Crisis Pregnancy Centers

One of the most significant changes in the conflict over reproductive rights in the United States has been the rapid spread of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs).  While the first CPCs began before Roe v. Wade, both their number and the scope of their activities have grown enormously over the last decade.  I am conducting research on CPCs with my colleague Chris Scheitle at Penn State University.  We are combining qualitative interview data with quantitative organizational founding data on CPCs to analyze the growth of this important wing of the pro-life movement.  Our initial findings suggest that a) CPCs have changed the dynamics of religious faith within the movement, providing both an outlet for religious expression by activists while also depending longstanding tensions within the movement; and b) CPCs are changing the dynamics of the abortion issue more generally, reframing-- and thereby depoliticizing-- the debate in ways that will pose challenges to both pro-life and pro-choice activists.

We have a brief overview of this research, aimed at a non-specialist audience:

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