Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Title X Money Could Go to Anti-Choice Clinics

As Ms. reports, the plan by the HHS to give medical workers the right to refuse services to patients on moral grounds might have yet another scary consequence for women:

The Bush administration is planning an 11th-hour rule change that could open a new spigot of government money to “crisis pregnancy centers”—fake, anti-choice clinics whose mission is to convince pregnant women not to have abortions (see Ms., fall 2008).

The proposed regulation, pending action by Bush’s Health and Human Services Secretary, Michael Leavitt, would give health care workers the “right to refuse” to provide women abortion referrals, unbiased counseling and even--depending on interpretation--birth control. Not only would this mean that U.S. women were no longer guaranteed full information from their health care providers, but, according to reproductive rights group SEICUS, it could also open up federal Title X funding—the bread-and-butter of comprehensive family planning clinics such as Planned Parenthood—to CPCs. Currently, Title X funding is reserved for clinics that provide women full, unbiased counseling about their reproductive options.

These 'crisis pregnancy centers' are deceptive about their anti-choice agenda, often include false information about abortion, and are finding their way onto campus referral lists with surprising frequency. For more details and some sharp commentary, visit Viva La Feminista. Also, we've written a bit about the HHS's proposed rule at TheFU here and here.

UPDATE: Feminist Law Professors has a post up discussing the campaign to expose these fake clinics. Go read all about it.

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