The latest battle over abortion may have less to do with the magical age of viability, or how close pro-life activists are permitted to get to an abortion mill. It may actually be fought over the existence of crisis pregnancy centers, instead.
A current billboard campaign in Denver is, for example, warning pregnant women about what pro-lifers have long perceived to be an integral service when it comes to unexpected pregnancy. Crisis pregnancy centers, which first started cropping up in the early 1970s, exist to provide women with free pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and a referral to a physician. Oftentimes they will provide diapers and other assistance, in their mission to dissuade women from obtaining abortions. But not everyone thinks that’s such a good idea. Sponsored by the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), the Denver roadside advertisements read, “In Your Neighborhood: Fake Health Center.”
As crazy as it might seem to target organizations that seek to serve the most vulnerable of women, this sentiment is actually nothing new for the Denver metro area. Last year, the far-left organization ProgressNow Colorado (loosely affiliated with COLOR) posted a controversial video to social media, claiming that crisis pregnancy centers routinely “masquerade as medical facilities.”
The two-minute long video features Aubrey, a 40-year-old Denver art teacher, speaking about a past pregnancy. (Spoiler alert: she ended up not only having her baby but also choosing to parent, which makes one wonder why she’s stumping so hard for unrestricted abortion access.) Aubrey tells us that her general practitioner, upon suspecting she was pregnant, referred her to a crisis pregnancy center--where she was met by “no doctors or nurses, just an ultrasound tech”. Upon leaving the CPC, she claims she was offered nothing but a Bible.
To radical progressives this is, of course, proof positive that pro-life efforts at supporting women are not only profoundly tone-deaf, but also downright dangerous. Aubrey has a seizure disorder, making the Bible a woefully inadequate substitute for comprehensive prenatal care. At one point she muses, “...if I had had a seizure while I was pregnant, I could have lost the baby...the fact that they sent me to some crisis pregnancy center where there was no medical staff, that really bothered me.”
Fair enough. But are we really supposed to believe that Aubrey’s referring physician intendedfor her visit to the crisis pregnancy center to replace nine months’ worth of appointments with a licensed obstetrician? Most likely she was referred to the CPC because her doctor is pro-life, and consequently wanted Aubrey to receive a free pregnancy test and ultrasound somewhere otherthan the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.
The video’s real agenda is of course revealed when Aubrey enthuses over how her own mother said she’d support Aubrey no matter what she chose. Aubrey tells us that that--we can reasonably infer she means an openness to abortion here--is the sort of support she needed, but did not receive at the CPC.
And so the relentlessly aggressive promotion of abortion is, of course, the real issue at hand for both ProgressNow Colorado and COLOR. Crisis pregnancy centers ought to be illegal, such organizations believe, precisely and only because they steer women away from abortion.
Beware the Fake Health Centers!
Interestingly however, the controversy here has only just begun. During a portion of Aubrey’s narrative, photographs of local CPCs flash on the screen. Marisol Health Services, with clinics in Lafayette and Denver, is included in the montage of allegedly under-staffed, deceptive clinics.
The problem? Marisol Health actually boasts an entire medical teamcomprised of multiple licensed physicians, nurse practitioners, and a nurse midwife. These doctors have privileges at two different Denver-area hospitals, and offer everything from OB/GYN services to family medicine. Anyone who has ever visited one of Marisol’s clinics (myself included) knows for a fact that Marisol is unrivaled in its compassionate, holistic, and professional approach to women’s health. Marisol Health Services is anything buta Fake Health Center, it turns out.
So a little over a week ago, an attorney for Marisol Health sent a letter to ProgressNow Colorado, demanding they remove the video from all social media platforms within three days, or risk further legal action. As of this writing, the defamatory video remains available, and ProgressNow has (as far as anyone knows) yet to respond to Marisol Health’s attorney.
Progressives would love nothing more than to see good places like Marisol Health disappear altogether. That’s why COLOR is erecting provocative billboards around the city, and why ProgressNow is disseminating manipulative, misleading videos. If these groups can somehow demonstrate that crisis pregnancy centers are indeed harmful to women, then vulnerable, under-resourced mothers will have nowhere to turn but Planned Parenthood.
What an utterly terrifying thought.