Crisis Pregnancy Centers: A choice, not an echo

Jennifer Roback Morse
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Posted: Jul 03, 2006 12:00 AM

The Abortion Lobby must be desperate. They evidently feel threatened by little old ladies who give away free baby clothes to women in crisis pregnancies. The Abortion Lobby’s latest hyperventilation calmly titled, “Crisis Pregnancy Centers: An Affront to Choice,” launches a very un-subtle, non-nuanced broadside against Crisis Pregnancy Centers.

After reading a few of the headlines of news stories, published by the Lap Dog media, dutifully publishing Abortion Lobby press releases, I decided to take a look at the study myself, to see if there was any substance to their claims. There isn’t. The study is nothing more than a collection of outrageous whining by the National Abortion Federation.

Crisis Pregnancy Centers (abbreviated CPCs) arose in response to Roe v. Wade. People who felt themselves politically disenfranchised by Roe v. Wade turned their energies toward the private, voluntary sector and tried to make the decision for life as easy and as appealing as possible for women in crisis pregnancies.

Most of the 4,000 Crisis Pregnancy Centers across the country are staffed by volunteers and funded by donations. Many CPCs are small but earnest: little old ladies give away baby clothes and show pregnant women plastic models of fetal development. Other CPCs are full scale medical clinics, with doctors on staff. These CPCs provide pre-natal care, labor and delivery, well-baby visits, parenting classes, and of course, free baby clothes. This variety is exactly what you would expect from a network of volunteer organizations that arise spontaneously in response to an important social need.

So what is the Abortion Lobby’s beef? Crisis Pregnancy Centers mislead pregnant women.

CPCs chose locations close to abortion providers.

Women become confused by the close proximity of a CPC and an abortion provider.

That’s called competition. Besides, the Abortion Lobby has been telling us for years that women are in complete command of themselves at all times. The Abortion Lobby thinks even a thirteen year old “woman” is considered competent enough to choose for herself, without any parental guidance. And now, the National Abortion Federation tells us that these poor hapless women can’t even find their way across the parking lot and into the correct building.

CPCs target women in low-income neighborhoods.

Wait a minute: CPC’s are not “targeting” low-income women any more than the abortion industry is targeting them. It is tacky in the extreme for the abortion Lobby to whine about CPCs locating near abortion clinics, and at the same time to complain that CPCs “target” poor and minority women.

CPCs tell women that abortion will harm them, and this is not true.

The Abortion Lobby claims that Post-Abortion Trauma doesn’t exist. If that is the case, why are counseling programs like Rachel’s Vineyard, filled to capacity weekend after weekend with women seeking healing from their abortions? Are all these women deceived about their own experiences? Surely, women are entitled to hear that there are some risks involved, and consider whether these risks might apply to them.

CPCs trick women into signing adoption papers.

The evidence for this claim is a couple of 10 year old court cases. The Abortion Lobby has no basis for the outrageous charge that CPC’s systematically deceive women into giving up their babies for adoption.

There are more CPC’s than there are abortion providers.

There are over 4,000 CPCs nationwide, and only 2,000 abortion clinics. CPCs represent heart and soul commitment to the cause of helping women in crisis pregnancies. While there are a few networks, most are small, free-standing centers, run by volunteers. By contrast, Planned Parenthood International, the largest provider of abortion services is a multi-million dollar chain.

Tell me: which is the grass roots network and which is the corporate conglomerate?

CPC’s get government money for abstinence programs.

“An Affront to Choice” fulminates over $50 million in federal funding for Title V abstinence-only education programs. They do not mention that Planned Parenthood International gets many times that amount. According to a GAO report, PPI and other family planning organizations received $225 million in fiscal 2001 alone.

CPC’s are financed and supported by religious and private organizations.

What exactly are people of faith supposed to do, rollover and play dead and pretend this issue doesn’t matter? The report complains about private funding of CPCs, mentioning by name Gary Heavin, the CEO of Curves for Women health clubs. They conveniently forget to mention the fact that the Ford Foundation, the Packard Foundation, Ted Turner, Bill Gates and now Warren Buffet contribute to funding abortion. Ted Turner can give billions, but Gary Heavin is suspect?

“An Affront to Choice” is itself an affront to the millions of choices women and men have made to contribute their time and treasure to the cause of helping women choose life. If the Abortion Lobby can’t take the competition, they deserve to lose.