(National Review) A recent study in the journal Contraception should be of interest to pro-lifers — especially those with an interest in the work of pregnancy help centers. It provides very strong statistical evidence that pro-life pregnancy help centers offer better and less expensive services than abortion facilities. In particular, it found that pregnancy centers had shorter appointment wait times than abortion facilities and were considerably more likely to offer same-day appointments. Even more important, it found that abortion facilities frequently charge for pregnancy tests and ultrasounds whereas pregnancy help centers almost never charge for these services.
The study is strong methodologically. The authors paired up 445 abortion facilities with a nearby pregnancy help center. Data from all 50 states were collected and analyzed. The authors found that over 68 percent of pregnancy help centers offered same-day pregnancy visits as compared with only about 32 percent of abortion facilities. Furthermore, only a very small percentage of the pro-life pregnancy centers included in the study charged for either pregnancy tests or ultrasounds. Conversely, at abortion facilities, the median price for a pregnancy test was $24, and the median price for an ultrasound was just over $162.
Interestingly, the authors furthered their analysis by separately analyzing abortion facilities in 25 states with policy environments they deemed supportive of pregnancy help centers. Specifically, these 25 states provided either direct or indirect funding to pregnancy help centers or had legislation in place that required referrals to pregnancy help centers. In these states, abortion facilities had shorter wait times for pregnancy tests. They also, on average, charged less for both pregnancy tests and ultrasounds. Overall, it appears that competition from pregnancy help centers has an impact on abortion facilities.
Importantly, Contraception is certainly not a conservative academic journal. Many of the studies they publish have a bias in favor of legal abortion and contraception use. Furthermore, the authors of the Contraception study are academics affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh, and none has a connection with a pro-life group. A liberal academic journal published an analytically rigorous study showing that pregnancy centers offer better and less costly services to women. Overall, this is a great testament to the nearly 3,000 pregnancy help centers in the United States that tirelessly provide life-affirming alternatives to pregnant women every day.
Editor’s Note: This article was published at National Review and is reprinted here with permission.
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