ATLANTA-U.S. Reps. Jodi Hice, R-Greensboro, and Andrew Clyde, R-Gainesville, are calling on the University of Georgia to end any support for a “Crisis Pregnancy Center” mapping website developed by two professors.
Andrea Swartzendruber and Danielle Lambert, both professors in the College of Public Health, created the website, which allows users to identify crisis pregnancy centers in a given city, state or zip code.
Crisis pregnancy centers offer pregnancy testing and other limited medical services. They are often funded by religious and conservative groups and attempt to dissuade women from getting abortions, according to the website.
The website states the centers “frequently provide inaccurate and misleading health information,” and it calls them “fake women’s health centers.” The purpose of the map is to allow people to identify the centers and help facilitate academic research into the centers.
Hice and Clyde sent a letter to UGA President Jere Morehead July 8 demanding that the university end any support for the mapping website.
“The website is…clearly nothing more than pro-abortion activism masquerading as academic research,” the letter states.
Although the crisis pregnancy mapping website does not appear to be hosted on a UGA webpage, the letter points to the use of a UGA email address by the website’s creators as evidence that the university is “providing resources for these faculty members to run this website.”
The letter alleges – based on a Fox News report – that some groups are using the website to “locate targets for criminal acts of violence and destruction.”
A Fox News report from late June stated that left-wing organizations have made social media posts linking to the mapping website.
Only a few days after the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on abortion, crisis pregnancy centers in Colorado and Virginia were vandalized and set on fire, the letter states.
But there’s no evidence in the Hice and Clyde letter that the website contributed to the recent attacks.
UGA officials did not comment immediately on the letter. However, the university’s College of Public Health respond to the issue with a statement dated June 25.
“The authors of the site condemn all threats or acts of vandalism or violence against crisis pregnancy centers,” the college stated.
The University of Georgia did not respond to our request for updated comment by deadline.
According to the map, there are 88 crisis pregnancy centers in Georgia.
This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.