Lies We Are Told: Crisis Pregnancy Centers
Across the country, the fight for women’s reproductive rights has grown exponentially since the passage of Roe v Wade. While Planned Parenthood and other providers of healthcare services, including abortions, are fighting to stay open, non-profit groups under the identity of Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) are opening at an alarming rate.
While on the outside these centers appear to be normal healthcare centers catering towards women, they are full of anti-abortion workers who will do anything to assure the possibly vulnerable clientele follow their advice. CPCs offer many different types of services to lure women into their doors. These can include free pregnancy tests, financial assistance, sonograms, and more.
These fake healthcare providers will spread vicious lies about a multitude of medical procedures and medicine, like birth control. CPCs are normally run by extremely religious Christian groups, like Care Net, Heartbeat International, and Birthright International. According to Planned Parenthood, Crisis Pregnancy Centers:
- “may not give you complete and correct information about all your options — abortion, adoption, and parenting”
- “may try to frighten you with misleading films and pictures to keep you from choosing abortion”
- “may lie to you about the medical and emotional effects of abortion”
- “may tell you that you are not pregnant even if you are. This may fool you into continuing your pregnancy without knowing it. If your decision is delayed, it could make abortion more risky. It could also keep you from getting early prenatal care.”
- “may discourage you from using certain methods of birth control that are very safe and effective”
Many of these clinics are unlicensed- meaning that there is no medical staff and no medical license for the centers. In these situations, clients read their own pregnancy tests so there is no actual medical service being provided.
Licensed clinics, still not as numerous as unlicensed but constantly growing, can have a nurse or physician on staff and can perform medical services which commonly include ultrasounds. Either way, there are no regulations that prevent false information from being spread.
CPCs have also been documented telling women that abortion causes breast cancer, will be psychologically damaging, and make you sterile.
In a California study of CPC’s by NARAL Pro-Choice California Foundation, they found that:
- “Forty percent of CPCs in our study advised that hormonal birth control increases the risk of infertility and breast cancer;”
- “Sixty percent of CPCs in our study advised that condoms are ineffective in reducing pregnancy and the transmission of certain STDs;”
- Eighty-five percent of CPCs in our study advised that abortion increases the risk of infertility and;”
- “Eighty-five percent of CPCs in our study advised that abortion leads to mental health problems.”
Women all over the country have been publicly speaking out against the poor treatment they receive at these centers. A writer for the Huffington Post went undercover to multiple clinics and posted her experiences. Other women state:
“They said you will regret the abortion for the rest of your life. One of the women described her suicide attempt. Many of the women claimed that their abortions caused them to become alcoholics, drugs addicts, and even criminals. One woman said, ‘Having had that abortion turned me into a crack head whore and no one told me this would happen.’
The staff person told me horror stories about abortion. She told me about one woman who was left alone with instruments inside her at the abortion clinic. She told me that women who have abortions have strong reactions when they hear vacuums because they use vacuums to remove the fetus.”
“The counselor told me that if I have an abortion the pregnancy hormones will stay in my body, especially my breasts…These leftover hormones can disrupt the normal functions and cause cancer. And since the hormones are all over the body, the whole body can be affected.”
“He asked me if I wanted to be branded a loose woman…to have my name written on bathroom walls.”
In order to avoid ending up at these clinics, there are multiple websites that you can use to verify the status of all clinics. The most comprehensive listing is from the National Abortion Federation, but it is recommended to search internet sources for any smaller, independent clinics before making an appointment.
Remember, no one at a clinic should decide your fate for you. You should not feel ashamed or have your privacy invaded. The religion of your partner should not be needed and your marital status should not be shamed. If you do not feel comfortable, trust your instincts and go to another clinic.