Crisis Pregnancy Centers
What are crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs)? The name implies that they are places where pregnant women can go get presumably sound medical advice and care. However, they are much more insidious than that. According to the CPC wikipedia page, these non profit organizations are designed to advise and counsel pregnant women into not getting an abortion. This article will explore the work that CPCs do, why they are harmful, and what can be done to try and oppose the harmful work of CPCs.
CPCs are known to spread incorrect medical information, and falsely advertise their services. Many CPCs tend to advertise themselves as a place where pregnant women can get abortions, when in fact, they don’t offer abortion services. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, I think most people would agree that giving inaccurate medical information to pregnant women about their options is both deceitful and unethical.
One question worth asking would be this: how much more relevant are CPCs than actual abortion clinics? According to a New York Times article written in 2013, the US has 2,500 CPCs, but only 1,800 abortion clinics.
Click here for a very informative John Oliver video on CPCs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4NNpkv3Us1I&t=1129s
Moreover, the topic of CPCs came into the news recently on June 26, 2018 when the supreme court declared that a 2015 California law regulating CPCs was an unconstitutional one. The now overturned law stated that CPCs needed to provide FDA approved information to patients regarding abortion and contraception. CPCs argued this law violated their first amendment right to free speech.
This is obviously something of a loss for pro choice communities. As far as I can tell, there are a few ways to actively fight against crisis pregnancy centers in addition to voting for senators / congressmen / presidents that are openly pro choice, and that know how harmful CPCs can be.
Another way to oppose crisis pregnancy centers would be to donate money to the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), which is an organization aimed at repealing and abolishing restrictive abortion laws. You can donate money to their cause through their website here: https://www.prochoiceamerica.org/
You can also do volunteer work for the NARAL, which you can learn more about here: http://actnow.prochoiceamerica.org/signup/volunteer/?source=webnav#.WzzVTOjwZD8
It’s also a good idea to try and spread the word about the harmfulness of CPCs. Share this article, or even the aforementioned John Oliver video on CPCs. The more people that know about this issue, the better.
Another way to help would be to donate money directly to local abortion clinics such as:
Planned Parenthood in Birmingham- https://www.weareplannedparenthood.org/onlineactions/2U7UN1iNhESWUfDs4gDPNg2?sourceid=1000063
And finally, I would like to say that if you ever need an abortion, research to see if the place you are going actually offers abortion services. Many CPCs have a Christian mission statement on their website, or will say something along the lines of, “we want you to know that there are options other than abortion” or, “no one can make you get an abortion, and we want you to know about the alternatives to abortion.”
New York Times 2013 article: https://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/05/health/pregnancy-centers-gain-influence-in-anti-abortion-fight.html
Salon article on the recent Supreme Court decision:
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