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Pregnancy Outcomes After Exposure to Crisis Pregnancy Centers among an Abortion-Seeking Sample Recruited Online


Cartwright, Alice F.; Tumlinson, Katherine; & Upadhyay, Ushma D. (2021). Pregnancy Outcomes After Exposure to Crisis Pregnancy Centers among an Abortion-Seeking Sample Recruited Online. PLOS ONE, 16(7), e0255152. PMCID: PMC8318304


INTRODUCTION: More than 2,500 crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), which seek to convince people considering abortion to continue their pregnancies, exist in the United States. However, the characteristics of people who visit CPCs and their pregnancy outcomes are largely unknown. This study sought to describe the characteristics of people considering abortion who report visiting CPCs, and whether CPC visit is associated with abortion or continuing the pregnancy 4 weeks later.
METHODS: Between August 2017 to May 2018, we recruited pregnant people searching for abortion services online, and 857 participants completed baseline and 4-week follow-up surveys. We described characteristics associated with visiting a CPC and compared pregnancy and abortion outcomes for those who reported CPC visit to those who did not using mixed-effects multivariable logistic regression.
RESULTS: Overall, 13.1% of respondents visited a confirmed CPC. Living further away from a CPC was associated with lower odds of a CPC visit. At follow-up, respondents who had visited a CPC were significantly less likely to have had an abortion (29.5%) than those who had not visited a CPC (50.5%). In the adjusted models, respondents who had visited a CPC had higher odds of being pregnant and still seeking abortion (aOR: 2.26, 95% CI: 1.37-3.73) or continuing the pregnancy (aOR: 2.35, 95% CI: 1.33-4.15) (versus having had an abortion), than those who had not visited a CPC.
CONCLUSIONS: CPCs may be providing resources to people who are considering continuing their pregnancy and/or they may be misleading people about the care and referrals they provide related to abortion. Pregnant people need access to accurate information, decision support, and resources to make the pregnancy or abortion decision that is best for them.



Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title



Cartwright, Alice F.
Tumlinson, Katherine
Upadhyay, Ushma D.

Article Type




Data Set/Study

Google Ads Abortion Access Study


United States of America




Cartwright - 0000-0002-1557-8062
Tumlinson - 0000-0001-8314-8219