The Myth of the "Alternative"

One reader of Concord Monitor responds to this letter in which a crisis pregnancy center (Care Net Center) is defended as being the “alternative” to Planned Parenthood, although it provides none of the same essential health services.

"Re "An alternative" (Monitor letter, Aug. 18): Jim Preisendorfer’s letter states that CareNet centers can provide all the services that Planned Parenthood provides, other than contraception and abortion.

He is incorrect. CareNet can provide none of the services that Planned Parenthood does, other than referral, since CareNet is not a medical office staffed with doctors and ARNPs. Planned Parenthood is.

CareNet cannot provide a woman’s annual physical examination, provide screening for breast and cervical cancer, give a woman a pelvic examination, examine her cervix for disease, scrape cells and send them in for the pap test. CareNet cannot draw blood and test for sexually transmitted diseases, strep throat, thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, or any other standard medical testing. CareNet cannot provide a pregnant woman with prenatal medical care, prescribe necessary medications for her, or monitor the health of her fetus. CareNet cannot provide a woman and her husband with infertility services or with contraception. CareNet cannot put anyone, man or woman, on the appropriate antibiotics for an infection.

These are the services that Planned Parenthood provides throughout the United States and the world. Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of these services in the United States. These are 97 percent of the services that Planned Parenthood provides, free or on a sliding scale. Planned Parenthood is the only medical provider many women see.

Planned Parenthood also will provide counseling for women faced with an unplanned pregnancy, discussing social services available, medical services available, adoption, and where legal abortions can be obtained - which in most places is not at Planned Parenthood, since most Planned Parenthood facilities do not provide abortion. Only 3 percent of Planned Parenthood visits are abortion services.”

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    This is why CPCs should be required to actually state what services they offer. If we just rely on the notion that they...
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