Cortney O'Brien

Maryland is an overwhelmingly pro-choice state. With a pro-choice governor and a mostly pro-choice legislature, citizens have managed to keep abortion-regulating legislation outside its borders. Yet, one organization is worried that’s not enough.

NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland’s executive director, Jodi Finkelstein, and education and outreach coordinator Amber Banks, called into the Washington DC-based radio station WPFW today, during a segment called “In Our Voices” with host Nkenge Toure, to discuss their efforts in not only ensuring women's "right to choose," but combating complacency as well in the securely pro-abortion Old Line State.

"Our biggest challenge is we are battling apathy in the state of Maryland."

Their first priority? Inform citizens about crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), which the NARAL representatives describe as giving young women “false medical advice in order to convince them to stay pregnant” and offering their services for free "to lure people in." Banks is also the coordinator of “Its Lies” – a campaign established to expose the dodgy pro-life practices of CPCs. She and Finkelstein listed more of these pregnancy centers’ offenses.

“All of them offer what they call counseling […] free pregnancy tests […] some of them offer ultrasounds […] free diapers, STI services.”

Free diapers? Why aren’t they calling the police!

At least 50 crisis pregnancy centers are present in Maryland alone, NARAL explains. Nationwide, there are thousands – outnumbering abortion clinics 4 to 1.

Despite what Finkelstein and Banks think, crisis pregnancy centers are life-saving organizations that provide young and scared mothers with the encouragement and support they need to not only give birth, but to excel as parents.Yet, Toure didn't hide her suspicion, asking her guests, “Who’s paying for them? How are they funded?"

NARAL explained CPCs are funded by a lot of private donations, religious organizations and some taxpayer money, some of which is thanks to the state’s “Choose Life” license plates. Toure’s response? “Wow."

Don’t even get me started.

If I had to start, it would be with these two words: Planned Parenthood. Not only is Planned Parenthood the largest abortion provider in the country, but it is taxpayer-funded – by many who disagree with their services. What's more, unlike CPCs, the abortion giant is currently under investigation for misuse of funding.

As for NARAL, the representative insisted they are a “very transparent, hardworking non-profit.”

One way NARAL is working to “expose” crisis pregnancy centers is through a bus education campaign in Baltimore, which has the highest number of CPCs in the state. Banks proudly stated, “no one has ever done a bus ad on their side in the pro-choice education sphere.”

Finkelstein explained her decision to launch the bus ads after seeing pro-life advertisements posted on public transportation: “I couldn’t stand seeing that CPC ad day after day, I wanted to do something similar. So, it was the result of my angst sitting in traffic and seeing that ad but doing outreach that will make an impact.”

So, what exactly do their pro-choice ads say?

“It says Crisis pregnancy centers, with the 'Its Lies' website listed,” according to NARAL.

“We’ve had ads on buses for a month and almost 1,000 people visit the website […] We want as many people as possible to be educated.”

The NARAL representatives told listeners about other groups supporting their effort. Some of their partners include local chapters of Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and NOW. They also receive help through funders, granters, and other donations. “We don’t do this alone," she said.

So, there you have it. While crisis pregnancy centers are working to promote a culture of life and offer gracious support to young mothers, NARAL is taking people’s money to fight abortion apathy.

Toure spoke for Marylanders in response to this noble cause:

“Thank you, on behalf of the childbearing population, thank you.”


Cortney O'Brien

Cortney O'Brien is a Townhall web editor. Follow her on Twitter @obrienc2.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography