Panorama Investigates

Anti-abortion organisations and unethical advice.
Crisis Pregnancy Centres need regulation.

Across the UK, unregulated so-called “crisis pregnancy centres” target vulnerable women who are seeking advice about an unplanned pregnancy. These centres claim to provide a safe space for women to receive support and accurate information about their options, but are in fact seeking to prevent women from accessing abortion care through biased counselling and medical misinformation.

A BBC investigation has found that there are 21 crisis pregnancy centres in the UK providing misleading medical information and/or unethical advice about abortion:

  • Seven centres said having a termination could lead to “post-abortion syndrome” – a mental health condition likened to post traumatic stress disorder, which is not recognised by the NHS
  • Eight centres linked abortion to infertility and problems carrying future pregnancies to term
  • Five centres linked abortion to an increased risk of breast cancer

During telephone and in-person consultations, the BBC investigative journalists were also told that women could experience hallucinations involving babies crying and have “nightmares of something happening to a child” after an abortion.

What’s the solution?

BPAS is calling for these services to be regulated and required to be registered and to adhere to minimum standards of non-directive, accurate information-giving about pregnancy options and abortion. Where services will not refer a woman for abortion, we believe that such services should be required to clearly state this fact on their literature and publicity, as is required in other countries.

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