpha Pregnancy Center and First Resort in San Francisco. None of the centers offered abortion care, contraceptives or referrals for the services. The report also found that many crisis pregnancy centers, including Alpha Pregnancy Center, are staffed solely by volunteers.
A First Resort spokesperson said the center offers ultrasounds and some prenatal care provided by nurses. At Alpha Pregnancy Center, clients are required to sign forms stating that they understand the facility is not medically licensed and that counseling is influenced by the Bible (Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/4).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership