Charleston: Noting that there appear to be nearly 50 businesses in West Virginia that offer the appearance of clinics that provide comprehensive medical and reproductive health care but may actually not have any licensed medical providers on staff, Delegate Stephen Skinner sent letters to across the state “Crisis Pregnancy Centers,” asking for specifics about their practices.
“This is about protecting the health of women,” Skinner said. “A woman who is seeking medical assistance may be deceived by these centers’ names, advertising and locations into believing she will receive comprehensive reproductive care. These Crisis Pregnancy Centers are not licensed or regulated by the state, and there just isn’t much factual information out there about them.”
He pointed out that a Crisis Pregnancy Center recently moved next door to a comprehensive reproductive health clinic in Charleston, and uses a name similar to that of the health clinic.
“I believe it is imperative to obtain specifics about the practices and procedures of these centers,” Skinner said.
Among the questions Delegate Skinner poses in the letter are:
* Does the center have licensed medical providers on staff?
* Does the center provide ultrasounds, and if so what are the qualifications of the person who performs those and can that person accurately diagnose serious medical problems such as ectopic pregnancies?
* Does the center provide other services that are normally performed by licensed health care professionals?
* What kind of information does the clinic provide regarding birth control, sexually transmitted diseases or abortion services?
* Does the center have a compliance plan to ensure it is providing medically accurate information?
“A woman deserves to know exactly what kinds of services these clinics actually provide, so she can make informed choices about her health,” Skinner said. “I would hope these facilities would be forthcoming about that. If not, then perhaps state regulators or health care licensing boards should intervene.”
Delegate Skinner will be in Charleston for interims August 19 through 21st.