Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) will visit a South Carolina crisis pregnancy center on Wednesday as part of his campaign tour through the Palmetto State. Crisis pregnancy centers are nonprofit organizations with a mission to deter pregnant women from choosing abortion, sometimes by providing misinformation about the procedure and about birth control.
Bush is scheduled to visit the Carolina Pregnancy Center in Spartanburg on Wednesday morning. The presidential candidate boasted earlier this year that Florida was the only state to have funneled public money into CPCs. In 2005, Bush began a $2-million-a-year program that paid 100 centers in Florida to promote "life-affirming choices" to women.
"We’re the only state, I believe, to have funded with state monies crisis pregnancy centers to provide counselors so that these not-for-profits … could act on their mission," Bush said in an interview with Focus on the Family. "It was a godsend for these crisis pregnancy centers and a lot of babies’ lives were saved."
CPCs preach abstinence instead of safe sex and are known to provide women misleading statistics about the links between abortion and breast cancer and depression.
A 2013 investigation by NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, a state chapter of the national abortion rights group, found that counselors at CPCs across Virginia were also telling women that condoms were not effective at preventing pregnancy because they are "naturally porous" and that birth control pills frequently cause hair loss, memory loss and breast cancer. In fact, studies have shown that having an abortion does not lead to depression, there is no causal relationship between induced abortion and breast cancer, condoms are 98 percent effective at preventing pregnancy and only high-dose estrogen birth control pills have been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer.
Bush's support for CPCs is not surprising, as he opposes legal abortion except in cases of rape and incest and said in 2003 that he is the "most anti-abortion governor in modern times." A spokesperson for his campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.