Today in the New York Times, Katie Stack writes about her first hand experience with Crisis Pregnancy Centers during her junior year of college. We’ve talked before about how CPCs pretend to be centers where women who are pregnant can come to consider all of their options, but are actually anti-choice fronts.
What Katie found is that the CPCs are misleading not only because the staff, who are not medical professionals, wear hospital style uniforms, but also because they scare women about the risks of abortion in order to influence them away from their choice to have one.
I am intimately aware of how false that is. Like many young women, I found myself facing an unintended pregnancy. Two years ago, as a junior in college with ambitious career goals, I knew that continuing the pregnancy wasn’t an option for me. I called the local Planned Parenthood and made an appointment for an abortion for a week and a half later. The operator I spoke to encouraged me to spend time thinking over my decision and considering all my options.
I tried to do that. Because my communication with Planned Parenthood had been over the phone and the nearest office was in Iowa City, about an hour away from where I lived, I searched online for somewhere nearby where I could ask questions in person. I found Aid to Women, a center in Cedar Rapids that claimed to provide confidential counseling and abortion information. I knew it didn’t perform abortions, but I still went expecting to get unbiased medical advice.
When I walked in, I knew almost immediately that I’d been wrong. Though the volunteers wore scrubs, none of them were medical professionals. They insisted on calling my pregnancy my “baby” and my “child.” The intake questions included, “What is your relationship to Jesus Christ?”
As defenders of these CPCs head to lobby Congress this week, it’s important to call out not only the propaganda and false information that they are spreading but also the damage this may cause in the lives of so many women who may not be able to seek out accurate information for themselves as Katie did.
Read the rest of Katie’s very important op-ed here.