Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs), also known as Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs), or fake women’s clinics are organizations that offer free of charge pregnancy counseling and resources. Studies have documented the inaccuracy of the information that CPCs provide to patients with regards to abortion and contraception counseling. Previous research indicates that between 2-6% of CPC clients seek information about abortion during their CPC visits. By providing medically inaccurate care and information, patients are experiencing unnecessary deterrents to care when they visit CPCs.
There have been no previous studies that evaluate the frequency of patients going to CPCs prior to seeking an abortion, specifically in California. California as a state has one of the largest numbers of CPCs, only beat by Texas. For this quantitative study, we will select a sample of patients to participate in a clinic-based survey to identify the proportion of patients who have visited CPCs prior to obtaining an abortion. We will recruit patients from 2 University Medical Campuses (UCLA and UCSD fellowship sites), 2 clinics in Planned Parenthood LA and in 2 Family Planning Associates of Los Angeles (FPA) locations, when patients are presenting for their abortion. Patients can be included in the study if they are over 18 years of age, can complete a survey in English or Spanish, and are presenting to a clinic for an abortion.
Study participants will complete a survey regarding demographics and where they previously sought care or counseling services prior to presenting to the index site for abortion care. Participants are asked to list the names and addresses of clinics. Investigators will cross-reference the addresses with the California Pro-Life Council list of CPCs (which has 190 clinics listed as of 2018). Surveys will also ask if patients believe they have gone to a CPC (with a definition provided). Survey participants will be offered a gift card commensurate with time spent as compensation for their effort. Assuming a 6% prevalence of patients who have been to CPC’s (as in previous literature) we anticipate needing a sample size of 593 patients to produce a two-sided 95% C.I. with a width equal to 0.020. Participants who had visited CPCs prior to obtaining an abortion will be invited to complete in-depth phone interviews at a later date. Patients will be asked for their best contact information for phone interview.
The primary outcome of our study is to identify the proportion of patients from these clinical site samples who had visited a CPC before obtaining an abortion. Secondary outcomes will include gestational age at presentation to abortion clinic, number of providers seen prior to visit, where patients receive their care prior to presenting to abortion clinics and demographic characteristics of patients seeking abortions in outpatient’s clinics. Data will be analyzed using descriptive statistics.