There’s a lot going on when it comes to reproductive health these days. First Herman “anti-abortion but women should choose” Cain, found himself clarifying his stance on abortion. Then there’s been different state-issues on Crisis Pregnancy Centers.
In case you don’t have a background knowledge on Crisis Pregnancy Centers let me clear it up for you. A CPC, or pregnancy resource center (PRC), works to counsel women against have abortions. They’re non-profits, generally run by Christian organizations. In the United States there are about 4,000 of these centers, with about 20 states providing funding them.
In San Francisco, the Board of Supervisors voted 10-1 to ban these centers from practicing “false or misleading advertising practices.” There is a chance for the mayor to veto the action within the next 10 days. This measure hopes to protect women considering abortion and seeking counseling from being “counseled” by someone that is just trying to push a pro-life message.
Heading over to North Carolina, new “Choose Life” license plates are going to be on sale by the end of the year (though the ACLU is suing the state). Part of the plates profit will go towards CPCs. Also in NC, on Wednesday a state-run website will list where pregnant women can get ultrasounds, which will include any CPCs that offer the service. That day the “ultrasound law” goes into effect. The law forces women to have an ultrasound 72 hours before undergoing an abortion.
So what’s the problem? A 2006 congressional investigation into federally funded CPCs found the “vast majority” provided false or misleading information. A North Carolina pro-choice lobby group recently did their own study, finding 92 per cent of the centers did not have a medical professional on staff, though many of the employees dressed in lab coats. While obviously there is reason to be skeptical about a lobby group’s report, paired with the congressional investigation it does give cause for concern.
Some centers have staff telling women seeking counseling that abortions lead to breast cancer and future miscarriages, neither which have been proved by people that actually went to med school.
An op-ed contributor for the New York Times wrote about her experience with a crisis pregnancy centre in Iowa earlier this month. Based on her experience and talking to others, she’s come to the conclusion that CPCs are not helpful to women, and are hiding behind a facade of being “pro-women.”