Get Real! Should I Visit a Crisis Pregnancy Center?

Jessica asks:

I heard
about a really good organization that helps girls who are pregnant and
don’t want an abortion. It’s called Birthright. I have seen one in my
town, but I can’t find it on your site. Do you have any information
about Birthright or stuff about the way the baby is developing so that
we can find out more about our options?

Heather replies:

Birthright is one of many
antichoice/pro-life organizations (like CareNet, Heartbeat
International or the NIFLA) which supports a certain kind of pregnancy
“help,” and we would not recommend anyone go to one of the
centers affiliated with them, which they help fund, or others like
them; even women who know they are pregnant and intend to remain so.

It is (and helps fund) what is called a CPC, or a Crisis Pregnancy Center.

CPCs don’t usually discuss all available options for women, and
grossly — and knowingly — usually misrepresent both abortion and
pregnancy. CPCs like Birthright often use deceptive advertising in
order to give the impression that women can come in for help no matter
which choice they want to make: they do not advertise themselves as
only for women who do not want to terminate, but commonly do quite the
opposite, purposefully giving the false impression that even women
considering or wanting termination may be served there.

Some will purposefully delay returning the results of pregnancy
tests to women in order to make it harder for those who want an
abortion to get one within the legal window. They will often show women
images of what they claim are aborted fetuses, but which are often
something else entirely (such as stillborn fetuses or miscarriages);
they usually inform women of unsubstantiated risks of abortion but also
don’t fill them in on the actual — and important for any pregnant
woman to know, especially if she’s remaining pregnant — risks of
pregnancy. Most misinform women about emergency contraception, and most
list long-term effects of abortion which are completely false. Because
most have no medical licensure, they also are not required to provide
patient confidentiality the way an actual medical center or doctor’s
office is, which is no small deal for any woman, no matter what choice
she is making.

What CPCs do, as their job, and those staffing them very much
consider their job and their mission, is primarily talking or tricking
women out of abortions: not really serving women in any real way who
are choosing to remain pregnant. If a woman comes to an abortion clinic
saying she absolutely does not want an abortion, she’ll be given
referrals for prenatal care, financial assistance, and to adoption
resources, if she wants them. If a woman shows up at a CPC and says she
absolutely WANTS an abortion, the staff will do everything they
possibly can to try and get her to make a different choice, including
prayer and knowingly manipulative information.

As mentioned in the link just below, The Pearson Foundation has a
publication called “How to Start and Operate Your Own Pro-Life Outreach
Crisis Pregnancy Center.” That book outlines, in detail, how CPCs
should use misleading names that make them sound like abortion clinics,
ways to present the appearance of providing abortions, and how to do
what they can to hide their pro-life/antichoice positions. For example,
the manual suggests answering the question, when a woman calls in, “Are you a pro-life center?” with “We are a pregnancy testing center. What is pro-life?” It is, quite literally, a manual on how to purposefully mislead women and how to be a fraud.

is a very good, balanced student-written article on CPCs. I have also
provided a link to an extensive report on CPCs from Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) below, but to give you a taste of what he

87 percent of CPCs reached in the investigation provided
misleading, medically inaccurate information about abortion. CPCs often
withhold essential, medically accurate reproductive health information
from women who are led to believe that they are visiting a neutral and
objective medical facility. Despite the fact that the women who come to
them are clearly sexually active and at risk for unintended pregnancy
and sexually transmitted infection, CPCs lecture them about abstinence
instead of explaining contraception, if they provide any sexual health
information at all.

A 2006 NAF report on CPCs (Crisis Pregnancy Centers: An Affront to Choice) quotes the following as reported from one young woman’s experience at a Birthright center:

When I was 17, still in high school, I missed my period
and my sister recommended what she thought was a clinic, because it had
a sign for a free pregnancy test and was called ‘Birthright.’ In the
front hallway there was a statue of the Virgin Mary. I went with a
friend, but the two counselors separated us. They had me pee in a cup
and then one said that she had to talk to me separately in her office.
The counselor asked me about my sexual activity, about why I thought I
was pregnant, then asked if I believed in God, and what I planned to do
if I was pregnant. I responded that I was Christian, my father was a
minister, and that I would have an abortion. ‘What do you think that
God will think of that?’ the counselor asked. I responded that I
believed in a forgiving God who would want me to go to college. The
counselor argued that God thinks that an abortion is murder and then
showed me pictures of fetuses.”

Pregnant women — or women who suspect they may be pregnant — can
get accurate, truthful and compassionate advice — help no matter WHAT
choice they want to make, and in considering their options to determine
which is the right choice for them, not by anyone else’s standards —
through their general physician, gynecologist and/or through family
planning clinics. Abortion clinics — which are staffed with real
medical professionals — also usually provide options counseling for
women who want to discuss all their options. I assure you, no
abortion clinic wants a woman to have an abortion who is not sure that
is what she wants, and all take many steps to BE sure that is truly
what a woman wants, even when she has come in expressly for an
abortion procedure. If and when a woman comes to an abortion clinic and
clearly is not sure she wants an abortion, the general procedure is to
make clear to her that she then cannot be given an abortion that day,
and only if she changes her mind and DOES want one should she return.

CPC does not operate that way: they feel only one choice — remaining
pregnant — is acceptable, and if a woman who comes to one is not sure
if she wants to remain pregnant (or comes in thinking, based on their
deceptions, she can obtain an abortion there and wanting one), they
will employ all sorts of methods to convince her to do otherwise, based
on what they want, not that woman. So, while you can get
accurate, unbiased counseling on ALL your options even at an abortion
clinic: you cannot at a CPC.

In addition, the most CPCs can usually offer pregnant women
medically is a pregnancy test, the kind any woman can buy at a
drugstore for herself. Most of what they offer is simply anti-abortion
propaganda. There are rarely real medical staff at these centers, and
they can’t often provide things like needed sonograms or prenatal care.
(Because ultrasound technology is only supposed to be used as a
diagnostic tool by medical providers, and CPCs don’t provide actual
medical services, few of them have ultrasounds or provide them, and for
the most part, they aren’t supposed to be using them when it comes to
ultrasounds and medical/legal policies.) For women who go in and
discover they are not pregnant, they also cannot offer birth control,
and most CPCs oppose birth control outright. Plenty of CPCs
fraudulently advertise that they CAN provide these kinds of services
even when they cannot just to lure women in.

Many CPCs have violated state laws or had fraud charges filed
against them for these reasons and more. CPCs like Birthright are not
an appropriate place to go for prenatal care, and in some respects, can
even endanger women’s health, particularly those which promise medical
care fraudulently they know they cannot and do not provide. When a
pregnant woman needs medical care, a delay in that care can create
health risks for her and her pregnancy.

No matter WHAT reproductive choice women are going to make — or
even what choices they are personally opposed to — they need bonafide,
accurate information that is not intended to influence them
emotionally, and they need real medical care. Even a woman who is
pregnant, who knows she intended to sustain her pregnancy, and who is
against abortion is not helped by inaccurate information or a lack of
real medical care. And I think we can agree that it’s really
insensitive and inappropriate to show a newly-pregnant woman bloody
propagandist images of stillborns. How is that helpful?

We don’t get much into embryonic and fetal development here at
Scarleteen because it’s a bit outside our scope — most of our users
are trying to avoid/prevent pregnancy — and fetal development is
usually only an issue for women who are pregnant and who have decided
to continue their pregnancies. Certainly, when a woman who is pregnant
and asking about abortion asks about fetal development, we talk about
stages of development with her truthfully and refer her to good
additional resources. We also counsel pregnant women asking for help in
making a reproductive choice based on their questions, and they don’t
tend to ask about development, save when they are well into a
pregnancy, intend to remain pregnant, and are either just curious or
asking about prenatal health. Since it’s best a pregnant woman directs
these kinds of questions to her healthcare provider, that is who we
will generally refer her to if she is asking about prenatal issues

There are a lot of resources for pregnant women on the internet
about pregnancy, embryonic and fetal development and growth (and I’ll
give you some links to a few of those below). Because that need is so
widely and well served elsewhere, there’s just no reason for us to
invest a lot of time and energy in that arena here. In my book, I do, in my extensive chapter
on reproductive choices, outline the basic processes for all three
choices, which for continuing a pregnancy, includes information on a
developing pregnancy and childbirth.

For women who are certain they want to continue a pregnancy, the
right place to go first is to a doctor, OB/GYN or general public health
clinic. Besides telling you what you need to know about what to expect
during a pregnancy, and how to take care of yourself, they can also
talk in-depth with you about fetal development and help direct you
towards any resources you may need in terms of financial or other
practical assistance.

Once you know you are pregnant and know you intend to bring a
pregnancy to term, going to a medical professional — such as your
family doctor or your gynecologist — or a real medical clinic is the
best first step, for both your health and that of your developing fetus.

So, that is where we would advise you — and advise other pregnant
women who want to remain pregnant — to go to find out about fetal
development and pre-natal care. We don’t suggest CPCs not only because
they simply rarely provide that, nor just because we don’t send our
users to any source we know to be medically inaccurate. We also do not
endorse CPCs because any business in the practice of fraud, misleading
or tricking women, and not honoring a woman’s right to choose for
herself what is right for her is not in line with our ethics when it
comes to understanding that it is not our right, or anyone else’s, to
do anything but respect an individual’s own right to choice and the
right to factual reproductive health information. For more on why we
feel that way, see here.

Here are a few more links and articles for you on CPCs:

The FWHC offers this sound advice on how to find a reliable, bonafide clinic, no matter what choice a woman is making:

  • Select clinics that provide the full range of contraceptive alternatives.
  • Ask on the phone if they provide or refer for abortion services. Avoid centers that refuse to give a straightforward answer.
  • Do not use the ones listed in yellow pages under Abortion Alternatives.

• Be cautious when surfing the web. Often you will find anti-abortion
religious-based websites disguised as pro-choice information. Keep
searching for reliable information.
• Select clinics that have clearly established reputations. Avoid
centers with ambiguous descriptions. Avoid clinics whose staff do not
provide full, clear answers regarding their services. Ask friends or
relatives you trust!

And here are some excellent online resources about the process of pregnancy, embryonic and fetal development:

If you are looking for information about practical or financial
assistance for a pregnancy in your teens, or general information about
all your options, Backline has an excellent page
of resources here. They also have a toll-free hotline at: 1-888-493-0092.

If you’re in the United States and are looking expressly for practical/financial help, here in the government’s page for WIC, the programs available to help low-income women, infants and children, including pregnant women. Lastly, we have long loved for all kinds of support for teen mothers, from other young Moms.

Obviously, you have the right to think whatever opinion you have
CPCs, but I’d encourage you to do some of this reading to make up your
mind informedly. I’d also encourage you, if advising other women who
are pregnant and in need of help, to direct them to services which DO
provide the kind of real help they need, without bias or any agenda
other than making sure that they are able to be assisted in taking the
best care of themselves, no matter their choice. If we can’t trust
women to make sound choices for themselves, we can’t very well trust
women to be parents, and make sound choices for their children, either.

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  • invalid-0

    Abortion will be illegal soon, so it doesn’t really matter that much. Can someone please explain to me how killing a baby INSIDE a uterus is moral and dandy, but it isn’t until the baby exits its mother’s body that it is considered a human being and illegal to murder…. SMART.

  • invalid-0

    The difference is exactly what you mentioned. As long as a developing fetus needs a woman’s body (and quite possibly soul) to exist, the woman cannot be forced by law to share herself with that being. I am talking morning sickness here, restrictions on diet and movement, sciatic pain, four weeks of laying in a hospital bed, scars in private places, the loss of her uterus – all of them experienced in the course of pregnancy and childbirth by myself or close acquaintances. Sure, women submit willingly to this, but no government has the right to take this decision from us.

  • invalid-0

    doesn’t want women to have all the facts about what is inside the mother’s womb, since they aren’t willing to do pre-abortion screening:

    “So consider these two facts: (1) Planned Parenthood of Missouri calls exposure to liability for pre-abortion screening for known risk factors a ban, and (2) Planned Parenthood of South Dakota closes its doors rather than accepting liability for informing women about statistically proven risk factors so they can do their own risk-benefit analyses.

    What does this tell us?

    In short, it tells us that Planned Parenthood would rather close its doors than face any liability for making even a minimal effort to avoid doing abortions that are unwanted, unsafe, or unnecessary. Perhaps it is because unwanted, unsafe, and unnecessary abortions provide the bulk of their business.”

    This excerpt taken from a recent article and a very interesting read… See link below…

    See full article here:

  • invalid-0

    I mistakenly went to a CPC when I was 19, a sophmore in college, and two weeks late. The CPC was located in a strip center full of doctor’s offices and specialized clinics. It shared a sign and storefront with these very official medical establishments. I was quite confused and thought it was an actual Health Clinic.

    After being taken back to pee in a cup which I handed to someone wearing scrubs (who then stuck a regular, ordinary over-the-counter test into the cup for a few seconds), I was asked to sit and wait in an office. A “counselor” came in wearing a lab coat. She asked me why I was here and this further confused me because I thought it was rather obvious why I was there. She asked me if I had thought about what I would do if the test came back positive. I nodded and told her, “I’m not ready in any sense of the word to be a mother. I would choose an abortion.”

    She asked me if I believed in God and I told her I was agnostic. She stared at me for a few moments confused by that word and then asked, “what is that? like an atheist?” I then had to explain the difference between the two but the explanation didn’t matter because she had made up her mind about me.

    She told me that God never sent you anymore than you could bear to handle, that He wanted every baby girl and boy to be born, and that I needed to forge a “personal relationship with Jesus Christ.”

    I asked her, “if God wants ‘every baby girl and boy to be born’ then why does he create some of them so damaged that they die in utero?”

    She ignored the question and launched into how bad abortion was, how much I would inevitably end up regretting it, how I would go crazy and depressed, how my relationship would end, how it would put my soul in danger, and how I would probably not only develop breast cancer but I would also have multiple miscarriages in the future or be rendered completely infertile. And that all of those things would serve me right if I made the decision to have an abortion.

    After a good 45 minutes of giving me a sermon, showing me pictures, and trashing my faith and my ability to think critically, she finally gave me my test results. I was Not Pregnant according to their over-the-counter test.

    I never encourage anyone to subject themselves to such judgmental and disrespectful treatment. If it’s someone I know, I offer to buy them a home test so that they can find out in privacy. The more Women know what these places are really like, hopefully the fewer will go.

  • invalid-0

    Planned Parenthood of South Dakota closes its doors rather than accepting liability for informing women about statistically proven risk factors so they can do their own risk-benefit analyses.

    Except that they aren’t “statistically proven” nor are they medically or scientifically accepted. They are dogma dressed up in a lab coat in order to intimidate Women with exaggerated risks in the hopes that they won’t have an abortion.

    If at first you don’t succeed, LIE, Lie again!

  • invalid-0

    I went to a CPC right after I graduated from highschool. I was given a test and then counseled on the risks of abortion when I told them I was considering it. My test came back positive and I cried for a very long time. The counselor did comfort me but I wasn’t going to change my mind. I had decided before I knew that I was going to get an abortion if the test came back positive.
    Well, the counselor tried to talk me out of it but then saw I wasn’t going to change my mind. She took me into another room and told me that an ultrasound was a standard part of the “services” they provided. When she started doing the ultrasound, she turned the screen around and someone had taped a piece of paper on the screen like a speech bubble that said, “Hello Mommy!”
    I left there not knowing what to do. She did not tell me ANY risks of pregnancy, she did not even encourage me to seek prenatal care. I made an appointment at an actual clinic in my town but the soonest they could see me was three and a half weeks later.
    With one week to go before my appointment, I began experiencing severe abdominal and back pain. I didn’t know what was going on or anything. It got so bad that I finally told my mother that I needed to go to the emergency room. Once there, I informed the nurse that I had had a positive pregnancy test and I pulled the ultrasound out of my pocket and handed it to her. They called an ultrasound technician down to look at it and she immediately became alarmed. She talked to the doctor and they ordered a vaginal ultrasound. They determined that I was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. I was rushed to a non-religious hospital in the city an hour and a half away for emergency surgery to remove the pregnancy.
    The CPC was not a health clinic, the Woman who performed the ultrasound was not a trained or credentialed professional, and NO ONE told me that I could be at risk for a pregnancy that could KILL me.
    I don’t want to say that they cannot or should not exist but if they are going to pretend to be a health clinic, if they are going to perform ultrasounds, and if they are going to attempt to dispense medical advice, they should at least have some training and be credentialed to do so. That pregnancy could have killed me.

  • invalid-0

    The only LIE or, at the very least, egregious disregard for human life occurred on January 22, 1973 by MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN.

    “Texas urges that, apart from the Fourteenth Amendment, life begins at conception and is present throughout pregnancy, and that, therefore, the State has a compelling interest in protecting that life from and after conception. We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy, and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.”

    Then don’t speculate…!!!???

    Blackmun’s error was that he set aside from his decision-making process the question of when life begins. He claimed, in the opinion of the court, that is wasn’t his responsibility to determine when life begins but rather the world’s medical, philosophical and theological world’s responsiblity and because they disagreed he wasn’t going to “…speculate as to the answer.” In doing this, he couldn’t possibly make a fully informed decision about whether or not someone has a right to terminate what “might” be a human being.

    Think about it – Blackmun was saying that because the argument of when life begins was/is too controversial that he wasn’t going to decide this — so he set it aside stating, “…at this point in the development of man’s knowledge…” we don’t have enough information to make this decision. If you don’t know when life begins then you have a duty to error on the side of life. To do anything else is to “possibly” commit murder.

    Imagine you are a police officer testing your new state-issued weapon at the firing range and you are hitting the target and doing a great job… Then someone taps you on the shoulder and says, “Hey…there is a 50/50 chance that there is a human being directly behind that target your shooting at!”

    What do you think that police officer has a duty to do?

    Blackmun had the same responsibility.

  • invalid-0

    Truth Returns,
    What does your rant have to do with CPC’s posing as health clinics and LYING to Women in order to manipulate them into keeping a pregnancy?

    If you don’t know when life begins then you have a duty to error on the side of life.

    The SCOTUS DID “err on the side of life.” They chose to recognize the Life that DOES actually exist, the life that is not potential but actualized. In short, they recognized the Life of the Woman and her right to determine the use of her body and the scope and direction of her own life.

  • invalid-0

    Christy, your story really is a great example of exactly why these “CPC” establishments need to be regulated. As you say, no matter if you are pro-choice or anti-abortion or just undecided and trying to find out what is best for YOU, undergoing tests and exams by people who present themselves as medical professionals and then being shoved out the door with a potientially fatal condition is horrible. Can you imagine the uproar we would have in America if “heart attack centers” or “cancer centers” were opened and gave people tests but if they would not agree to one specific treatment would not tell them anything? Or what if those tests were fake? After the first man walked out with chest pains and died on the sidewalk because he wouldn’t promise to only take a certian medicine it would be the end of them. And yet these unregulated “emergency pregnancy clinics” exist in pretty much every town in America.
    Thanks again for sharing your story.

  • invalid-0

    When you say “needs a woman’s body” – do you mean nourishment?

    I need nourishment (i.e. food, water, etc.)and I am 33 years old. Are you suggesting that I could be terminated at the will of the local grocer, farmer or government (since they subsidize most of our farms)?

  • invalid-0

    Day 1:
    The sperm fertilizes the egg. The sperm and egg each carries half of the normal amount of genetic material (DNA.) After fertilization, the egg now has a full set of genes that is unique.

    Day 6:
    The embryo, which has been floating free, comes to rest on the lining of the uterus, and burrows in. The embryo is now a round mass of cells, with an empty space in the middle.

    Week 2:
    The embryo now receives nutrients from the rich blood supply to the uterus. The embryo now consists of two layers of cells, roughly an “inside” layer and an “outside” layer.

    Week 3:
    A third cell layer has appeared, roughly a “middle” layer. The inner, outer, and middle layers of cells are destined to become different tissues in the developing fetus, such as skin and nerves, intestines, and muscle. The heart has begun to pump; the brain and spinal cord begin as a tube-like structure. You miss your first menstrual period.

    Week 4:
    Through a complex series of folds, the disc-like embryo now has a head and a tail, with buds that will grow into limbs. The beginnings of a spinal column and muscles are apparent. The embryo is about 4 to 5 millimeters long — a bit less than 1/4 inch.

    Week 5:
    Eyes are starting to form, a mouth-like opening appears near the “head”; finger and toes are beginning to form. The brain now has three recognizable divisions, as it does in the fully-developed baby and adult.

    Week 6:
    The beginnings of a nose and palate appear; eyelids cover the eyes. The brain is growing rapidly, making a prominent bulge in the head region. The length is not quite one inch.

    Week 7-8:
    More brain growth. Inside, intestines, liver, kidneys, lungs, heart are all taking shape. Ovaries and testes can be seen. The first muscle movements take place.

    By the end of the 8th week, all of the main organ systems are in place, although not in their final form. The embryo sits in the shape of a C, with its large head bowed, and legs flexed upward. It weighs about 1/3 of an ounce, and measures about 2 inches from top to bottom.

    Up until this point, scientists have called this wonder of development an embryo. After week 8, the convention is to call it a fetus. All of the most dramatic transformations are over. But there is still a lot of development that needs to take place before the baby is ready to emerge into the world.

  • invalid-0

    I’ll agree that its a sad thing to have vulnerable women preached to about religion, but just what is your advice for a woman who has made the decision to go full term with her pregnancy and needs help? Some pro-life pregnancy centers may be operating in a deceptive manner, but they have filled a gap nationwide, offering aid to women and families who have needed it. Planned Parenthood doesn’t offer help getting a GED, comprehensive government assistance counseling, diapers, clothing, formula, or parenting classes – and if they don’t offer them, then chances are that most of the mom and pop clinics aren’t going to as well. Where does a woman who has made the choice to be a parent go to for help?

    That’s an area that the pro-choice community has seriously been lacking.

  • invalid-0

    Where was this?

  • invalid-0

    Planned Parenthood as well as other clinics offer all kinds of referrals to these services all of the time: I’m not sure where you’ve gotten the idea they do not. As someone who has done options counseling myself (for an independent feminist clinic) as well as counseling/discharge for women who changed their minds and decided they wanted to keep a pregnancy, I have made phone calls myself to services for them, gathered referral resources with them, etc. In terms of what advice I have per connecting them with some of those resources, that’s exactly what I’ve done at the end of the article here.

    The idea that all or even most CPCs provide what women actually materially need for their pregnancies, their parenting and children is not factual. They usually refer out like anyone else. I don’t know of them filling the gap when it comes to what women need materially in any notable way whatsoever. A small number of CPCs are affiliated with very limited maternity housing services for a few women, some have a few extra sets of clothes, what have you, but most don’t provide those kinds of things directly. As well, I think it’s also important to remember one other thing PP and other clinics provide is the information and the means to PREVENT further unwanted pregnancies: CPCs are almost always also strongly anti-contraception.

    Too, even for those who do, I just have a tough time swallowing that the ends justify the means: no one who in earnest just wants to provide aid needs to lie, deceive and put women’s health in jeopardy to do so. If their main aim was simply helping mothers who wanted to be mothers, we’d not be having this discussion.

  • invalid-0

    Thank you so much for sharing your stories. Perhaps obviously, I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through that (and glad you lived through it, Christy), just as I’m sorry for all of the stories like yours. But I so appreciate you telling them here.

    For the commentor asking where Jenna had her experience, I don’t find her account to be anything but the norm: this is the kind of thing all kinds of women report back from CPCs all the time. Jenna’s experience is hardly unusual, and often paid for in part by our tax dollars. Wonderful.

    Pro-options, that’s a brilliant comparison, and I very much am in agreement.

  • invalid-0

    Three friends and a family member who’ve been in that situation and did not receive ample aid gave me that idea. The help Planned Parenthood gave two of them was little more than a few sheets of paper containing phone numbers, and one was told to pick up literature on her way out. Things sound different at your clinic, but I would expect more personal service at a local place, as opposed to Walmart/Target/Planned Parenthood.

    Its great that some Planned Parenthood clinics and your fwhc offered referrals, but telling a woman shee needs to go to ten different locations to get the help she needs isn’t the same as having most of those resources located in one place, particularly if she’s relying on a non-personal form of transportation. Where do you tell a woman to go if she needs a crib? Diapers? Decent maternity clothes at low or no cost?

    These may seem like a small amount, but for someone who may be scraping by as is, every little bit of help can be a “godsend.” WIC checks don’t provide coverage for the entire month, and are pitiful when it comes to proper nutrition. If you’re lucky, the judge will award an ample amount in the child support hearing, but if someone is lowballed, what if they can’t afford a lawyer’s counsel?

    Many pro-life pregnancy centers DO offer these things. I’ve volunteered at three, and each one offered clothing (regular, maternity, and child), diapers, formula and other items not commonly thought of like exercise videos or coupons for classes, children’s toys, parenting books, relaxation/mood music, etc – really, many of these places are like the Salvation Army for parents. These places didn’t have “a few sets of clothes” – they had hundreds, if not thousands of articles of clothing available. I remember one center in PA (I sorted and bagged diapers and sorted/folded clothes once a week) where there was so much donated material that it couldn’t all fit in the two rooms where it was displayed/arranged for pickup. A large storage closet contained boxes of donations, and even more was stored by an employee at her house.

    I just don’t see this same kind of outpouring on the pro-choice side.

  • invalid-0

    It clashed with what I’ve heard firsthand from real live people that I can text right now….so naturally I’d be inquisitive. I’m not saying I don’t believe her…you just don’t get to being an anti-theist without having at least one skeptical bone in your body.

    I may be in the minority here among the other pro-lifers, but I think its very fair to ask pro-life centers to fend for themselves without government aid. However, I think they would do much better relying solely on donations (as most already do) than Planned Parenthood would, should its taxpayer funding be revoked (which accounted for 1/3 its budget last fiscal year).

  • invalid-0

    When I was a teenager, my mother was the treasurer for the local chapter of Birthright. Since computers and my mother have never seen eye-to-eye, I often ended up typing out her reports. That was many years ago and I can no longer remember exact figures, but I do recall the general range of two line items:

    Advertising …….. about $15 000.00

    “Client assistance”…. about $500.00

    Seriously. About $500 was all they spent towards actually helping women in crisis. That *might* cover the rent for one month for one mother and child. Oh, they knitted booties and bonnets besides, but they obviously never came close to providing any material help.

    They’re quite willing to spend 30 times more money to lure you in and sell you their ideology than to help you. Think about that.

  • invalid-0

    Heather – You have no basis for your argument(s) against CPCs, and I feel bad for Jessica (the girl who asked the question in the first place) because she can’t get any REAL answers from you or your friends.

  • invalid-0

    How do you know that $15,000 wasn’t for the entire year and the $500 was for that month?

  • invalid-0

    Because I typed the entire report. Several of them, in fact. All of them told a similar story.

  • invalid-0

    Pro-life atheist, my impression is that the services being provided to the degree you are describing is not the norm at all. It’s a tough aspect to research from the outside, but when you can, budgeting for most of the CPCs pretty clearly allots far more $ for “advertising” — and also to sonograms they aren’t even trained to use diagnostically, as evidenced with stories like Christy’s, and by medical standards for ultrasound use really shouldn’t be using — than to actual services for mothers. As a person who grew up on charity’s knee, I think it’s great where you helped provided those things so abundantly, but I’m not sure I understand why, if providing them was the aim, if helping mothers who wanted to be mothers was the goal, those orgs did not simply act solely as maternity homes and maternity aid services and advertise themselves as such.

    Surely, if helping those women is the real goal, it would only make sense to advertise that — which one assumes probably wouldn’t be advertised with a bloody fetus — and leave women who do not want to remain pregnant and/or parent be. Because that isn’t what happens at all, I also have to question how earnest the desire really is to help mothers, even when actual aid is being provided: is it really about helping mothers, or is it — effectively — a bribe?

    Of course, the other tricky bit is that in many states (Texas is a biggie with this), some funding which WOULD be going to low-income women’s services are being funneled into CPCs. In other words, some CPCs are, first-hand, limiting the aid women could otherwise be getting WITHOUT any religious agenda, without all of the fraud and deceit. Too, I think we can safely say that most folks running CPCs and likely voting away many programs and much funding which helps low-income women. Look at what’s going on with the fair pay act right now: I know I can sure think of some mothers who could benefit from fair pay, and less tangles in fighting for it.

    I also think some of the difference you’re perhaps seeing in who does what for whom when it comes to pro-choice/antichoice is that for those of us working in or running clinic systems, we are primarily providing medical services for women who do not wish to become or remain pregnant, or who simply want actual health services. An abortion and/or family planning/well-woman clinic is primarily there to provide those services precisely, and it’s important for us to do that: providing exactly the services we state to offer and putting those first is vital for the women seeking exactly those services. It doesn’t make sense for us to privilege the women who are NOT seeking those services over the women who are, and most of the women who come to our clinics come for exactly what we say we provide: they want abortions, they want a pregnancy test, they want contraception, they want their yearly pap smear. As well, more times than not the women who come to an abortion clinic already have children, and a large part of why they are there is that the way they want us to help them is to assure they don’t have one more child to care for they can’t, BOTH financially and per their own emotional limits. As people whose job is to care for women, I do think it is part of our job to help women more holistically, and also to provide what we can for women who comes for abortion (or options counseling) and decide instead on parenting or adoption, but to expect that to be the meat of what we do isn’t sound or realistic.

    However, most women I know working in this field do a great deal for women beyond their jobs at clinics. You will often find us doing volunteer work elsewhere to help low-income women and children. You will find us lobbying (and voting) for women’s rights, better pay, better agency, better aid. You will find us, in a given day, helping a woman who has changed her mind — her own mind, without any deception employed — connect with women’s legal services, transportation, aid agencies. You will see us helping women to network together, pool resources, what have you.

    Again, I don’t have an issue with people helping women who want to be mothers: I think that’s laudable and those services are needed. I know, for instance, that without orgs like the YWCA (an excellent example of how to provide this kind of aid as an org in a bonafide humanitarian way) and the services they provide, my mother, my sister and I would have been far worse off growing up than we already were. My issue is with fraud, deception, endangering and misleading women very intentionally. I think any organization who wants to help mothers can surely find a way to do so, as many other orgs have, without also deceiving, harming and terrorizing women at the same time, and I have a hard time, if they don’t do that, but instead do what most CPCs really spend most of their time and money doing, swallowing the notion that the real service is helping mothers fill practical needs.

  • invalid-0

    You made the decision to have the child when you laid in bed with a man. Women who undergo abortions have no soul.

  • invalid-0

    Dear Jenna,
    you seem to be a misguided individual.

  • invalid-0

    You all say pro-choice, when, in fact, your only choice of choice is killing of a human being.
    I’m surprised you do not have the same desire to regular unregulated pLANNED pARENTHOOD butcheries.

  • invalid-0

    You all say pro-choice, when, in fact, your only choice of choice is killing of a human being.
    I’m surprised you do not have the same desire to regulate unregulated pLANNED pARENTHOOD butcheries.

  • invalid-0

    So what happened with you?

  • invalid-0

    You need nourishment but you don’t have the right to have your body attached to another’s in order to gather that nourishment.

    Your analogy doesn’t work because it assumes that the fetus is completely separate from the Woman and able to get resources the way that you get groceries from the store. It doesn’t work that way. Because the fetus is physically attached to the Woman’s body, the Woman has to decide whether she is capable of remaining pregnant or not.

    You need nourishment and you have the resources to get it without the sacrifice of another person’s body. THAT is the difference.

    • invalid-0

      I am astounded at your lack of education and coldhearted selfishness . . .

  • invalid-0

    If we have no souls, then what’s the problem? No use in trying to save what’s not there, right?

  • invalid-0

    Huntsville. Where I went to college.

  • invalid-0

    Dear Anonymous,
    It’s not misguided at all to recognize the importance of the Woman’s Life and her right to protect it. And if that is “misguided” according to you, then I wear that label happily and proudly.

    And, congrats on having the chutzpah on replying anonymously. You’re super kewl!


  • invalid-0

    Sorry, but you seem to be mistaken. Many health clinics do a great many things to help pregnant Women who want to keep their pregnancies. The health clinic I worked for in college not only provided prenatal care, but also gave referrals to affordable specialists if there was a problem, we had the paperwork available for WIC and public assistance AND we helped them fill them out (and we had both English and Spanish speaking people to help them out), And we DID provide parenting classes as well.

    I think you’d find that community based clinics provide a variety of services if you’d do your research on them.

    • invalid-0

      I have, I’ve visited a Planned Parenthood before, and several friends use them for STD testing and a few for sterilization procedures, which kudos to PP for not questioning why someone would want to get sterilized.

  • invalid-0

    I went to a pregnancy assistance center when I was pregnant and very destitute (I am prochoice for every Woman but didn’t feel like I could go through with an abortion myself). In order to get any “assistance” from them, I had to join their volunteer program. I had to volunteer several hours a week to earn points for items. There were a handful of other young Women also involved in the program and whenever a crib, even a broken one, became available, we all started trying to out maneuver one another to get it.
    Also, we were “allowed” exactly two maternity outfits at a single time. We were expected to wear one one day, wash it the next while wearing the other, and so on. The rest of the clothes at the center were actually for sale as the center doubled as a resale shop. At the time I was living in an apartment and could not afford to wash clothes everyday. I ended up having to wash them with dish soap in the bath tub.
    When the baby was born, I actually had to increase my hours at work because the baby was born with a stomach condition and would not hold down breast milk. She needed a special formula and when I asked to redeem my points for this formula, I was turned away because it wasn’t generic. I had to go to work more precisely because they wouldn’t help me secure more formula in an affordable way.
    The baby clothes I received were often stained or fraying in some way. The socks were so dingy that I wouldn’t take them. And the diaper bag I was able to get had a broken strap.
    All in all, the assistance I was promised when I started volunteering in no way actually occurred that way. And in the end I stopped volunteering altogether because I needed those hours at work to actually get my daughter the things she needed. I also objected to being asked to work as the receptionist while I was hugely pregnant and visible and then being asked to work in the store room and as the cleaning person after I gave birth and lost weight.
    I understand that not all centers are the same and I nightly hope and pray that other young Women aren’t being manipulated in the ways that I was.

  • invalid-0

    Are you talking to me? I don’t think I understand what you mean.

  • invalid-0

    Like Christy and Jenna, I’m so glad you told your story here, and also like them, what you’re describing sounds very familiar, but….UGH. Just ugh. I’m so sorry you went through that.

    And I’ve heard plenty about the “volunteering” that is often involved in getting aid through CPCs and maternity homes, but I never really thought about it in terms of the women’s community context and what kind of dynamic that would probably create before. That’s really insidious.

  • invalid-0

    My son, Drew, was born when I was 18yrs old and I had no one to help. I had to get a job, find an apartment, pay for child care, deal with Drew when he had colic and I was tired from a hard day’s work but it was worth it. He turned 15 yesterday and is a wonderful young man, and all the hardship I went through was well worth it. CPC’s are not there to take away ALL of your hardship and make everything a cake-walk. They don’t advertise this, but sometimes in today’s society of welfare people think that these organizations are there to make everything perfect.

  • invalid-0

    one that doesn’t include being attached physically to the mother? Perhaps we should grow all of our babies in test-tubes!? This way, they wouldn’t infringe on us for 9mos… Heck, why not make the abortion laws up to 18yrs old or subjective based on the person’s maturity level. I know some people in the late ’20 early ’30s still dependent on their parents – should they be terminated! In fact, if you talk to these parents, they would say that the pychological attachment is worse than the physical attachment…

    At what point do you allow nature to run its course and stop trying to manipulate it. I think your life would be a lot happier if you allow the master design for you and others to blossom. Nurturing others, especially helpless babies in womb, is one of the most (if not the most) basic of human tenderness and love. To go against this basic tenant of Love starts a negative ripple effect that can be very destructive for everyone.

    It’s almost like you just like holding the power (bestowed upon you) over the baby’s head – like an evil-dictator or tyrant would with food or other resources for the population. We know you are a woman and have the power to terminate – but why would you? Is it just because you can?

  • invalid-0

    I never said the CPC was supposed to take away “ALL” of my problems, I knew they wouldn’t. The difference is that what was promised, the level of support advertised, never actually occurred. In order to get assistance, you really did need someone else paying your bills and taking care of you so that you could “volunteer” to get broken, dirty, and dingy items that no one else wanted in the resale shop.
    I worked very hard as a volunteer because I was promised that it would lead to some real assistance that I could not afford to get anywhere else. This never happened.
    My point in sharing my experience is that people like pro-life atheist and, apparently, like you, seem to believe that CPC’s do exactly what they claim to do when they claim they help Women. In my personal experience, that level of “help” was superficial and did not actually assist me in having or raising my daughter. I never thought I wouldn’t have to work, I knew I would (I know I still do). The point is that when you promise a vulnerable Woman that you can help her and promise her specific things, then you should come through on your promises. That didn’t happen for me and I think Women should know that these places engage in a lot of false advertising.

  • invalid-0

    Truth Returns,
    You just don’t understand the concept of physical dependency and social dependency, do you? A fetus is physically dependent upon a Woman’s body. No one else can offer support because it’s not physically possible. Once born, the neonate and everyone else (including 18 year olds and on up), can be cared for by anyone because they are no longer physically attached to one specific person’s body. This is merely social dependence. Since the fetus can only depend upon that specific Woman’s body, the Woman is the only one who can decide whether she can allow that dependence to continue or not. Every pregnancy has risks for the Woman, even the healthiest Women.

    At what point do you allow nature to run its course and stop trying to manipulate it.

    At the point I decide that I can, physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially.

    I think your life would be a lot happier if you allow the master design for you and others to blossom.

    We each have the ability to determine what “design” we’d like for our own lives. And I am quite happy following that design, TYVM. I think it’s quite arrogant and condescending to assume that you know what is best for people you’ve never met.

    Nurturing others, especially helpless babies in womb, is one of the most (if not the most) basic of human tenderness and love.

    How can I nurture anyone else when I still need to nurture and give birth to myself? You cannot force anyone to become a parent, to nurture another, when they are not ready to do so. People have to be prepared to do this job and the skills they need are not automatically given when a birth occurs. That’s why it’s so great that we have the freedom to decide for ourselves if we really can take on such an awesome responsibility or not.

    It’s almost like you just like holding the power (bestowed upon you)

    That’s right, it’s bestowed upon ME and no one else because no one else is being asked to risk their body, health, or life. That’s why Women hold the power, not governments, not doctor’s, not ethics committees.

    We know you are a woman and have the power to terminate – but why would you?

    Because for whatever reason, I do not have the skills or resources available to take on the awesome responsibility of raising another human being. The reasons why Women choose abortion are as varied and individual as the Women themselves. Everyone has their own reason, everyone has their own story. Every Woman has her own life and body to worry about it. Every Woman has to make the decision about whether there is room in her life and body or not. I would never presume that I know more about each individual Woman’s life than she does herself.


  • invalid-0

    Are you talking to me? I don’t think I understand what you mean.

    I think Heniek meant that since you used to be involved, however loosely, with Birthright, what went “wrong” with you? Ie: Why did you stop helping that organization?
    But that’s just a guess. :)

  • invalid-0

    dressed in a lab coat” is an insult to real scientists. A more accurate label is “dogma dressed in a cheap tuxedo.”

  • invalid-0

    doesn’t want women to have all the facts about what is inside the mother’s womb, since they aren’t willing to do pre-abortion screening:

    Do you know this for sure, or are you just guessing?

    “So consider these two facts: (1) Planned Parenthood of Missouri calls exposure to liability for pre-abortion screening for known risk factors a ban, and (2) Planned Parenthood of South Dakota closes its doors rather than accepting liability for informing women about statistically proven risk factors so they can do their own risk-benefit analyses.

    I’m not up on the Missouri case, but I have done some reading about the SD one and that statement is entirely bogus. The anti-abortion politicians in the SD legislature passed this nonsense law which requires abortion providers to tell women “this abortion will kill a whole, seperate, and unique human being.”
    NO WHERE does it say a thing about the supposed risks of abortion. I don’t know what the judge who upheld this piece of state sponsored propaganda was thinking,but 1) as the forced recitation involves unwarranted government intrusion into a PRIVATE medical decision between a woman and a doctor, it is unconstutitional.
    2)The law is repugnant as well because it assumes women are too stupid to know what they are getting into. This meme is complete B.S. and the sooner your disabuse yourself of the belief this law is somehow “helping” women, the better.

    What does this tell us?

    In short, it tells us that Planned Parenthood would rather close its doors than face any liability for making even a minimal effort to avoid doing abortions that are unwanted, unsafe, or unnecessary. Perhaps it is because unwanted, unsafe, and unnecessary abortions provide the bulk of their business.”

    BOGUS!! This is complete supposition without any evidence to back it up. If you knew ANYTHING about PP (it’s clear you don’t,plus you don’t want to learn), then you would know only 3% of PPs nationwide provide abortion. The bulk of PP’s business comes from providing healthcare to women – basic exams, cancer screenings, pre and post natal care, etc. I wish the PP hadn’t closed its doors because women will have nowhere else to turn for basic health care. The CPCs certainly won’t help them. Some kind of compromise could have been reached, perhaps a pre-propaganda statement along the lines of “I’m sorry to do this to you, but the law mandates I must now recite a line of anti abortion BS to you. Ready?”

  • invalid-0

    If they make money doing other things for women other than killing their children then why would they close their doors? Why not just go through the disclaimer and move on. The reason is that Planned Parenthood’s main business is abortion and the fact that you are arguing different means you are unable to maintain Intellectual Honesty in your argument.

    As far as the risks are concerned, the fact that the young woman is “killing a unique human being” is the RISK. The law is making sure that Planned Parenthood is stating that which they are doing to make sure the “patient” has all the facts. Planned Parenthood wants them to have all the facts, right? That’s what many are accusing the CPC’s of, right, not giving all the facts. As Heather said in her article in the first place “…we don’t get into educating about the development of your child here…” and neither does Planned Parenthood. It’s kill or not kill, which do you want? Go to your OB/GYN for contraceptives or other women’s care services like everybody else.

    If Planned Parenthood made their money in other ways and were on the up and up then they would have had no problem with the law, right? Oh, they closed their doors…oops.

  • invalid-0

    If they make money doing other things for women other than killing their children then why would they close their doors? Why not just go through the disclaimer and move on. The reason is that Planned Parenthood’s main business is abortion and the fact that you are arguing different means you are unable to maintain Intellectual Honesty in your argument.

    You must be insane. PP’s main business is NOT abortion, the fact that only 3% of PPs nationwide provide abortion care is proof of that. Unless you really, really enjoy aruging against the facts. That particular PP just could not stomach being forced by an unconstitutional law that insulted women to recite a piece of state sponsored anti abortion propaganda. You can’t prove YOUR argument and that shows your lack of “Intellectual Honesty” all too well.

    As far as the risks are concerned, the fact that the young woman is “killing a unique human being” is the RISK. The law is making sure that Planned Parenthood is stating that which they are doing to make sure the “patient” has all the facts.

    Each woman is a unique human being herself, and laws that treat them like stupid children aren’t factual at all.

    Planned Parenthood wants them to have all the facts, right? That’s what many are accusing the CPC’s of, right, not giving all the facts. As Heather said in her article in the first place “…we don’t get into educating about the development of your child here…” and neither does Planned Parenthood. It’s kill or not kill, which do you want? Go to your OB/GYN for contraceptives or other women’s care services like everybody else.

    Where’s your evidence to back up these accusations about PP? You keep hammering away on the same baseless accusations, and that is very telling about your motives. You simply hate PP because some of the centers provide abortion care

    If Planned Parenthood made their money in other ways and were on the up and up then they would have had no problem with the law, right? Oh, they closed their doors…oops.

    I believe you just committed the logical fallacy called post hoc propter hoc. Because you hold to a particular belief about PP, therefore it must be true. Even with a complete lack of evidence to back you up.

  • invalid-0

    Planned Parenthood’s business model is Abortion! You should know this…

  • invalid-0

    I no longer type my mother’s reports because:

    1) To my knowledge, she passed the office of treasurer on to someone else some years ago; and

    2) I now live an hour’s drive away and don’t nearly have the free time I had when I was a teenager.

    I remain puzzled that anyone would think that “something happened” to me and that I’ve “gone wrong” because I once typed reports for an anti-choice group my mother once belonged to, and discovered they had no interest in providing any substantial help to girls in crisis.

  • invalid-0

    you are only treating symptoms insead of the disease. Help the women, and stop hurting them as you have been hurt.

  • invalid-0

    Hi Jenna— I am the developer of a new website about CPCs and the dangers they pose to reproductive rights and women’s well being in general. We have a testimonials page where women can submit their experiences to inform site visitors of what these “centers” are really all about. With your permission (and the permission of Ms. Corinna as well, as this is her column), I’d love to publish your story on the site. I’d just need a first name (first initial or fake name is okay) and location (wherever you were when you visited the CPC). Let me know! You can email me at or by visiting the page:


  • invalid-0

    No one here is saying abortion is the ONLY choice, and not everyone believes a fetus is an autonomous living thing. Sooo… why are you on RH Reality Check anyway? Just to make your little point? We’ve all heard it before and can refute it, so stop wasting your time.

  • invalid-0

    I went to one of those centers once–I could not beleive the “assistance” they offered–some old clothes and furniture which I could find at any yard sale. i wanted to know if they had child care assistance and help with diapers–no they did not! I also had a wonderful experience with a Planned parenthood (in San Diego). A nurse practitioner there helped me with health issues that many Drs had not, so I started going there for health care. 2 years later I found I was pregnant after just getting back with my husband and realizing that was a mistake. i knew he would not be a good father(and I was right. the cousneler at Pp could tell I did not really want an abortion and talked to me about all my options–abortion, adoption or getting assistance with raising my child if that is what I chose. I ultimately chose to go through with the pregnancy but felt empowered that it was MY choice. PP referred me to helpful places to get real assistance. For many years after I relied on PP for health care until I finally had the means to not need a clinic. They did the most thorough breast exams, and paps that I ever had. they are far more than abortion clinics–in fact the one in Indiana does not do abortion.

  • invalid-0

    Unfortunately, Christy, there was most likely no way the CPC *could* have known you were ectopic. In receiving testimonials from women who have visited CPCs for the webpage I’m developing (, I’m shocked at the number of women who believe they were seeing actual doctors because the staff wore lab coats and operated a sonogram (ultrasound) machine. This, of course, does not require a medical degree or a license of any kind actually… just a lot of money (much of which are your tax dollars!) and an operation manual. They don’t know WHAT they’re seeing, except that they see throbbing, indicating pregnancy. You or I could tell this with the right equipment ourselves, but unlike experienced medical professionals (of which CPCs usually staff none), we could never tell if the fetus was ectopic or detect any other life threatening irregularities.

    The only thing CPCs know about ectopic pregnancies is that they’re supposed to tell women that abortion will make them more likely to have ectopics later in life. Which is not true by thew way… both Mayo Clinic and BMJ have done extensive research on the matter and have deturmined there’s no connection between termination OR spontaneous abortion and risk for ectopics. Or breast cancer or infertility for that matter… while I’m in abortion-myth-debunking mode :)

  • invalid-0

    Or will you back up this baseless accusation once and for all? It’s time to put up,or shut up.

  • invalid-0

    the claim PP is all about abortion.

    They did the most thorough breast exams, and paps that I ever had. they are far more than abortion clinics–in fact the one in Indiana does not do abortion.

  • invalid-0

    People go to Walgreens and CVS for contraception, and they go to Planned Parenthood for Abortions. You can’t argue this point because that’s their business – no one refutes this!

    • harry834

      the fact that all health service providers get money when they prescribe a treatment, instead of saying not to do it?

    • invalid-0

      the planned parenthood in my city does not offer abortions.

  • invalid-0


    If you feel that you cannot have a child or experience a pregnancy at this time in your life, you may choose a safe, legal abortion. Planned Parenthood of Indiana offers abortion by medication or surgical procedure for women in their first trimester of pregnancy. Learn more about our abortion services.”

    Taken directly from their website. Are you people serious? You actually think that because you say something that it is the Truth. Keep spinning your webs.

  • invalid-0

    This just in… CPC’s are out of designer clothing and furniture…

  • invalid-0

    After reading a large number of your posts here, I’ve concluded that you’re nothing more than an argumentative troll. When I lived in the US I did not have insurance and I went to Planned Parenthood for regular checkups AND for contraception! Why? Because the contraception was free or at a very discounted price. I would never have gone to CVS to get contraception, I couldn’t afford it! Even now I get my contraception at my doctor’s office, not a pharmacy.

  • invalid-0

    Our pal Truth also seems to somehow be unaware that pharmacies cannot write prescriptions, they can only fill them.

    Unless a person is buying an over-the-counter method of contraception — condoms, spermicides, emergency contraception or, in some areas, the contraceptive sponge — they will need to see a healthcare provider for a prescription for other methods to be filled at those pharmacies. And indeed, many people choose to also purchase those methods through clinics like Planned Parenthood or others or via their own doctor’s offices for the sake of convenience or due to lower cost.

    But our pal isn’t aware of much, nor does she seem to understand that she is at a reproductive health hub where many of us make our living in the field and have a much better idea of what does and does not go on than she does.

    Wanna bet she tells you your BC is cheaper at Planned Parenthood not because of family planning funding, but because of how much they’re rolling in dough due to all those abortion services, and how wretched you are for obtaining birth control on the backs of dead babies?

  • invalid-0

    Are you people serious? You actually think that because you say something that it is the Truth. Keep spinning your webs.

    Right back atcha!

  • invalid-0

    This is a great article but I am concerned by the suggestion that people consult the American Pregnancy Helpline since I had never heard of them before, and their web site seems suspiciously anti-abortion. Does anyone know who these folks are and that they are legitimately pro-choice? Why not refer to Backline or the NAF hotline instead?

    From APH’s page on “Questions to ask Yourself about Abortion”:

    Once a woman finds out she is pregnant, or a man finds out he is a father, they are never the same again. Every option has challenges and long term impact. Get in touch with yourself and what is happening physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually by answering these questions. Call the Helpline at 1-866-942-6466 to discuss these if you need.

    * Have I confirmed my pregnancy by testing and sonogram?
    * Do I know for sure that I am having a viable pregnancy, not ectopic?
    * Have I been tested and treated for STD’s, that could be aggravated by an abortion?
    * What is happening in the fetus at this point?
    * Does breast cancer run in my family?
    * Do I want to have children in the future?

    Is this a CPC so slickly deceptive that they were able to fool even RH Reality Check???

  • invalid-0

    The anti-abortion politicians in the SD legislature passed this nonsense law which requires abortion providers to tell women “this abortion will kill a whole, seperate, and unique human being”… as the forced recitation involves unwarranted government intrusion into a PRIVATE medical decision between a woman and a doctor, it is unconstutitional.

    There had been a preliminary injunction against the statement, on the grounds that it violated doctors’ free speech rights, but the injunction was recently lifted.

    The pro-lifer groups wanted the law because, religiously, they believe that life begins at conception. I think we need to fight fire with fire. Not all religions believe this way; some, like conservative Judaism, believe that life begins at birth. Find a doctor who believes life begins at birth and have them once again bring suit under the 1st Amendment. But this time, it will be on freedom of religion grounds rather than freedom of speech.

    If the courts still deny the injunction, they’re in essence saying that one set of beliefs is overruled by another. In my book, that’s an establishment of religion by the state, and is therefore unconstitutional.

  • invalid-0

    Parker: it’s a total oversight on my part to have left Backline out in this piece. I refer out to them a lot, so thanks so much for pointing that out. I can’t make a correction here myself, but I can add it into the original piece at Scarleteen. I know I was trying, given the poster’s tone and such, to provide a resource which was accepting of all choices but more about help with sustaining a pregnancy, which was why I leaned to this.

    In terms of this helpline, they do link to accurate information on abortion, though I agree, those lines are….odd, seem out of place with some of their other content, (like, “no matter what choice you make, you have the opportunity to become a better person.”) and I’m not even sure they were there the last time I checked this site. There also seems to be a 404 now where there used to be a page on help making a choice. I’m going to have to poke more into this: thanks so much for bringing that to my attention.

  • invalid-0

    I can’t seem to find where any commenter has expressed the desire to be provided with designer clothes or furniture from a CPC. I have seen references to help with diapers and child care, but nothing about designer clothes or furniture.

    Perhaps you could point out where you got this idea?

    Alternatively, you could stop slandering women struggling with unexpected pregnancies as superficial ingrates as a way of diverting attention from CPCs’ apparent indifference to their welfare.

  • invalid-0

    …and still not certain what is going here with this group, exactly. NAF does provide a link to the overarching org that runs the helpline (as have plenty of other credible repro health orgs), but at the same time, they do — thus far — seem to likely link back to a CPC effort.

    I’ve alerted the editors here as well, too, so rest assured that we are all investigating this.

  • invalid-0

    with her guidance and permission. 

    We have changed the link to and information from Helpline, which was clearly linked to anti-choice, crisis pregnancy centers and other biased sources of information to Backline – an organization that provides unbiased, judgmental-free support to women. From their web site:

    Backline is dedicated to addressing the broad range of experiences and
    emotions surrounding pregnancy, parenting, adoption and abortion. We
    provide a forum in which women and their loved ones can engage in
    discussion that goes beyond political rhetoric.


    Amie Newman

    Managing Editor, RH Reality Check

  • invalid-0

    Thanks so much for your quick and thorough attention to this! It’s amazing how closely you have to scrutinize places these days to find their bias. But I did find the American Pregnancy Helpline listed on almost all Crisis Pregnancy Center referral web sites, so that clinched it for me!

  • invalid-0

    i guess i should have been more specific–the PP in Ft wayne indiana does NOT provide abortion–other Ind clinics may so sorry for any confusion. but my main point still stands–that PP is so much more than that–as I stated I got wonderful health care at the one in Ft Wayne and the one in san Diego when I lived there. not only birth control which i otherwise would not have been able to afford but also pap exams and breast exams, blood pressure, treatment for yeast infections etc.

  • invalid-0

    not more supposition. Which is utterly useless without a data set to back it up. You CLAIM you can walk the talk, but it is obvious that was nothing but hot air.

  • invalid-0

    will send you to a Doctor’s office down the street for the abortion. Ft. Wayne Women’s Health… Not sure if PP gets part of the proceeds from the abortion – working on that – be back if I can get that info…

  • invalid-0

    Nothing wrong with making a referral. Unless, of course, you’re the type of person who doesn’t think women should be given complete information.

    Oh, wait. Never mind…

    As for “proceeds,” insurance will only reimburse the actual person performing the procedure. I doubt the Women’s Health Clinic will turn around and give away any money — it’s hard enough for a clinic like that to stay financially afloat.

  • invalid-0

    abortion in the United States was legal. It’s not exactly news that PP and other women’s health centers and general health care providers will refer women to an abortion provider if they themselves do not offer that service. I, personally, believe that the more comprehensive health care we can provide under one roof, the better. 

    Planned Parenthood already offers comprehensive reproductive and sexual health care to women and men – annual exams, Pap smears, breast exams, STI checks and treatment, pregnancy options counseling,  affordable birth control including emergency contraception, family planning. They refer to specialists when they need to: prenatal care, ob-gyns, adoption programs, fertility treatment providers – likewise if a PP doesn’t offer abortion services they make referrals to providers who do. 

    As for your comment that you’re "not sure if PP gets part of the proceeds from the abortion" – I can barely stifle a "what?!" Last time I checked (and I worked in health care provision for years), providers are barely scraping by between malpractice insurance, overhead, etc. PP is doing well enough through their medical service provision, outreach and education, and political activities to ensure their continued existence thankfully but believe me when I tell you that abortion provision may be one of the LEAST profitable health care services out there. "Proceeds"?! It’s not a benefit concert we’re talking about – it’s medical care.

    It’s an insult to physicians, nurses, physician’s assistants and other providers to think that they are somehow giving each other kick-backs for patient referral but, hey, if you can "be right back" after quickly doing some deep investigative work that will conclusively show this, you deserve a spot on 60 minutes. 

    For your anti-choice argument to somehow gain any ground you are just desperately grabbing at whatever you can. Oppose abortion – fine. Just don’t oppose legal abortion. Make your argument but use facts, trust women, understand that this is a woman’s personal decision, and it’s certainly not up to you to decide for all women in the world what’s best for us – but please don’t rely on ideology and religious extremism to make your argument. It just doesn’t work for those of us who subscribe to a different ideology and maybe a different religion  – your belief system is no less important or valid than mine nor the other way around. But I’m not trying to force you to do something with your body that you don’t want to, am I?

    Amie Newman

    Managing Editor, RH Reality Check

  • invalid-0

    Pro lifers on the yahoo boards just LOVE to bring up the “obscene profits” (to quote one) PP is making from abortion.
    BTW Anne, a new discussion board on yahoo called Life_Controversies is looking for more members – both pro choice and pro life. It’s a very new group, the moderate is a pro-lifer but he’s more philosophical than most. I’m a member myself (blinkbonny). You can delete this bit if you think it is inappropiate.

  • invalid-0

    Please explain how consent to sex is irrevocable consent to pregnancy.

    That’s like saying that consent to manual or oral sex is automatically consent to vaginal or anal sex. Or that consent to vaginal sex is consent to sperm in the uterus. Or that consent to ANY sex is consent to all sex in the future, or that one cannot withdraw their consent and has no right to say “stop”.

    It’s like telling the victim of a terrible car accident that they made their choice when they got into that car, and that they deserve to “face the consequences” and get no medical assistence because they took the risk.

  • invalid-0

    It was a dig on me because I had the audacity not to bend over backwards and kiss the CPC’s ass when they promised me certain items and then either failed to deliver OR delivered BROKEN furniture, goods, and disgusting clothing.
    I was promised that by accruing volunteer hours, I could get a crib complete with mattress and padding, maternity clotheS, formula, diapers, and that they would help me secure other “resources” which always remained vague. I received a BROKEN crib, so broken in fact that it was unsafe to actually be used and not something I could repair, the mattress was used and heavily soiled, the padding never arrived, I received exactly 2 maternity outfits and was told to just wear one while I washed the other, useless generic formula my child could not digest, diapers for six weeks (in the wrong size) and then I was merely given coupons, the clothes I received for my daughter were dingy after multiple washings and one outfit was stiff with some unknown compound that would not wash out no matter how hard I tried (I even tried to dig the crap out of the threads with my fingernails) and I was actually discouraged from applying for WIC or TANF by the administrators there who told me that it was time to “stand on my own two feet” despite the fact that I made less than $5 an hour at that time.
    So because I believe I was LIED to and I took the opportunity to warn others on this forum, I apparently have warped into an ungrateful label whore unsatisfied because they happened to be out of designer gear for me.

    Alternatively, you could stop slandering women struggling with unexpected pregnancies as superficial ingrates as a way of diverting attention from CPCs’ apparent indifference to their welfare.


  • invalid-0

    Life began millions of years ago. Sheesh.

  • anna-clark

    Just wanted to say thank you to Heather and to many of the commenters here for teaching me quite a bit about CPCs, and Birthright in particular. Birthright was all over the small Michigan town I grew up in, far more visible and seemingly accessible than the Planned Parenthood that was the only one of its kind for miles (and that I didn’t even know existed in my town til long after I left for college).


    What’s especially interested me in the column and the stories shared in the comments is how CPCs affect women *even when they don’t want or don’t believe in abortion.*


    To be honest, while I’ve grown to personally feel repelled from the places (and absolutely, their advertising is designed to imply something they are not), I’d thought that for a particular kind of person, perhaps they are just fine.


    But my god, what I’m hearing here is just too much. It’s really scary how many people are being influenced by them.


    Thank, all, for taking the time to share all this.


  • invalid-0

    You might consider that with the society we live in, in which we are governed without choice, there are many pressures that keep us from being able to simply give birth and raise a child in a loving, healthy environment. Our society is rather corrupt and is creating many corrupt minds that were once innocent children. Many of you believe we should send our living, conscious neighbors and brothers to war, at the risk of many lives, for a cold, greedy government, but an undeveloped child (which we all once were) deserves no such treatment. This thinking is shallow, absurd and not the least bit critical. There are many atrocities out there, where people and animals are tortured emotionally and physically, kept alive and with a developed form of language that further assists this torment because they are able to reflect and conceptualize the injustices done on them. Much different than the quick and unconceived process that occurs during abortion. If my husband and i could claim a piece of land and build our home out of found materials and feed ourselves in a natural environment where the work is the process of attaining food (hunting, gathering), then perhaps abortion would not be something I would consider. The problem is that I live in a corrupt place with arbitrary laws that suit the objectives of the governments and corps that pay me as they wish while concurrently charging me as they wish for the food (etc) that I need to survive in such a society. Life is tough for many and bringing a child into this world with social structures as they are is not always possible. Nobody wants to be a slave. Many people are not properly educated until it is too late. They need to make the right choice for them. Also, with the problem of population growth, if laws stated “no abortions”, then we’d all be dying a lot faster as living conditions become less sanitary, women are less likely to be educated and therefore pass on such patterns to their children, we run out of nutrient-providing food…..the list goes on and on…Many warm-hearted people choose abortions. Many people know what they can provide to a child and if it is not to their standard, they may choose not to go through with it – for the sake of the child. This issue is far more complex than “you’re killing a living being”. Read some books, people! Learn about biases. Your biases will intellectually stunt you if you continue to support them with such passion.

  • invalid-0

    The theory of over-population was thrown out years ago, and not even the socially liberal economics professors will refute that… Old arguments die hard! Anyway, your reasoning has not logic whatsoever… You are going to kill babies because the world is a terrible place? Then don’t get pregnant! Furthermore, this is a terribly hopeless world view and we are not to despair. In short, the issue is not “more complex” it’s simple: “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” It’s not for you to decide life and death issues. You can neither create nor destroy life. As far as war is concerned the same applies, unless it is deemed a just war. You need to start reading philosophy and logic rather than your emotion-based liberal propanganda.

  • invalid-0

    vaginal intercourse has ONLY two outcomes which are known for sure ahead of time:

    1. Pregnancy
    2. No Pregnancy

    You know ahead of time that sex leads directly to children. So if you make that choice you are stupid if you were to say, “But…I didn’t know I could get pregnant!!!???” So your analogy is flawed and doesn’t work.

    As far as your, “…consent to ANY sex is consent to all sex in the future…” Not sure where your going with this, and what this has to do with getting pregnant and abortion/adoption/or keeping the baby?

  • invalid-0

    What does life beginning billions of years ago have to do with life beginning at conception in the womb?

  • invalid-0

    vaginal intercourse driving has ONLY two outcomes which are known for sure ahead of time:

    1. Pregnancy Wrecking
    2. No Pregnancy Not wrecking

    You know ahead of time that sex driving leads directly to children wrecks. So if you make that choice you are stupid if you were to say, “But…I didn’t know I could get pregnant in an accident!!!???”

    … You’re not making any sense, Truth. You haven’t actually shown anything about the risks of driving that isn’t comparable to the risks of sex. It’s only by special pleading that you’ve convinced yourself otherwise.

    • invalid-0

      …has many different possible outcomes:

      1. Go pick up a friend
      2. Go to car wash
      3. Go to McDonald’s
      4. Cross country trip
      5. Car explodes immediately
      6. Sit in the car
      7. Clean inside of car
      8. Racing the car
      9. Pick up mother and go to lunch
      10. …

      and the list goes on and on… Not true with having intercourse – there are only two outcomes:

      1. Pregnant
      2. Not Pregnant

  • invalid-0

    It’s not for you to decide life and death issues.

    Oh, yeah? Who should decide then? You? Don’t make me laugh.

    As far as war is concerned the same applies, unless it is deemed a just war.

    Let me guess. You get to make that determination, too. Sounds like you’ve got delusions of grandeur.

  • invalid-0

    Actually, pro-choice isn’t solely about abortion.

    Pro-choice describes the political and ethical view that a woman should have complete control over her fertility and pregnancy. This entails the guarantee of reproductive rights, which includes access to sexual education; access to safe and legal abortion, contraception, and fertility treatments; and legal protection from forced abortion.

    Pro-choice means giving women all the available options to avoid ever even having to think about abortion (contraception, comprehensive sex education, access to emergency contraception, etc). Abortion is a last-ditch safeguard.

    Yes, I believe women should have access to all of this. Why? Because I am not a walking uterus. I am a human being who can make the decision all on my own as to when and if I will be ready to raise a family. I will do so on my own terms.

    Don’t call me a supporter of murder because I want the best life for my future progeny.

    And please explain to me how the so-called life of a developing fetus or embryo is considered more important than the woman’s right to bodily autonomy. Does that give me entitlement to a stranger’s liver if I can’t live without it? No. No one is forced to give up their bodily autonomy, save pregnant women. I take issue with that.

    Besides, banning abortion won’t stop women from having them, it’ll just make having them more dangerous. More already living women will die. How is that pro-life?

    • invalid-0

      “Whatsoever you do to the least of my people – you do unto me.” — J.C.

  • invalid-0

    Actually ultrasonography is an imperfect method for detecting tubal pregnancies.

    One reason methotrexate is better for medical abortion than RU-486 is the methotrexate will kill a tubal pregnancy but the RU-486 will not.

    • invalid-0

      Yes, I know ultrasounds are a good way to detect ectopics. What I meant was, ultrasound machines operated by non-doctors ARE NOT a good way to detect them. Hence, the folks at the CPC couldn’t tell she was ectopic the way a REAL doctor could have.

  • invalid-0

    What’s with the claiming that the South Dakota Planned Parenthoods have ‘closed their doors’ because of the new abortion law? They’re still open.

  • invalid-0

    the pro-lifers on one yahoo abortion board were gloating daily and claiming it proved – something…The anti-choice site LifeNEWS (or just LifeOPINION) were spinning the issue so hard I’m surprised they don’t have perpetual vertigo.

    • invalid-0

      That’s really odd. I mean, it’s not usually so COMPLETELY blatant that they’re lying. All you’d have to do is call up a local PP to find out.

  • invalid-0

    If those really, truly are the only two possible outcomes of the sex (and for many of us, intercourse is not the only kind of sex there is) you’ve been having, Truth…

    ..then all I can say is that I’m terribly sorry.

  • invalid-0

    screwed by the anti-abortion lobby when you consider what they are doing to women. Fetuses don’t have free will, but women do. Which means they can choose between guilt and innocence. Therefore, women are innocent, but instead of protecting them, the anti-abortion lobby is punishing them. Where is your concern for them, Truth?

  • invalid-0

    for this online that we could all check out? I’m confused as to why no one affiliated with PP has come forward to expose this falsehood. The traditional media has made hardly a peep about this, and most of the news about it was from anti-abortion sites (forwarded by pro lifers on abortion boards) crowing about this supposed closure. It is ironic that even the pro lifers here were just as fooled.

  • mellankelly1

    … and how!

  • invalid-0

    The commenter could have just as easily pointed out the known accident risk of driving the car.

  • invalid-0

    That people write entire books, and devote permanent space in magazines, for “Pregnant/Not Pregnant”?

    Educate yourself.

  • invalid-0

    When you have vaginal intercourse there are only two outcomes. The books and magazines are written about things (feelings, STI’s, etc.) surrounding intercourse. The reason for this is because it is one of the most intense feelings that humans can experience, and if you get an STI that wouldn’t be a good day. The intensity of the feelings are so INTENSE that sex can be addictive and is abused in our society.

    The term sex includes other activities but we aren’t talking about activities that don’t cause pregnancy (hence Crisis Pregancy Centers vs. Abortion Clinics). The point is that if a man and woman decide to have unprotected vaginal intercourse then they shouldn’t be too surprised when they get pregnant since there are two major outcomes to this behavior: Prenant/Not Pregnant. You could also get a STI at the same time but the decision set for an STI does not have moral implications just like driving usually doesn’t have moral implications (unless you purposely hit a pedestrian).

    By the way, if we are going to believe something because people write a lot of books/magazines about the topic then we have reliquenshed are own intellect and deserve to be governed by the masses! At some point, you have to listen to the truth which (in our society) would very rarely be written since we are mainly a society that believes in Moral Relativism (i.e. Everyone’s Truth is the Truth).

  • invalid-0

    Who do you think Jesus is talking about here? Who are the least of His people? What Jesus is saying is that as the PROTECTOR/TEACHER/GUARDIAN of these children we have a responsibility to do right by them (this would include all people who depend on the community for their livlihood – old people, mentally ill, handicapped, etc.)

    Women, over the age of 7, have reason and intellect to exercise their Free Will. So let’s use our intellect to reason this out. Let’s say we are in line at the grocery store and there is a healthy woman of 26 and a Quadrapalegic also 26 – should the healthy woman have the right to cut in front of the Quad because she is more healthy, able and willing. Wouldn’t we call this – ummm… Let’s see… Extremely Selfish and most would be downright digusted…In the womb and until 7yrs old (the age of reason), these children need nourishment, social and moral guidance, and love which normally comes from parents. A society that slaughters its own children and helpless is a society without hope!

  • invalid-0

    verified that they have done abortions since July 21st. Apparently on July 21st they suspended their abortion practice after the new law was put in place.

    The closing (even for one day) is a huge victory for the pro-life culture because stopping the killing of human life is the pro-life goal. Now with the new laws, like the one in South Dakota, the focus is on the biology of the matter rather than the idealogy. This focus on biology, which cannot be refuted even by the liberal-minded scientists, is also a huge victory because people will begin to understand that they are killing a human being and not just a bunch of gooey cells.

    It’s all about being open and committed to the Truth. If the Truth is that we should be committing abortions then so-be-it and if the truth is that we shouldn’t then so-be-it. The key is to seek the truth, and the truth that Human Life should be protected in all of its stages is well…”Self Evident.” If you study it with an openness to the truth – the truth will show itself clearly.

  • harry834

    so I suppose you believe that women should be put on trial for murder and incarcerated, correct? You did say that that these women "slaughter their children":

    "A society that slaughters its own children and helpless is a society without hope!"

  • invalid-0

    right now she would not be charged with murder because it is lawful to have an abortion. If our laws change to reflect the truth then “yes” they would be incarcerated and charged with due process.

    Remember that the pro-abortion movement has been to keep the population confused as to what exactly is inside the woman’s womb. This serves perfectly so that the conscience of the individual woman committing the abortion can still sleep at night post-abortion. Still, though, some cannot sleep at night because inherently we all know what is inside the womb and killing any living thing (even a deer) has its implications psychologically, morally, etc – but even more so a human being sharing our blood line!

    I think the parties most culpable are the doctors and even more culpable – The Biologists. The Biologists know exactly the stages of life, and anyone with this knowledge has the divine responsibility to educate the population.

    Justice Blackmun set aside the argument of “When Life Begins” in his opinion regarding Roe v. Wade. Justice Blackmun left this open, and here is where the truth resides. You have seen and will continue to see as information becomes more readily accessible the unbiased youth of our nation will begin to rally around the truth. The zeitgeist surrounding the time period of Roe v. Wade is coming to an end.

  • harry834

    this idea might be OK:

    "I think the parties most culpable are the doctors and even more culpable – The Biologists."


    But the woman asking for a lighter sentence because she "can still sleep at night" would conflict with the fact that we still execute/life prison sociopaths who can still sleep at night.

    But did you mean what you said?

    "If our laws change to reflect the truth then "yes" they would be incarcerated and charged with due process."

    So you agree that maximum murder penalties are on the table for women?: life sentence/execution. (I’m one of the few liberals who’s comfortable with the death penlty by the way).

    But I do want to challenge that assumption. It might be true that the biologist/doctor is more culpable, but it might not be. After all, If I hire someone to smother my infant son, is the hired murderer more guilty than me? Aren’t I equally, if not far more guilty and heinous, for seeking out a professional murderer and asking that they "get rid of it"?

    Would you agree that these considerations should cause prosecutors and juries to be suspicious and challenging of your initial generalization that : "the biologists and doctors are more to blame"? After all we all took high school biology and know that a pregnancy means a developing human baby inside. Hence all the emotions when a woman sees a positive pregnancy result.


  • invalid-0

    The doctors and biologists are more to blame for not standing up for the Truth. They are on the front lines shielding the everyday woman from the blood and gore that is Abortion. They, the doctors and biologists, are guilty of pulling the wool.

    Once the wool is taken away completely and the Surgeon General announces (as with cigarette smoking causing cancer) that Abortion is the killing/murder of an innocent and unique human being then “yes” I did mean what I said, “If our laws change to reflect the truth then “yes” they [women and anyone who helps them] would be incarcerated and charged with due process.” If the punishment for murder is the Death Penalty in that particular state then I guess that is what it would be…

    I am not really attached to the Death Penalty because I do believe that if we place the power and justice where it belongs we don’t really have to worry about it. I just think that the Abortion topic is the most obvious heinous crime to ever be considered legal – close seconds are chattel slavery and forced abortion like in China – there are others but Abortion is by far the most evil.

  • invalid-0

    Whose truth? Yours? Sorry, but many of us don’t accept it, and you don’t have the right to force it on anyone else.

  • invalid-0

    By the same token, driving has two major outcomes: wrecking and not wrecking. The fact that there are so many books and magazine articles on sex serves to demonstrate that there are far more outcomes than you included in your simple-minded analysis. However, if you want to restrict sex to its “major” outcomes then we ought to do the same for driving, and we end up with “to wreck or not to wreck.”

    Driving is full of moral implications because it is full of risks: for the driver, for the passengers, for other motorists and pedestrians, and for property. Sex has moral implications for the same reason. There is no material difference here.

    The only difference is that sex has theological implications in your faith tradition while driving does not. I really don’t give the rear half of a secondhand rat.

    This is not an appeal to moral relativism, but to moral reasoning. You cannot simply set aside all other facts and analyses because your viewpoint is “The Truth” until you have demonstrated that it is in fact true.

  • harry834

    This punishment must be enforced at the same time abortion is re-criminalized, correct? No point making murder illegal if murderers get a "period of adjustment".

    We would need to have prosecute all women who have ever had an abortion, correct? This would include the many who regret their act. Murderers regrety their acts, but they must still answer when the state knows that they committed the murder.

    I support each individual defendent making their case with their lawyer, but it would have to be a case-by-case decision.

    Though here are some rationales that won’t work for the defense (or are at least suspect):

    * These acts were socially acceptable and legal for a long time. The Nazis killed for 6 years all under the law of Hitler. Martin King said: "everything Hitler did was legal". Are still-living Nazis off the hook? Do we have anyright to prosecute them for war crimes?

    Also, can mass murder ever be excused by social acceptability? I don’t know if I might be liable, since I’m a pro-choice advocate. Nazis had a youth group. Surely those youg followers might be prosecutable.

    * The biologists and doctors "hid the wool" over the eyes of the women, so they could not have known they were killing human beings.

    This is troublesome. It’s true that the doctors and biologists might have given an authoritative "OK", just like in the Stanley Milgrim experiments. But a prosecutor would not let that sit without an argument.

    The experiment subjects put their hand on a buzzer, hearing full well the pain caused.

    The women know that there was a developing human inside of them. Why else is a pregnancy test such an emotional rollercoaster? If women really thought that a fertilized egg was no different than an unfertililized egg, then why such hooplah over the results of a pregnancy test?

    They know what that test means. They know what’s at stake. They know there was a developing baby in them.

    It it really honest to claim these women "did not know" there was an infant-to-be in them?


    While I did use the examples of Milgrim and Hitler to suggest that, sometimes, the doctor and biologist are the dominant party, this dominance is not always true. Women have widely been known to beg for an abortion, even pleading with a doctor who’s highly resistant for fear of legal trouble. And women tend to seek them out, not the other way around. How often do doctors go around knocking on doors like a salesman? The woman comes to his office.  

    Of course, the individual cases need to be plucked apart by the jury and judge. But let’s not fool ourselves with false hope that women will have a general advantage. The arguments for diminished responsibility do not hold up in a general sense,

    and we can only hope and pray that a particular case might indicate diminished responsibility for the woman. But it seems many of the women who have had abortions, whether regretful or not, are fit for long, long prison sentences – comparable to other forms of murder – if not execution for, as you said, "the most obvious heinous crime to ever be considered legal "

    And of course, I support juvenile sentences for pregnant teens…unless certain facts say they should be tried as adults.

  • invalid-0

    The comparison wasn’t to getting INTO the car, it was driving. Driving has two outcomes, you either get to your destination without wrecking or you wreck. The least you could do is read through the comment before making yourself look like a fool.

  • invalid-0

    The law never addressed biology at all. It just required abortion providers to recite some state sponsored piece of nonsense. Bloviate all you want about biology, but it doesn’t back up your argument the government should be making medical decisions for women.

    Human Life should be protected in all of its stages is well…”Self Evident.”

    Now this just made me laugh. Tell that to the American kids living in poverty who won’t get health insurance because the Republicans, the so called pro “life” party, fought against it. Be honest for once. Your side loves to kick and whine about life in the womb, but cares little for life outside of the womb.

  • invalid-0

    Justice Blackmun set aside the biology of when life begins, and proceeded to make his judgement from there. This is logically impossible in making the decision he made regarding the termination of what has ALWAYS turned out to be HUMAN.

    As far as life outside the womb is concerned. I restate, “Human Life should be protected in all of its stages…” So, of course, this is true for kids living in poverty or kids living an economic priveleged life, but with abusive alcoholic parents. ALL HUMAN LIFE DEMANDS DIGNITY. This is not an issue of sides – we are all on the same side – we all have a duty to protect the innocent. The world is not a pretty place, but it doesn’t give anyone the right to hurt others – especially innocent babies in the womb.

    “Two wrongs don’t make a right” – Remember?

  • harry834

    about punishment of the murderers.

    Do you believe murderers should be punished?

  • invalid-0

    we might have anarchy.

  • invalid-0

    …who is out there and what they are doing. Thank you for writing this piece- as a young woman with no means to provide for a child adequately, I am happy to say that I get my EC from PP and use a condom regularly- and have never had any problems regarding possible pregnancy. EC is so much cheaper from PP and I don’t have to worry about them lecturing me about anything if I get it from them, rather than a pharmacy like Kroger’s or RiteAid. I’m shit poor, so anything to help the cost and keep me from being pregnant is a must, especially since the Pill wreaked so much havoc on my body when I started taking it that I couldn’t keep going- there were pain, spotting, and boob issues for nearly a month. Now, I just love those condoms and having the EC on hand for if something happens accidentally.

    Being where I am in Michigan, it is nice to know what organisations I need to look to avoid if I do become pregnant- I am scared enough of that prospect, I don’t need anyone fear-mongering me when the time comes. I need someone to sit down with me and tell me ALL my medical options without showing me misleading information- someone who is willing to sit with me patiently as I clutch my copy of ‘Our Bodies, Our Selves’ and barrage them with questions- sounds like none of these places would do that. I am intelligent, I do my research, but I will need some person-to-person reassurance when the time comes and it looks like PP is my best option. I guess I should be looking for one close to home, since I moved out of East Lansing (where we had two).

    Cheers, blessed be.

    • invalid-0

      There are always two sides of every coin. One side of the abortion debate states that the unborn are not human beings with the right to life. The other side of the abortion debate states the opposite.

      You already have a handle upon what “pro-choicers” believe, but do you have a handle upon what “pro-lifers” believe? I would dare you to visit the website abort73(dot)com. That website, while from the “pro-life” mindset, provides much needed information that practically all “pro-choice” websites fail to mention.

      Hope you have a good day.

  • heather-corinna

    Why do you assume that I know what I know about abortion from only a political lobby or websites?

    I just looked at that site, and I have no idea why you "dared" me to go look.  I have personally observed, in-person, many abortions.  I know what happens during abortion, even in the second-trimester, I know what abortions and fetal tissue from abortion looks like, better than most, and not from photos alone (I’m also a photographer and know a whole lot about light and angles, as well as a thing or two about law and photo releases).   Have you seen any of this in-person?


    What I know and have seen, for certain, given, it’s very easy for me to see anything that is coercive, misleading or abjectly false at that site and all of the others like it.  However, even if all those photographs struck me as a perfectly accurate representation, per gestation as well as in general, of what tissue from abortion looked like, I’d still not be drinking the Kool-Aid.


    In anything, from reproductive choice to sex education to information on the history of the nation of which I am a citizen, I can assure you that I am never going to think the end justifies the means when it comes to misinforming people purposefully to lead them to make I choice *I* would feel best about myself because somehow, I know better than they by that basis about that is best for them. I am never going to try and coerce or force someone to make a different choice than they feel is best for themselves based on what choices I would make for myself.  I am never going to stop treating women with the same respect with which I would like to be treated, and with which men expect to be treated.


    And that is the viewpoint which underlies this piece and my answers here.

    Even if (and this is not a view to which I subscribe) it were somehow better for all women to carry all pregnancies to term, if those choices were made due to coercion or falsehoods, if they didn’t completely belong to the women involved, that in and of itself would keep them from being the best choices in my book.  The old adage that if I can’t trust a woman with a choice, I can’t very well trust her with a childhas always rung very true to me in my life, particularly given all of the years I have spent educating other people’s children and teens.


    Particularly with a situation where a woman is asking about where to get help with a pregnancy she is choosing NOT to terminate, why on earth would even anyone pro-life want me to advise her to go somewhere where the sole purpose is to talk her into a decision she has already made — the one they WANT her to make no less — and where she can’t even get started with an ultrasound and the pre-natal care she is going to need for that pregnancy to be healthy?  Did you read the piece?  Can you not see why, if nothing else, showing material like this to a woman who wants to sustain her pregnancy (or any women in my book, but still) is just plain cruel and bizarre?


    This is exactly the kind of thing that those of us who advocate for choice are talking about when we discuss the hypocrisy we tend to see in so many of these approaches: supporting life doesn’t stop for us at just making it or a birth.  Quality of life, for a woman, for a child, is not a minor or moot point as far as people like me are concerned.  So, if that’s something you earnestly want to support, rather than trying to scare or gross out someone like me (who knows better) with propaganda, or influence me so I am not steering pregnant women with pregnancies they want to sustain away from actual healthcare, why not seize that common ground where we have it — and sound maternal care should be an easy gimme — and support the things that actually help women and children?


    Seriously, that’s such an easy and necessary place to start. And before you leap to saying I haven’t started there myself, again, bear in mind you are talking to someone who has worked in education from ECE to the education I do now, who has gotten some of the most vulnerable women who want their pregnancies, often with the least resources and support, referrals to sound maternal healthcare many, many times over the years.  So, if you want to look to someone who hasn’t acted in these kinds of interests, look to websites like the one you linked to, not to folks like me.

  • truth

    Listen/Watch this:

    I hope and prayer for all of you and your country.

    The bottom line is that Abortion hurts women. If you are an advocate for women, then you have to stand up and help women. Abortion will not help the woman, the child within their womb or society in general because it promotes the killing of innocent human beings. I am glad to hear women who admit to themselves and others that they would not have another abortion because of the horror it has created in their lives. Admitting the wrong is the first step to healing. I pray for the other women reading this (who have had abortions) to stop looking for justifications for your decision to kill and start admitting that what you did was wrong on many different levels. You will be forgiven, but you have to humbly and with a contrite heart ASK FOR FORGIVENESS and amend your ways going forward. Instead of helping others commit the same sin – dedicate your time to helping those women in need of our support to raise their child(ren). Your child is looking down from Heaven hoping and praying for you to make the right decision – ADMIT YOUR WRONGDOING, SAY YOU’RE SORRY TO THAT LITTLE ONE, and SHED LIGHT ON THIS DARK PROCEDURE!