FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 03/16/2015
Rep. Farrar files legislation to increase crisis pregnancy center accountability
Today, Representative Farrar filed HB 3966, which increases accountability of crisis pregnancy centers. The bill would require limited service pregnancy centers, which include crisis pregnancy centers, to make monthly reports to the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) – who would publish the reports online – as well as the appropriate local health authority. Those reports would be required to include data on the number of women receiving services, a list of services provided, average cost incurred in providing services to each woman, credentials of service providers, and de-identified statistics on any tests run. The bill would also prohibit limited service pregnancy centers from making false or misleading statements.
"With plans to nearly double the amount of money the state spends on crisis pregnancy centers, Texans need access to information on how that money is being spent," Representative Farrar said. "Moreover, Texans should be assured that information given to women seeking services is medically and factually accurate. This bill proposes accountability measures to assure just that."
Reports have demonstrated that crisis pregnancy centers that receive state funds spend more per patient than family planning clinics. Much data exist on the effectiveness of state spending on family planning and other women's health medical services. Family planning clinics have proven to be effective at preventing unintended pregnancies. Since over half of births in Texas are paid for by Medicaid, preventing unintended pregnancies saves the state money. Family planning clinics also provide critical well-woman screenings, including pregnancy tests, STI and HIV screenings, and cancer screenings. Early cancer detection not only saves lives – it also saves costs on expensive treatment options. Data on crisis pregnancy centers will help the Legislature ensure that it appropriates money in the most efficient manner.