Alternet on anti-choice crisis centers

Pandagon’s Amanda Marcotte has a great piece up on Alternet today about anti-choice “pregnancy crisis centers� that pose as abortion clinics, Exposing Anti-Choice Abortion Clinics.
Here’s a telling snippet:

Anti-choice activists openly regard family planning clinics like Planned Parenthood as primarily feminist organizations that just so happen to provide health care. Sarah Wheat of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, who spent a considerable amount of time researching crisis pregnancy centers and has compiled a full report on them, explained that the first crisis pregnancy center was opened in 1967 by Robert Pearson as “the service arm of the anti-choice movement.” Crisis pregnancy centers have a long history of providing the absolute minimum of services required to maintain the illusion that they provide care while they further their actual goal of trying to persuade women out of abortion — sometimes using deceptive methods.
Peggy Romberg recollected that when she worked for Planned Parenthood in the ’80s, crisis pregnancy centers would actually provide shelter to pregnant women right up until the eligible date for legal abortion had passed. They would then turn the women out, and it was Romberg’s agency that was tasked with explaining to these desperate women that it was too late.

Yikes. Amanda goes onto note that many of these “clinics� have no medical staff whatsoever; the only “medical� treatment they offer is a pharmacy-bought pregnancy test. Make sure to read the whole article—it just gets worse.

Join the Conversation

  • Anita

    Reminds me of a koozie I used to have in college. It said, “Reality is the leading cause of depression.” =)

  • Boogieman

    Wait a second, you mean that groups are using the cover of “medical facilities” as a cover to promote a political agenda? That’s unbelievable. I mean Planned Parenthood is providing “medical services” with government funding, but they couldn’t possibly have a political agenda, could they? I mean their mission & policy statements certainly don’t mention any political positions on abortion, sex education, feminism, population control, or other matters of political dispute, do they?
    Guess what people? This is America, and the combination of 1st Amendment rights and free enterprise apply to everybody, not just to those you agree with. Get used to it.

  • ema

    So the next time a lay person performs an U/S in their garage and they miss that testicular abscess or torsion, it’s all good, what with the 1st Amendment rights and free enterprise and all.

  • Sara

    Boogieman, the difference is that Planned Parenthood does provide medical services – and that’s what their agenda is. They don’t dress up like doctors to borrow their authority to tell you how to make your own medical decisions – they are doctors who can provide you with medical care and medical information to help you with family planning.

  • Keri

    I had heard that at these “pregnency crisis centers” they often will tell women that she is farther along than the she really is, so she feels it is too late to get an abortion. Simply criminal.

  • Bear

    Question: If you are pregnant and go to Planned Parenthood, do they tell you to have an abortion or do they just lay out your options and the services they provide.
    It may seem naive of me to ask, assuming that a lot of pregnant women who go there are considering or definitely want an abortion. I just don’t imagine doctors there happily killing fetuses as some sort of political agenda, but people concerned about the health of women in a difficult situation.
    It also seems that Planned Parenthood provides a lot of other important and helpful services that never get mentioned because everyone focuses on abortion.

  • Sara

    Bear, I used Planned Parenthood’s services as a teenager even though I was never pregnant. The first time I ever had sex, the condom broke and I was petrified that I’d gotten pregnant. I actually first called a “pregnancy crisis center” because they had so many ads about free this and free that – also, they were in the same town as me. They gave me this weird reception about how sad my situation was as a 15 year old girl wondering how to find out if she’s pregnant. I went to Planned Parenthood later that week and got hooked up with some birth control and a pregnancy test – everything turned out fine, luckily. Anti-choice activists act like Planned Parenthood is pushing abortions on everyone who darkens their door, and in my experience, that’s not true at all. I realize that not all employees of Planned Parenthood are sweetness and light, and there are bound to be some lazy or insensitive folk there somewhere. Still, I don’t know what would be gained from pushing abortion on someone. I get the impression that the anti-choice crowd is simply horrified that PP won’t try and dissuade you from having an abortion, or present it like it’s the option of last resort. It’s the patient’s own goddamn choice, after all.

  • Bear

    Do they offer vasectomies at Planned Parenthood? That would be huge. I’d be there waiting for them to unlock the doors.

  • final repose

    They don’t. But nobody prevents you from actively campaigning to have this offered at Planned Parenthood. As in: *getting off your ass and doing something*.

  • Bear

    Whiner? All I did was ask a question.

  • Sara

    Planned Parenthood does offer vasectomies. Each clinic does not but they do indeed offer them at some. This is directly from their website: Planned Parenthood is not just for women. Men need sexual healthcare, too. Services for men include STD testing and treatment, HIV testing and counseling, testicular exams and vasectomy.