An unsuspecting woman suddenly in need of assistance with an unplanned pregnancy, birth control, or facts about her reproductive health may look to a local clinic for help. It is likely to be the first time she has consulted with anyone for these needs. How can she know the information she’ll receive is factual and comprehensive?
She does an online search. A nice-looking clinic is advertising that they help women with these issues, and from the looks of it, the staff is compassionate and well-informed. But what this woman doesn’t realize is that she has reached a Crisis Pregnancy Center with a definite agenda that doesn’t include her best interests.
Crisis Pregnancy Center staff, in their mission to protect the unborn at all cost, feel its okay to lie to pregnant mothers and young women seeking advice about their reproductive health as long as their agenda is successful.
The goal is to coerce pregnant women into carrying the fetus full-term or as a last resort consider adoption. Any woman who asks about terminating a pregnancy is given a laundry list of lies designed to scare her into quickly dispensing with the idea. These clinics also often counsel women against birth control methods and shame them for wanting to have sex if they aren’t married.
Yet these centers advertise that they’ll help pregnant women with their choices and offer ‘educational’ services for women.
The documentary ‘Misconception’ chronicles the experiences of three women who went undercover to centers that advertised they would help women make ‘choices’. Their investigation was secretly filmed and revealed shocking deceit and lies on the part of the centers’ workers.
Many of these ‘centers’ receive government funding. They are careful not to appear anti-abortion in their advertising – because this will bring women into the clinics who are seeking abortions, which they hope to stop. While not all ‘pregnancy crisis centers’ employ these methods, here are some of the lies told to women who venture in either looking for factual counseling, contraception, education or termination:
- One of the women in the documentary was asked “Why do you have sex?” and was then informed that there has to be meaning behind intercourse. “You don’t have sex to make yourself feel good.”
- Condoms are “naturally porous” and do not protect against STDs (This is, of course, untrue)
- “Abortion causes extremely high, increased risk of breast cancer” that “can be as much as an 80% increase depending upon how the risk factors fall into place.” (The National Institute of Health finds no connection whatsoever between abortion and any kind of cancer.)
- 30 percent of women who get abortions die within the first year due to complications. (In fact, the risk of death from childbirth in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy is 11 times greater than that of abortion – after 20 weeks, the risk is the same).
- At one CPC technicians were caught tapping out “messages” from unborn babies (“hi mommy and daddy”) as they perform ultrasounds, making the inference that the first trimester fetus can recognize and even speak to its parents.
- A Jewish woman who posed as a pregnant woman as part of an investigation was told at five centers that she wouldn’t go to heaven unless she converted to Christianity.
- 91% of “services” at Planned Parenthood in 2010 were abortions. (The actual number is about 3%)
- “Birth control and the ‘morning-after pill’ are abortifacients. (meaning they cause abortion)” In fact, they prevent conception from occurring at all.
- One of the women who went undercover for the documentary was given a sonogram, shown a plastic ‘replica’ of a supposedly 12 week old fetus and sternly lectured about morality and religion. The ‘replica’, by the way, was a very small but completely developed doll made to look like a 6 month old baby.
As long as centers reveal they don’t offer counseling which includes the choice of abortion, are clear that they follow an anti-abortion position and religious beliefs, that would be fine. They could also be honest that they don’t condone birth control or sex outside marriage so women can make their own decision about whether or not to visit. Few centers are so straightforward, since they desire to ‘convert’ those who don’t share their opinions.
To use deception and lies to promote a clinic that receives taxpayer funding is reprehensible. Our local ‘Crisis Pregnancy Center’ offers lovely language on their services page, offering to ‘help you make an informed choice’ and offers a ‘friendly, safe, non-judgmental environment for you to talk about your options and ask questions about parenting, adoption and abortion’. Sounds very helpful and open, doesn’t it? The only counseling you’ll receive about abortion is that it is not an option.
Contrary to the erroneous opinion of the well-meaning staff at crisis pregnancy centers, The Clinic!, run by Citizens for Choice and Women’s Health Specialists, does not advocate abortion for every pregnant woman. Abortion is not performed at The Clinic! – instead, women who choose to terminate a pregnancy are referred to the Chico or Sacramento Clinic. Abortion accounts for only about 4% of the total services offered. The Clinic! Offers truly unbiased options based on scientific fact. Women are encouraged to explore all options so they may come to a decision which is right for them. It’s a personal decision- one which is respected by the staff. In fact, education is the primary mission of Citizens for Choice, with a new program launched just this year called ‘Know it and Own it’. According to The Guttmacher Institute, nearly 50% of teens don’t learn about their reproductive health from their parents, and instead, rely on often incorrect information from friends. This program aims to create a generation of teens who are well-informed about their reproductive health and have a sense of empowerment based on knowledge, confidence and acceptance.
Why do we need The Clinic! in our community? It’s the only place where men and women of any age and sexual orientation can truly get unbiased, science-based, medically accurate and comprehensive information and counseling from staff whose only agenda is to help them be empowered and informed.