Crisis pregnancy center websites: Information, misinformation and disinformation

Amy G. Bryant, Subasri Narasimhan, Katelyn Bryant-Comstock, Erika E. Levi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective Most states with 24-h waiting periods prior to abortion provide state resource directories to women seeking abortion. Our objective was to evaluate the information on abortion provided on the websites of crisis pregnancy centers listed in these resource directories. Study design We performed a survey of the websites of crisis pregnancy centers referenced in state resource directories for pregnant women. We searched for these state-provided resource directories online. We contacted state Departments of Health and Human Services for a print copy when a directory could not be found online. The crisis pregnancy center websites were evaluated for the information provided on abortion. Standardized data collection tools were used. Descriptive statistics were generated. Results Resource directories of 12 states were procured. A total of 254 websites referring to 348 crisis pregnancy centers were identified. Overall, a total of 203/254 [80%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 75%-84%] of websites provided at least one false or misleading piece of information. The most common misleading or false information included on the websites were a declared link between abortion and mental health risks (122/254 sites; 48%, 95% CI 42%-54%), preterm birth (54/254; 21%, 95% CI 17%-27%), breast cancer (51/254; 20%, 95% CI 16%-25%) and future infertility (32/254; 13%, 95% CI 9%-17%). Conclusion Most crisis pregnancy centers listed in state resource directories for pregnant women provide misleading or false information regarding the risks of abortion. States should not list agencies that provide inaccurate information as resources in their directories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-605
Number of pages5
JournalContraception
Volume90
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Abortion
  • Abortion restrictions
  • Crisis pregnancy center
  • Misinformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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