Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Early pregnancy confirmation availability at crisis pregnancy centers and abortion facilities in the United States.

Vinekar K, Jarlenski M, Meyn L, Chen BA, Achilles SL, Tyberg S, Borrero S. Early pregnancy confirmation availability at crisis pregnancy centers and abortion facilities in the United States. Contraception. 2023 Jan 1; 117:30-35.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


OBJECTIVES: Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) seek to dissuade people from having abortions. Twenty-five states have policies supporting CPCs. We aimed: (1) to characterize access to early pregnancy confirmation at CPCs compared to abortion facilities nationwide and (2) to understand the role of state CPC policy in service access. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a national mystery caller study of 445 CPCs and geographically paired abortion facilities, posing as patients seeking pregnancy confirmation. Facility type (CPC vs abortion facility) was the primary exposure in Aim 1. Wait time to first available early pregnancy appointment was the primary outcome. In Aim 2, state-level CPC policy designation (supportive vs not supportive of CPCs) was the primary exposure. Difference in wait time = 7 days to first available appointment between CPCs and paired abortion facilities was the primary outcome. RESULTS: CPCs were more likely than abortion facilities to provide same-day appointments (68.5% vs 37.2%, p < 0.0001), and free pregnancy testing (98.0% vs 16.6%, p < 0.0001). The median wait to first available appointment at a CPC was 0 days (IQR 0,1), compared to 1 day at abortion facilities (IQR 0, 5), p < 0.0001. In states with supportive CPC policy environments, abortion facilities were less likely to have wait times exceeding their paired CPC by a week or more, compared to paired facilities in states with non-supportive CPC policy environments (p  =  0.033). This remained true after adjusting for state abortion policy environment (p  =  0.011). CONCLUSIONS: Pregnancy confirmation is more accessible at CPCs compared to abortion facilities. Factors other than state-level CPC policies likely influence service accessibility. There is a need for improved access to pregnancy confirmation in medical settings. IMPLICATIONS: Our findings demonstrating that pregnancy confirmation is more accessible at crisis pregnancy centers than at abortion facilities are predicted to be exacerbated in the wake of abortion clinic closures following the Dobbs v Jackson Women''s Health Organization Supreme Court decision. This highlights the need for improved funding and support for pregnancy confirmation service delivery in medical settings, including abortion facilities.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.