This week’s installment of the #PWChat series focused on crisis pregnancy centers. It was co-hosted by Linda Girgis, MD.

Topics discussed included: what exactly are crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) and how they differ from abortion and/or planned parenthood clinics, what physicians–especially primary care providers and OBGYNs–and their patients who are pregnant or sexually active should know about CPCs, potential reasons why HBO’s Last Week Tonight With John Oliver felt CPCs were such an important topic that they dedicated an entire episode to them, and much more!

View our upcoming schedule, or read our other #PWChat recaps here.

Below are the highlights from the chat. You can read the full transcript here.

 

 

Question 1

Q1: What exactly are crisis pregnancy centers? How do they differ from abortion and/or planned parenthood clinics?#PWChat pic..com/gZUCwkLRWH

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) May 23, 2018

A1. I guess different from abortion clinics because they don’t do abortions. This particular one is a medical clinic that also does ultrasounds and other medical testing and also support the women who come back for support after having an abortion

— Jasmine R Marcelin, MD (@DrJRMarcelin) May 23, 2018

A1. I have a close friend who works at a crisis pregnancy center and understand it to be more of a resource center. May be fundamentally pro life and want to encourage women to keep their babies but approach it from peer counseling & advice rather than biblical judgement #PWChat

— Jasmine R Marcelin, MD (@DrJRMarcelin) May 23, 2018

 

Question 2

Q2: What should physicians—especially primary care providers and OBGYNs—and their patients who are pregnant or sexually active know about #CrisisPregnancyCenters?#PWChat

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) May 23, 2018

A2. Clearly we should know more specifically WHAT it is they offer? How do they discuss options for an unwanted pregnancy? How do they address women’s questions about abortions? Do they have a standard they follow? Are there benefits like std testing? #PWChat

— Jasmine R Marcelin, MD (@DrJRMarcelin) May 23, 2018

Question 3

Q3: Why do you think @HBO’s @LastWeekTonight w/ @iamjohnoliver felt #CrisisPregnancyCenters were such an important topic that they dedicated an entire episode (https://t.co/wbfEB6EAWW) to them?#PWChat pic..com/Pya6wChJI8

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) May 23, 2018

Q3 not sure what makes them pick a topic, other than for ad revenue, but he showed very specific examples of unethical behavior.

Whether that is typical of the facilities or how widespread, I don’t know#PWChat https://t.co/KdSrZspSbj

— Matthew Loxton (@mloxton) May 23, 2018

Question 4

Q4: Why do you think it is that as of December 2017 there were 2,752 “Pregnancy Help Locations” (according to @HeartbeatIntl) in the US, compared with 1,671 abortion-providing facilities as of March 2017 (according to @Guttmacher)? Or 1 abortion clinic vs 38 CPCs in MS?#PWChat pic..com/bJ5NK1QG8T

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) May 23, 2018

Growing up I thought pregnancy help and crisis centers were like a middle ground for women who had no idea what to do. In my mind a woman would go there, be told what her options are and then either decide to have the baby or go to an abortion clinic. Where is this model? #pwchat

— Jasmine R Marcelin, MD (@DrJRMarcelin) May 23, 2018

I am more concerned with their complete disregard of life once it’s here. Women are not incubators. And all babies need food and families and healthcare. They should put their money where there mouth is instead of harping on how much they love those who aren’t here yet. #pwchat

— Jennifer Michelle (@MMSJennifer) May 23, 2018

Question 5

Q5: Do you agree w/ @iamjoholiver when he says in the aforementioned episode (https://t.co/wbfEB6EAWW) that women w/ unplanned pregnancies are often actively misled by #crisispregnancycenters while trying to access care? Or that CPCs seem to be happy to be doing so?#PWChat pic..com/VMqLSnBF77

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) May 23, 2018

A5. Yes, this seems to be what is happening. They seem to be pushing their own agenda. #PWchat https://t.co/3dR36n0jaU

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) May 23, 2018

Q5 Dunno.

Likable guy, and I enjoy his shows, but I am also aware that he goes into them with a specific objective to raise revenue for his employer.

What he revealed certainly seems to be unethical and predatory, but how typical this is, I can’t say#PWChat

— Matthew Loxton (@mloxton) May 23, 2018

Question 6

Q6: Is a good or bad thing that #CrisisPregnancyCenters can get federal funding and that 16 states directly fund them with taxpayer dollars (as of Feb 2018, according to @NARAL)?#PWChat

This was going to be Q8, but since it’s already come up few times… pic..com/JRpi3LyNsm

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) May 23, 2018

A6. Since these centers seems to be pushing their own agenda rather than providing true medical services, they should not receive federal or state funding. #PWchat https://t.co/xlUjRYjrRt

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) May 23, 2018

Q6 Not if they are misleading women or giving biased or incorrect information.

This is more serious than just proselytizing a religious viewpoint from a soapbox.#PWChat https://t.co/5e5Amn3fVD

— Matthew Loxton (@mloxton) May 23, 2018

Question 7

Running short on time…

Q7: How do you respond to @AbbyJohnson’s address at @HeartbeatIntl’s 2012 annual conference in which she said “…the best client you ever get is one that thinks they’re walking into an abortion clinic…the ones that think you provide abortions.”#PWChat pic..com/F7im5i5tsy

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) May 23, 2018

A7. I think she said that because they are hoping for converts. Women should be allowed to explore all options and given all information. #PWchat https://t.co/9cDtsVJxco

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) May 23, 2018

Question 8

Last question…

Q8: Why do you think it is that #CrisisPregnancyCenters aren’t regulated as healthcare providers? #PWChat pic..com/I6YptLH65c

— Physician’s Weekly (@physicianswkly) May 23, 2018

A8. Because they are functioning as non-profits providing information rather than real services. #PWchat https://t.co/KfnFilcN4G

— Linda Girgis, MD (@DrLindaMD) May 23, 2018

Most of them are affiliated with religion, I know that in my town the KoC held a fundraiser to buy an ultrasound machine for one of these centers. IMO they should be, especially since they market themselves as such.

— Andrea R MD (@AndreaR9Md) May 23, 2018

Lobbyists #PWChat pic..com/CZNFLcINtL

— janae sharp (@CoherenceMed) May 23, 2018