Independent counselling centres in the UK and abroad have been found to be giving misinformation and biased guidance to those with crisis pregnancies. This Guardian article covers our work uncovering poor practice in this area.
The Irish Family Planning Association published this report on the activities of independent pregnancy advice centres.
In 2006 the US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform produced a report on 'False and misleading health information provided by federally funded pregnancy resource centers'
The report finds that many crisis pregnancy centres in the United States that were receiving government funding were deliberately providing misinformation about the health risks of abortion.
There are over 150 independent pregnancy advice centres in the UK sometimes called Crisis Pregnancy Centres. Some of these are part of large networks and some operate autonomously. Their practice varies widely depending on the ethos of their parent organisations and also on the integrity of the individuals working in the centres. Some workers in these centres may be eager to deter women from having abortions and may use a variety of coercion and misinformation to do so. Before referring a young person to these centres you should be confident that they will provide the up to date, accurate and evidence-based information that women need when they are making up their minds about pregnancy. You should also be satisfied that their counselling technique will be impartial, non-directive and that your client will not be subjected to distressing images.
Read a summary of our mystery shopping report on UK pregnancy advice centres.
More information on how to assess the quality of a local counselling service is in the back of our best practice toolkit which is free to download.
If you have had a bad experience of pregnancy counselling and are prepared to tell us about it please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let us know the name of the centre you went to, the town and what happened.
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