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Idaho Lists Mostly Anti-Abortion Centers For Ultrasounds

On August 1, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare released its "Free Ultrasound Provider List," which included mostly anti-abortion clinics.

According to The Associated Press, most of the ultrasound providers on the list are pro-life crisis pregnancy centers that tell women not to get abortions, and are often affiliated with Christian organizations.

The Republican-controlled legislature called for the list earlier this year, and refused Democratic requests to make sure that the information dispensed by the providers was medically sound.

The state's Department of Health and Welfare did not certify or inspect the ultrasound providers on the list, but did include a disclaimer to relieve itself from any responsibility:

Information presented on this list is provided “as is” without any representations or warranties, express or implied, in compliance with Idaho Statute 18-609 and is for information purposes only. This information is not intended to constitute medical advice or the provision of medical services. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. The Department of Health and Welfare does not inspect, certify, or endorse any of the providers listed and cannot be held liable for the action(s) of said providers.

Department of Health and Welfare spokeswoman Niki Forbing-Orr told The Associated Press: "Adding that language was a way to let people know that we’re not saying this is going to be a great ultrasound experience. There’s no registry for this type of equipment in Idaho. Anyone can own and operate one."

Stanton Health Care, a pro-life organization with two clinics on the uncertified list, states on its website that it provides an ultrasound, a "sexual integrity consultation" and a referral to other facilities for STD/STI testing following the consultation.

"Ultrasound imagery is a game changer," said Stanton's Brandi Swindell.

"I’m 100 percent pro-life, but in addition to that, I’m also pro-woman," Swindell added. "Don’t you think women deserve access to a free medical exam?"

In addition to the medical exam, the Stanton website offers "options with the goal of enhancing your emotional, physical and spiritual well-being."

It's not clear how the clinic defines "spiritual well-being," which is not a recognized medical service.

Sources: Stanton Health Care, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, The Associated Press via The Seattle Times / Photo credit: KTVB

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