All is not well in crisis pregnancy centers

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Pregnancy crisis centers are secret anti-abortion centers that mislead and misinform women with unwanted pregnancies, sometimes with the use of public funds, especially federal family planning funds. These centers should be held accountable for misleading abortion resources.

Imagine two scenarios. One in which you or a loved one is happily pregnant but does not have the funds or access to safe medical care such as an ultrasound, or the ability to purchase supplies such as diapers for the baby. The other scenario is one in which you or a loved one struggles to find a safe and accessible clinic to perform an abortion. These scenarios are unfortunately both the reality for many women and for those who support the uterus today.

After the Supreme Court Roe vs. Wade in 1973, crisis pregnancy centers, or CPCs, were created. CPCs are pregnancy resource centers that offer pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, counseling, baby diapers and clothing, all accompanied by an anti-abortion message. These “free” resources are provided only in exchange for attending religious workshops or courses.

CPCs say they are not trying to dissuade patients from aborting, they are simply “Encourage people to carry their pregnancies to term rather than having an abortion. “These centers should be required to describe precisely what they offer and what not. Funding should be provided to programs that provide safe spaces for women to access equitable reproductive care, which includes abortion, and denied to women. all crisis pregnancy centers There has been little coverage of these centers in the past, but the passage of the Texas Heartbeat Act makes the presence of CPCs newly relevant.

Emergency pregnancy centers are often located near abortion clinics and attract women with signs indicating that they provide information about the abortion pill or postabortion counseling. However, they provide false information about abortion, telling women that abortion is linked to breast cancer (it is not) or mental health problems (it is not).

It does not help that people seeking abortion care can be referred to these centers. For a while, South Dakota tried – and ultimately failed – require women to consult a pregnancy resource center before going to an abortion clinic. Internet search optimization is apparently used to ensure that CPCs appear first when a user searches for abortion clinics.

For example, when a person searched for “abortion clinic” in their search engine in Texas, the Grapevine Women’s Clinic emerged as one of the first results. The website of this center, like other CPCs, gives the impression that it offers consulting services, information on different abortion methods and even financial assistance for abortions.

In addition, public funding has been granted to centers such as CPCs in the past, nicknamed “providers of social safety nets”, but facilities that offer a more diverse range of services such as family planning clinics have received less funding. Worse still, the Trump administration “Banned groups who perform or refer abortions do not receive federal funds for family planning” through its Title X gag rule. In October 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services under the Biden administration ended the Title X gag rule.

The main goal of emergency pregnancy centers is to make sure that women do not choose abortion. A particularly troublesome aspect of these centers is that blacks who visited these centers were treated with racist assumptions, including that “Abortion is a conspiracy against blacks” and that “black women are not in a position to decide whether or not they want to keep a pregnancy on their own. ”

A UCSF study conducted by Katrina Kimport with patients who attended these resource centers found that 19 of the 21 patients in Kimport’s study were black, and the majority were from low income; many faced other challenges, including homelessness or food insecurity.

These CPCs take advantage of underprivileged populations and have attempted to manipulate black and Latin individuals by referring to their traumatic history. Heartbeat International’s Urban Initiative, an anti-abortion resource center, published a quote from Minister John Pipe: “Oh that the deadly effect of abortion in black and Latino communities, destroying tens of thousands at the hands of white abortionists, explodes with the same reprehensible reputation as lynching.

CPCs provide valuable services to women who continue with pregnancy. Kimport’s study found that some patients who had already decided to continue with their pregnancies were only going to the centers for resources they could not afford. For example, attending a parenting class or watching a parenting movie was worth it five central dollars that could be used for diapers or baby clothes. Although diapers or baby clothes are not normally free, this point system that subjects women to anti-abortion propaganda in order to obtain items that should be considered basic necessities is bogus and abusive.

Overall, these centers are unethical to claim to offer abortion-related services and resources while also acting as another barrier for women trying to access safe abortions. On November 8, federal funds for health clinics providing abortion resources will be restored, and Title X funds will be extend the reach of these clinics to underserved and low-income people women of color. In the meantime, the public must be informed so that those seeking an abortion do not fall into the trap of the schemes of these centers.

Jennifer Phunmongkol is a UC Berkeley alumnus and a graduate student in the Health and Public Interest MS program at Georgetown University. Contact the opinion poll at [email protected] or follow us on Twitter @dailycalopinion.



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