Roundup: CPCs on the Defensive

NARAL Pro-Choice California has crisis pregnancy centers in a panic over their call for legislation to require the anti-abortion “clinics” to post a sign stating that they do not refer for abortion or birth control.  

“NARAL is really putting pressure” on the crisis pregnancy centers, said Carol Hogan, California Catholic Conference spokeswoman. (inadvertently?) makes an excellent case as to why the legislation should pass:

The cover letter to NARAL’s report on the centers, “Unmasking Fake Clinics: The Truth About Crisis Pregnancy Centers in California,” notes that 41 percent of California counties do not have an abortion provider while 91 percent of California counties have at least one crisis pregnancy center.

“Our daughters, granddaughters, nieces and friends are at risk of unknowingly turning to one of these centers seeking honest and accurate information,” Amy Everitt, NARAL Pro-Choice California state director, said in the letter. “Misleading women, especially those struggling with difficult decisions, is unacceptable.”

Ironically, Vicki Evans, respect life coordinator in the Office of Public Policy and Social Concerns of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, says:

“NARAL’s use of ideology to trump science and medicine is bad enough, but its attempt to pass laws silencing those with opposing views is more alarming,” she said.

Wait a second, “ideology trumping science?” And defending “free speech?” Welcome to an alternate universe, where up is down, wet is dry, and cats and dogs are living together!

Meanwhile, in Baltimore, city officials are defending their notification requirements for crisis pregnancy centers in federal court. Last November, the city passed an ordinance the centers to post disclaimers that they do not provide or refer for abortion or birth control. The archdiocese then sued. The Baltimore Sun reports,

Attorneys from the city defended the law during the three-hour hearing, arguing that the signs protect expectant mothers who are seeking pregnancy information from being misled upon entering centers that oppose abortion.

Lawyers for the archdiocese argued that church counselors shouldn’t be forced to talk about procedures they disagree with, because any mention of abortion goes against what the church believes. Attorney David Kinkopf said the church was being targeted because of specific services it does not recognize as options, while other organizations were not mandated to offer alternative services, such as adoption.

But one of the arguments from the church is that they really DO provide birth control:

Sean Caine, Communications Director of the Archdiocese, says the law forces centers to say they don’t provide birth control, when they actually do.

“They provide education on abstinence,” says Caine. “They also provide information about natural family planning, which are both medically recognized as forms of birth control.”

U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis is expected to make a ruling in a few months, but he said that “he believes people should know what services pregnancy centers offer and compared the law to the recently passed national legislation requiring credit companies to disclose interest information on long-term minimum payment plans.”

Mini-Roundup: The state of Utah has created a new website for young women’s health, that among other things, tells pre-pregnant women that “smart gals know when to take their vitamins.” Also, alcohol makes you ugly. Tell us, spokesperson, why is such a site necessary?

Many young women, “having relied on their mothers all their lives for maintaining health checkups and eating correctly, they leave home and they’re struggling with being able to assume that responsibility for themselves,” said Lois Bloebaum, who oversees the health department’s Maternal & Infant Health Program.

Our link issue is mostly squared away. Thank you for your patience!

August 4 and 5

Let’s have more nuanced debate on Kenya’s proposed constitution – The Guardian

Women’s groups to Congress: Allow ‘safe and legal abortion’ – GMA

Teaching our children about the ‘S’ word – The Express Tribune (blog)

Abortion ‘common among teenagers’ – Daily Nation

Keep the faith, Ms. Rice – change the venue – Washington Post (blog

‘Trust Women’ License Place Moves to Production Phase – Sun Gazette

GOP Senate candidate: No abortion in cases of rape or incest – Washington Post (blog)

Rights Group Denounces Illegality of Abortion in Philippines – New York Times

Watchdog rejects abortion ad complaints – Netdoctor

Archdiocese Of Baltimore Sues City Over Pro-Life Abortion Centers – WAMU

Arguments over city pregnancy center law heard in court – Baltimore Sun

Vote in Kenya: Why U.S. Abortion Debate has Become a Factor – ABC News

Elena Kagan twisted abortion statement – Chicago Daily Herald

Charges Dropped Against Man Arrested While Praying Outside Chicago Abortion Clinic – FOXNews

Marino questions Carney’s abortion stand – Wilkes Barre Times-Leader

No apologies for being consistently pro-life – Washington Post (blog)

Free condom plan for students – Herald Sun

Sanjay legacy hurts family planning drive – India Today

NJ Effort To Override Cuts To Family Planning Fades; Ill. Faces Budget Cuts To … – Kaiser Health News

HIV-positive woman again charged with prostitution – Salt Lake Tribune

Texas: Thousands Treated to Free Concert for Knowing Their HIV/AIDS Status –

AIDS activists stage mock funeral in front of Pelosi’s house (VIDEO) – San Francisco Chronicle (blog)

South Carolina Prison Chief: Lawsuit Coming Over HIV Inmates –

AIDS 2010 for Dummies: An Entertaining Review –

China’s Prostitutes Rally For Legalization – Huffington Post (blog)

Into the Breach, Clad in Adolfo – New York Times

January Jones “Sucks It Up” for Emmy – ABC News

Woman shackled during labor ordered deported – Knoxville News Sentinel

Childbirth: Respiratory Distress in Premature Infants – New York Times

Watch Tower: A boon to new born life – Central Chronicle

Pitt County Hosts 2010 World Breastfeeding Celebration – WNCT

Working Moms Are Fine for Kids – New York Times (blog)

Tracing the Roots of Obesity Back to the Womb – TIME

AG to rule on Planned Parenthood funding question – News 8 Austin

Forsyth employees left guessing on abortion coverage – The Progressive Pulse (blog)

New measure allows licensed midwives to work independently – Glens Falls Post-Star

‘Crunchy Moms’ turn to Mother Earth – Dekalb Daily Chronicle

California pro-life pregnancy centers fight moves to regulate speech – The Catholic Review

IVF treatment: regulate, then fertilize – Globe and Mail

State aims to improve women’s reproductive health before pregnancy – Salt Lake Tribune

Program targets younger sisters of teen moms – Longmont Daily Times-Call

MTV reality star sisters to speak at teen summit – The News Journal

Sarah Palin’s daughter to speak at Sept. 28 Right to Life event in Visalia – Visalia Times-Delta

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

For more information or to schedule an interview with contact

  • crowepps

    Lawyers for the archdiocese argued that church counselors shouldn’t be forced to talk about procedures they disagree with, because any mention of abortion goes against what the church believes.

    Just what do they think the circus they regularly host outside Planned Parenthood is all about? Boy howdy, if a person had no clue that abortions were done there the gaggle of praying nuns and gross signs and people screaming about it sure would advertise “procedures they disagree with”.


    I laughed out loud at the idea that ‘abstinence’ is a ‘medically recognized’ birth control procedure. I suppose ‘early withdrawal’ is also a ‘medically recognized’ birth control procedure as well.

  • saltyc

    Now now withdrawal has been under-appreciated. If it is used right, it does work:

    Just wanted to defend mine and some of my friends’ BC of choice, it works folks. Yes pills and devices should be available and free, but don’t dismiss withdrawal out of hand. It’s especially effective as a second method, for instance a condom and withdrawal can be a very effective method, without any hormonal side-effects.

  • crowepps

    However, since that ‘method’ was around since Onan, long before there WERE any doctors, I think a claim of it being ‘medically accepted’ would be stretching it.

  • arekushieru

    Except that, again, one, like in the case of abstinence, one must rely on faulty mechanisms.  When do I withdraw, have I really withdrawn at the right time, how consistently is it actually used, etc, etc….


    But, here, crowepps: Yet there is a general reluctance among health care providers and individuals alike to consider withdrawal as a viable method of contraception—;  If health care providers are reluctant to consider it a viable method of contraception, wouldn’t that mean that it isn’t medically accepted? 


    Just wanted to point that out, guys!  Not meant to detract from any one person’s chosen method.  ><; 

  • waterjoe

    U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis is expected to make a ruling in a few months, but he said that “he believes people should know what services pregnancy centers offer and compared the law to the recently passed national legislation requiring credit companies to disclose interest information on long-term minimum payment plans.”

    This reasoning would work in favor of requring abortion providers to follow a legislative script of disclosures about abortion.

  • squirrely-girl

    If you have had a baby in the last six months, are breastfeeding around the clock, and have not started having periods again, chances are you are not ovulating.


    Ummmmmmm… just loving the “chances are” wording. But you ovulate BEFORE you have your period and most medical providers will tell you not to count on this as an effective method of birth control. I know more than a few couples with a, “but she was breastfeeding…” baby :/

    Fertility awareness requires a calendar and thermometer to track ovulation.

    Fertility awareness is effective if calculated correctly.

    At least they mentioned the need for a thermometer and made an “if” statement :/ But unlike them, I would recommend talking to a health care provider about this method if you’re honestly hoping to use it “correctly.” Personally, I think telling women to just abstain on their “fertile days” is misleading. 

    According to Roger W. Harms, M.D. (Mayo Clinic obstetrician and medical editor-in-chief), 

    The life span of sperm after ejaculation depends on the environmental conditions. Sperm ejaculated into a woman’s vagina can live in a woman’s reproductive tract for up to five days or perhaps even longer. Fertilization is possible as long as the sperm remain alive. Sperm ejaculated outside the body may survive only minutes to a few hours.


    So much for avoiding just the fertile days… sounds more like a two week commitment if you really want to be sure :( 


    The Implant, the Depo-Provera shot, birth control pills, the patch, and vaginal rings all work in much the same way. They contain hormones that prevent ovulation, or the release of an egg from the ovaries. They also thicken the cervical mucus, which blocks sperm from entering the uterus

    This isn’t completely accurate either. Very low dose progestin-only contraceptives (mini-pill, Norplant, IUDs like Progestasert and Mirena) are actually rather inconsistent in inhibiting ovulation (only about 50%) and mostly rely on the cervical mucus thickening process. Intermediate doses (Implanon) allow some follicular growth but are a lot better at inhibiting (97-99%) and high doses  (primarily injectables like Depo) completely inhibit follicular development and ovulation. Likewise, listing IUDs as barrier methods when Mirena contains hormones is misleading.


    On a side note, I think the tendency to conflate all forms of birth control pills into the singular “The Pill” is a real problem. There are big differences between the many versions and pills like the mini-pill absolutely HAVE to be taken like clockwork to be at all effective whereas others have a little more “wiggle room.”



  • saltyc

    Except that what CPC’s are required to disclose is undenied fact. They do not claim to offer abortion or BC. Nobody contests that fact.

    That does not mean that you now can force anyone to say whatever you think is real or whatever legislators think is real or voters, when it has not been established as fact outside of your church or website.

  • ahunt

    This is already happening. See South Dakota abortion provider law.

    The distinction is that the legislated scripts require providers to lie to their patients.

  • arekushieru

    I actually have a relative by marriage who believed that if she was breastfeeding, she wouldn’t get pregnant.  But there is a bit more to the story.  She and my relative had been trying for years to have children.  They eventually ended up adopting.  But, a few years after that, she got pregnant.  She continued the pregnancy and breastfed the baby for about 8 months, then realized she was pregnant, again.  My relative and his wife now have 3 very wonderful boys. 


    But, I do wonder if the infertility in her earlier years, played a part in her belief that she wouldn’t get pregnant so easily? 

  • progo35

    I think it’s disgusting that you obviously want to hurt anyone whose methods of helping pregnant women don’t concur with yours. You lump all CPCs into one basket to suit your ideology. It’s deplorable.

  • crowepps

    The phrase used was not medically EFFECTIVE or medically VIABLE or medically ACCEPTED but instead the weasle words “medically recognized”.  As in: is there some possibility, however slim, that this MIGHT prevent pregnancy?  Sure there is.  Heck, I think it is ‘medically recognized’ that cutting back on the BOOZE might prevent pregnancy, but I’ve never heard any doctor suggest THAT as a method of ‘birth control’.

  • arekushieru

    How do you think anyone helps pregnant women by scarifying and shaming them into a decision against their will?  Rather that HURTS pregnant women.  And ‘hurting’ (in quotes for reasons that will be explained in the following shortly) someone who does that by making them be upfront about the services they DO provide (which abortion clinics are alREADy doing), AS SaltyC mentioned, is neither ACTually hurting someone NOR is it deplorable or disgusting to discontinue (them). 


    You haven’t mentioned ONE CPC that has been able to do that.  If you were really concerned about actually making this as deplorable and disgusting as you deemed it was, I would have thought that you would have addressed the actual issue at hand.  But, no, you go on a tangent, that then makes truth and honesty seem deplorable and disgusting because it might cut into someone’s business profits.  Now THAT is truly disgusting and deplorable.  

  • arekushieru

    My point still stands, (and, thus, yours) though, crowepps.  In order to be medically recognized, it has to be a practice that is deemed such by the medical profession.  :D

  • crowepps

    Having cancer is ‘medically recognized’ but that isn’t at all the same thing as medically RECOMMENDED.

  • arekushieru

    You aren’t contradicting anything I’m saying, anyways….  :)  Cancer is *medically* recognized and unrecommended, because *health care providers* have put their support behind recognizing it and making it unrecommended, just as family planning methods are not *medically* recognized OR recommended because *health care providers* have not put their support behind recognizing and recommending it.