South Florida Sun-Sentinel profiles Florida’s crisis pregnancy centers

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel on Monday profiled the Hope Crisis Pregnancy Centers in Florida.

The centers last year saw about 4,000 pregnant women mostly between ages 19 and 24 and recently received ultrasound systems at three branches as “[p]art of a national trend to convert centers into full-fledged” medical clinics, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

The centers’ “efforts curtail the number of abortions,” but critics say that women are deceived and are not well served when the crisis centers disregard or discourage the option of abortion, withhold certain information and use names similar to abortion providers, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

The centers, many of which are affiliated with religious groups, “make no apologies about their work and deny using scare tactics,” according to the Sun-Sentinel.

About 100 crisis pregnancy centers in Florida, including the Hope centers, received state funding under the $2 million Pregnancy Support Program launched in 2005 by Gov. Jeb Bush (R).

The program provides funding to help women make “life-affirming” choices, Terrye Bradley of the state Department of Health, said.

The centers are expected to receive an additional $2 million in funding in the state’s 2006-2007 fiscal year.

Mary Capobianco, president of Planned Parenthood of South Palm Beach and Broward Counties, said the money would be more effective if spent on pregnancy prevention programs and abortion and prenatal care counseling (Pensa, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 8/28).

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Revision date: June 20, 2011
Last revised: by Andrew G. Epstein, M.D.