If there was a large network of organizations that sought to support women and couples during unplanned pregnancies and offer unbiased, fact-based information about options, I’d be all for it.
If there were centers that dedicated themselves 100% to providing resources and a sense of community to young women who have autonomously chosen to carry a pregnancy to term, I’d want to volunteer all of my free time to such a cause.
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Unfortunately, such organizations don’t exist. Reproductive health clinics are too underfunded to offer a wide range of free services and assistance most of the time, and they’re often forced to spend most of their resources on clinic defense and security due to the more “controversial” options they provide, thanks to the anti-choice camp’s threats and harassment. And crisis pregnancy centers are, of course, nothing more than an appendage of the anti-choice camp’s meddling in the decisions of others.
It’s easy to come across as a legitimate medical or counseling facility when you wear a white lab coat and have a nametag, especially when your clientele are vulnerable youngsters who are seeking confidential (and free) help from any adult that has even the slightest appearance of professionalism. I’d assume a person running an ultrasound machine was a medical professional too.
It’s also easy to sound like you know what you’re talking about when you say it confidently enough with a tone of concern and compassion. But I’d implore any woman to inquire about the specific data CPCs offer to women entering their centers. I found this gem yesterday while updating our list of deceptive centers:
Serious complications do occur in as many as 1 out of every 100 early abortions and 1 out of 50 later abortions:
Perforated uterus or damage to other organs.
Excessive bleeding requiring blood transfusions.
Chronic and acute infections; intense pain.
Incomplete removal of the baby or placenta.
High fever, Convulsions, Shock, Coma
A greater increase in miscarriages.
Ectopic (Tubal) Pregnancies.
Premature births and still births.
Infertility and breast cancer.
While most provide no sources to back up their information whatsoever, several of the complications listed link to another page where the stats are backed up with specific studies. The problem is, most of these studies were performed before or in the years immediately following Roe, many of which specifically sought to reflect the dangers of unregulated, illegal abortions or self-induced procedures. Others reflected procedures that, while legally performed, followed a similar method as the “backalley” abortions from the past decades. Huge advancements in abortion care were made in the late-1980s through early-1990s, and more recent data reflects these increased safety measures; such data, from studies that utilized a more reliable methodology, unequivocally debunks the claims made by this CPC’s website. In addition, many “studies” come from religiously-affiliated publications known to manipulate studies or fabricate the data all together.
It saddens me that caring for young women choosing to carry to term carries such a range of lies and deception, especially considering CPCs operate under a religious umbrella. “Caring for women facing unplanned pregnancy” means one thing or another: either giving her an abortion or lying to her so that she will more likely choose to carry to term (and probably go with adoption as many CPCs are against single motherhood). I wouldn’t at all be against centers that fully disclosed their religious biases and assisted those who were fully informed of what they would (and more importantly, would not) receive at the center. However, I think CPCs know full well that simply preaching moral opposition to abortion does little to sway the opinions of the general public, which is why fabricating medical data is such a cornerstone of CPC operation. Pretending to be actual reproductive health clinics or “cybersquatting” on a family planning clinic’s website are other common tactics that tell us “providing options” is hardly the mission of a CPC. If they were truly confident in their ability to provide true and “unbiased” information about pregnancy options, they wouldn’t need to do any of these things, not to mention that they’re against contraception education and other methods that have been proven over and over again to decrease the instances of unplanned pregnancies in the first place.
I guess when it comes to preventing what these places unequivocally define as “murder,” any measure, no matter how harmful, can be used. In such actions, the true mission of “crisis pregnancy centers” shines through. And that’s my real beef.