While Rudy Giuliani, a semi-supporter of reproductive rights, racks up the endorsements and leads in the polls, Tom Tancredo (not to mention Mitt Romney and Ron Paul) continues to sound his anti-choice siren.
On Friday, October 12th, after visiting the Women's Choice Center in Bettendorf, Colorado, Tom Tancredo told reporters at a news conference that he would de-fund Planned Parenthood health centers around the country if he became President.
The Women's Choice Center is what is known as a crisis pregnancy center (or "CPC") – anti-choice agencies that attempt to steer women away from abortions through tactics that have been called "deceitful" and "deceptive" inspiring legislation by Rep. Carolyn Maloney to bar those tactics and a report by Rep. Henry Waxman to analyze the centers' methods.
But Tancredo had a different take on the center. Because the center offers free sonograms and "other health services to discourage pregnant women from considering abortions", Tancredo promised to provide support to groups like the Women's Choice Center.
"As president, I will do everything in my power to support and promote the use of sonograms so that women are informed about their unborn child before making the decision to abort," he said in a statement.
It is unclear why the use of sonograms or ultrasounds by this particular center seems unique to Tancredo. One would be hard-pressed to find a medical center catering to pregnant women or women who believe they are pregnant without an ultrasound machine. After a positive pregnancy test, a pregnant woman needs an ultrasound not only to help determine how far along she may be but also to ensure the safety and viability of the pregnancy.
A quick look at the Women's Choice Center's web site (the facility is located at 2711 Happy Joe Drive – really) tells you that their medical director "will support Level 1 imaging from the 8th thru 18th week of gestation." But when I called pretending to be pregnant and asking to make an appointment to see a doctor, the woman on the other end of the line seemed incredibly nervous and couldn't tell me whether or not I'd actually see a physician. She said she'd prefer to schedule me for a pregnancy test first and then she'd refer me to a doctor. When I tried to press on to ask if they had doctors at their center, she evaded the question and said she'd rather take it one step at a time.
Tancredo believes that centers like this one should receive taxpayer funds and not full-fledged health centers like Planned Parenthood that provide medial care to both women and men in the form of: contraception, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, pap smears, annual exams, HIV/AIDS tests, pregnancy testing, extensive referrals, education and yes, abortion care. Via The Des Moines Register, Tancredo is reported as saying:
"I think it's a travesty, the amount of taxpayer money Planned Parenthood gets," he said. "I would try to stop any type of federal funding for Planned Parenthood."