Advertisement

The Ethics of Evangelism: Why You Can’t Be a Good Physician and Support Crisis Pregnancy Centers

  • Corinne McLeod
Conference paper

Abstract

Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) are a worldwide phenomenon typically run by religious organizations who aim to prevent abortion by disseminating misleading and false information about abortion and/or contraception through volunteer-run centers that advertise themselves as medical clinics. CPCs violate basic principles of biomedical ethics through these actions by inhibiting patient autonomy via incomplete disclosure of information, making it impossible for patients to make autonomous decisions about their pregnancy options. This is comparable to not providing risks and benefits before a planned surgical procedure. CPCs also create potentially hazardous medical situations and perpetuate imbalances in social justice, violating other biomedical principles as well. Patients must be allowed to decide what is beneficence for them, including whether the fetus should be considered a patient, invalidating the potential argument that CPCs practice beneficence by preventing abortion. Given these violations, medical professionals cannot ethically support CPCs and should advocate against them given their potential to undermine the doctor-patient relationship.

Keywords

Abortion Autonomy Crisis pregnancy centers 

References

  1. American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Pregnancy resource centers. 2010. http://www.aaplog.org/pregnancy-resource-centers/.
  2. APA Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion. Report of the APA task force on mental health and abortion. Washington, DC: Author; 2008.Google Scholar
  3. Beauchamp TL, Childress JF. Principles of biomedical ethics. 7th ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 2013.Google Scholar
  4. Bryant AG, Levi EE. Abortion misinformation from crisis pregnancy centers in North Carolina. Contraception. 2012;86(6):752–6.Google Scholar
  5. Bryant AG, Narasimhan S, Bryant-Comstock K, Levi EE. Crisis pregnancy center websites: information, misinformation and disinformation. Contraception. 2014;90(6):601–5.Google Scholar
  6. Chervenak FA, Mccullough LB. The fetus as a patient: an essential ethical concept for maternal-fetal medicine. J Matern Fetal Med. 1996;5(3):115–9.Google Scholar
  7. Cunningham FG, Leveno KJ, Bloom SL, Spong CY, Dashe JS, Hoffman BL, Casey B, Sheffield JS. Hypertensive disorders. In: Williams obstetrics. 24th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education; 2014. p. 736–46.Google Scholar
  8. Entsminger K. Building a successful internet advertising campaign for your pregnancy center. Care Net. Google Scholar
  9. Ganatra B, Gerdts C, Rossier C, Johnson BR, Tunçalp Ö, Assifi A, et al. Global, regional, and subregional classification of abortions by safety, 2010–14: estimates from a Bayesian hierarchical model. Lancet. 2017;390:2372–81.Google Scholar
  10. Jatlaoui TC, et al. Abortion surveillance — United States, 2013. MMWR. 2016;65(SS-12.) https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/65/ss/ss6512a1.htm.
  11. Kutner J. Crisis pregnancy center tells woman her IUD is “your baby,” plus countless other lies. 2015a. http://www.salon.com/2015/03/18/crisis_pregnancy_center_tells_woman_her_iud_is_your_baby_plus_countless_other_lies/. Retrieved 22 Apr 2016.
  12. Kutner J. How crisis pregnancy centers are using taxpayer dollars to lie to women. Salon. 2015b. http://www.salon.com/2015/07/14/how_crisis_pregnancy_centers_are_using_taxpayer_dollars_to_lie_to_women/.
  13. Life Choices. News. 2015. http://www.lifechoices-agape.org/news. Retrieved 22 Apr 2016.
  14. NARAL Pro-choice North Carolina. The landscape of CPCs. 2017. http://www.prochoicenc.org/assets/bin/landscape-of-cpcs.pdf.
  15. NARAL Pro-Choice Texas. Shady sonograms. 2014. http://txpregnancy.org/shady-sonograms/. Retrieved 22 Apr 2016.
  16. National Abortion Federation (NAF). Crisis pregnancy centers: an affront to choice. 2006. https://www.prochoice.org/pubs_research/publications/downloads/public_policy/cpc_report.pdf.
  17. National Women’s Law Center (NWLC). Crisis pregnancy centers are targeting women of color, endangering their health. 2012. https://nwlc.org/resources/crisis-pregnancy-centers-are-targeting-women-color-endangering-their-health.
  18. Opotowsky AR, Siddiqi OK, D’Souza B, et al. Maternal cardiovascular events during childbirth among women with congenital heart disease. Heart. 2012;98:145.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, H.R. 36, 115th Cong. (2017).Google Scholar
  20. Patel J. with life choices in San Antonio TX, audio recording, May 22nd, 2015.Google Scholar
  21. Raymond EG, Grimes DA. The comparative safety of legal induced abortion and childbirth in the United States. Obstet Gynecol. 2012;119(2, Part 1):215–9.Google Scholar
  22. Reproductive FACT Act, Cal. Assemb. B. 775 (2015-2016), Chapter 700 (Cal. Stat. 2015).Google Scholar
  23. Rewire Staff. 20-Week Bans. 2017. https://rewire.news/legislative-tracker/law-topic/20-week-bans/. Retrieved 6 Nov 2017.
  24. Stacey, D. The pregnancy center movement: history of crisis pregnancy centers. www.motherjones.com/files/cpchistory2.pdf.
  25. Zhang S, Cardarelli K, Shim R, Ye J, Booker KL, Rust G. Racial disparities in economic and clinical outcomes of pregnancy among Medicaid recipients. Matern Child Health J. 2012;17(8):1518–25.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Albany Medical CenterAlbanyUSA

Personalised recommendations