By Claire, Communications Intern
A Texas newspaper, the Texas Independent, did an inspection of the Texas Pregnancy Care Network. The violations found range from building code violations to breach of client privacy. This comes as little surprise to anyone who has ever been to a crisis pregnancy center or anyone who is pro-choice. The Texas state budget recently upped the amount of state money given to CPCs while legitimate medical services including Planned Parenthood and other family planning programs have received signficant cuts. The Texas Independent wanted to know where their taxpayer money is going.
The full report here states that during the visits, which were not undercover, 15% of the centers did not separate the faith-based material from the educational material. Thirty-two of the 33 centers had overt religious affiliations.
According to the report:
Violations reported during followup site monitorings include fire safety (15 percent of the time), possible breach of client confidentiality (12 percent), failure to display proper instructions or notices (12 percent), billing errors (84 percent) and failure to obtain proper public safety checks (22 percent). Other types of violations, including inadequate handicapped access and failure to display “No Smoking” signs, were reported about 2 percent of the time…Possible breaches of client privacy included client waiting rooms that were possibly visible to the public, client forms stored in insecure or unlocked areas, and even simply “misplacing” 12 clients’ files.
It seems to me, that if the government of Texas is going to give taxpayer money to various nonprofits for their work “counseling” women, those nonprofits ought to be held to the same standard as every other organization that provides education and counseling services. It is remarkable that they continue to operate while violating basic building codes, which buildings everywhere are held to0. It is even more remarkable that nearly all of these centers report “billing errors” and gross violations to client privacy by “misplacing” files. Such violations are not professional in any meaning of the word. And if these centers are as incapable of professionalism as they appear…why is the government of Texas still giving them money? The Texas Department of Health and Human Services has not yet done their own investigation of the Texas Pregnancy Care Network. And given that the very mission of the Texas Pregnancy Care Network is to “counsel” and “educate” women on their “options,” I think that the HHS ought to now.
In a time where states are defunding legitimate medical clinics and trumping up building and medical restrictions on abortion providers, it is an outrage that these deceptive and deceitful centers remain open and often government-funded. If any Planned Parenthood was ever found with just one of these violations, politicians would be jumping over each other to condemn it as dangerous to women. Forgive me if I doubt that they will do the same against CPCs.
I hope that the Texas Department of Health and Human Services pays attention to these violations and does their own investigation. These centers do not deserve taxpayer money. They do not deserve to be financed by state governments.