This week, a social campaign was launched in yet another attack on the work of pregnancy centers, comparing them and their services to those of “fake dentists.” These “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) are apparently out to deter women from completely safe, risk- and side effect-free procedures and are solely motivated by their desire to “force women to live the lifestyle you want them to live.”
Sponsored and promoted by Lady Parts Justice League, the campaign aims to discredit the work of CPCs through false claims and hysteria. They compare these “fake abortion clinics” to dental establishments refusing to remove rotting teeth. Yes, we’ll get back to this later.
Pitched by two cute, millennial, wine-glass-holding, micro-bangs wearing women, the claims seem serious at face-value. But since the well-being of women and the lives of real humans are at stake, let’s examine their claims against the facts.
In an effort to produce the most shock and outrage among their viewers, the women start out by sharing some “facts” about what they call fake abortion clinics. Throughout the video, they refer to the clinics as “Crisis Pregnancy Centers,” a term many pregnancy centers have moved away from in recent years, preferring instead “pregnancy resource center” or “women’s health center.”
“These CPCs are created for the sole purpose of talking unsuspecting women out of having an abortion.”
The reality here that few who are pro-abortion like to admit is a majority of women who have abortions do regret them (64%) and say they feel pressured into the abortion because they didn’t think they had other options (84%).* This pressure takes on many different forms, including a lack of finances, an unsupportive partner, or feeling the weight of having other mouths to feeds and lives to nurture.
This is why the rotting tooth analogy used so “cleverly” in the video is in itself incredibly manipulative. No one regrets the removal of a rotting tooth. But to compare a living, developing human fetus (who has a detectable heartbeat at 6 weeks) to a rotting tooth is not only manipulative and deceptive, it’s inhumane and denies any semblance of human dignity.
Abortion is the same, so when we lie to women about what it really is, we’re actually complicit in injustice, as much as the “Lady Parts Justice League” may disagree.
A major theme of this video is that the sole purpose of these “fake clinics” is to deceive women about abortion. Motivated by their religious and personal beliefs, these clinic workers supposedly are out to force women to conform to their own personal lifestyle beliefs and they do so by manipulating them with false information about abortion.
But if there is even the slightest chance abortion causes breast cancer, mental distress, or other emotional or physical side effects, don’t women have a right to know? Or are women so stupid and unable to think for themselves that abortion advocates are the only ones who can break it down for them and distill the information?
When abortion providers have money on the line, are we sure they’re not lying to manipulate women? Is it okay to ask that question?
Next, the lady-parts zealots attack the medical reliability of these supposedly fake clinics.
“These predatory, fake clinics are usually not run by doctors or medical professionals. They are run by anti-abortion zealots who prey on vulnerable people looking for abortion care.”
The claim that such clinics are staffed by fake doctors dressed as medical professionals is bogus. It’s been made many times over, and but no one ever cites sources for such a claim. The reality is, if the pregnancy center is medical, then there is a medical professional on staff who can answer questions. Ultrasounds have to be administered by licensed sonographers who are required by law to submit the ultrasound images to a physician within 24 hours.
Just because you don’t like the information being shared doesn’t mean it’s false. Just because you don’t like the reality that there IS a link between abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer doesn’t mean medical professionals haven’t found one.
To deny such risks just because you don’t like that they may be true is one and the same as burying your head in the sand, refusing to hear or see anything with which you don’t agree.
“And at the worst of the worst of these clinics, they will string women along, promising them help with childcare and diapers right up until they reach the legal limit for abortion then cut ‘em off, sending them away with a box of diapers and a prayer, leaving them to fend for themselves.”
This last claim is so patently untrue it’s laughable. I’ve been around pregnancy centers for over four years, attending conferences, talking with dozens of directors and even more staff members, and this never happens. We’re affiliated with over 40 centers and all of them provide lasting resources for women who decide not to abort.
“This is nothing more than preying on a vulnerable person because you want them to live the life that you wanna force upon them.”
I agree. So why force a woman into a decision (a decision that monetarily benefits the person advocating for that decision) that has the potential to cause regret for the rest of her life? If there’s a chance the decision could wreak havoc on her body, mind, and emotions for the rest of her life, isn’t that worth a moment of pause and reflection to consider if there are other options?
Save the Storks cares about women. We’ve seen the numbers and we’ve heard the stories. Abortion is devastating and shouldn’t be decided on lightheartedly. Instead of being shamed, the clinics that exist to provide a safe place for thought and offer women real, lasting resources should be lauded and supported for their efforts.
The video closes with the analogy of jumping off a plane with a parachute. The parachute in this analogy is the means by which a woman can escape her unplanned and unwanted pregnancy. But can a procedure that causes so much regret, shame, and illness really be considered a parachute?
Or is the better way to care for women in unplanned pregnancies–to offer them intentional, lasting support via true information and real resources for what they actually need? Isn’t that a better parachute?
I’ll close with the closing line of the video — “We want you to fight with us … so that every person who wants a parachute gets a parachute.”
One way to do this is to send an encouraging note to our list of pregnancy center contacts. They’re on the front lines and give of themselves every day to serve women in vulnerable pregnancies.[gravityform id=”19″ title=”true” description=”true”]
*Statistics are from Medical Science Monitor, 2004