Pacific Standard Mag regularly covers abortion issues from a pro-choice point of view, and the publication is definitively liberal in its political beliefs. That being said, its articles on abortion are not incredibly over top screeds, but are definitely on the side of the abortion lobby.
That is why it was surprising to see them admit that pregnancy resource centers can actually be beneficial, and profile positive feedback from clients of pregnancy resource centers in a recent article.
Although the central theme of the article is about pro-life medical clinics such as Obria receiving Title X family planning funds, the author of the article actually includes quotes from a study that testify to the benefits of pregnancy resource centers.
“Still, many of Kimport’s [the study’s author] interviewees, who planned to keep their pregnancies, liked the crisis pregnancy centers they visited. ‘They felt clean and friendly, and people were nice to them, and for some of them, that was in contrast with their experience receiving health care [elsewhere],’ Kimport says. Most clients quickly realized the nature of the centers, too, after talking with staff. ‘Once the lady explained a little bit, I realized then, like, OK, maybe this is not a clinic,” one of Kimport’s interviewees said. ‘It’s them persuading [patients] to not have an abortion.'”
The author also concedes, “Many of Kimport’s interviewees were poor. They appreciated that the centers gave them free pregnancy tests, which some used to apply to government aid programs for low-income expectant mothers. They got free prenatal vitamins from the centers and the promise of pricey necessities, like a car seat or crib, for free, if they kept coming back. ‘That was very appreciated,’Kimport says. Some had staff offer to pray with them, which they liked.”
Of course, no praise can go too far, the section on pregnancy resource centers in this article opens and closes with criticism. For example, the author writes, “Critically, Kimport only surveyed women who were pregnant at the time they went to visit a pregnancy resource center. Why would you go to one otherwise? There’s little direct evidence of what happens if what used to be a pregnancy center begins seeing patients who want contraception or testing or treatment for sexually transmitted infections”, which the author says are the bulk of Planned Parenthood’s services.
- A pregnancy resource center is very clearly for people who are pregnant, although some do offer STI testing, and places such as Obria are medical clinics.
- Although Planned Parenthood may test for STIs, they don’t treat all that many. Consider that although Planned Parenthood diagnosed 240,489 STIs, they treated only 16 to 20% of the patients they diagnosed, according to its 2018-2019 annual report.
You can read more about the high-quality work of pregnancy resource centers in this excellent report by the Charlotte Lozier Institute.