January 20, 2012 — Antiabortion-rights crisis pregnancy centers in Minnesota often provide women with inaccurate information about abortion and the procedure's long-term health risks, according to an investigative report released by NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Under the 2005 Positive Alternatives Act, the Minnesota Department of Health has issued $2.4 million annually to CPCs and other organizations that promote abortion alternatives or provide training and financial assistance to needy parents. The law requires that the state health commissioner "approve any information provided by a grantee on the health risks associated with abortions to ensure that the information is medically accurate."
NARAL sent volunteers who pretended to be pregnant to state-funded CPCs. The group found that 73% of the centers it investigated claimed there is a link between breast cancer and abortion, even though groups such as the American Cancer Society have refuted such claims. According to the report, a pamphlet from one center said "most studies conducted so far show a significant linkage between abortion and breast cancer."
State officials plan to review the NARAL report. State Deputy Health Commissioner Jim Koppel said, "While we have not yet had a chance to review the full report, we are concerned when there are allegations that an organization receiving grants from the Minnesota Department of Health does not provide accurate information to consumers."
NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota Executive Director Linnea House said, "Women should never be misled when seeking information about pregnancy, birth control, abortion or sexually transmitted infections," adding, "Yet it is happening across the state" (Olson, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1/17).