Christian ‘Pregnancy Crisis Centers’ Masquerading as Health Clinics Tell Women Abortion Causes Cancer and Infertility – And You’re Helping Pay for Them – Published on AlterNet, by Ted Cox, May 29, 2010.
… Cole’s undercover visit was just one of many carried out by NARAL volunteers over a two-year period. The results of those visits will be released in a report next month. And the visits mirror a problem playing out across the nation: with the help of federal and state funding, CPCs’ mostly unlicensed staff uses deceptive marketing tactics to spread false or misleading information about abortion and contraception, all with little or no outside or government regulation.
CPCs have been around for decades. Most of the 2,300 CPCs in the country operate under three umbrella groups: Care Net, Heartbeat International and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA). In exchange for a membership fee, the umbrella groups provide CPCs with literature, legal and fund-raising advice, and discounts at national conferences.
NARAL California began investigating CPCs after hearing stories from women who, looking for help for an unplanned pregnancy, ended up in a CPC instead. Thinking they were entering a full-service family-planning clinic (many CPCs set up shop in the same office center or across the street from legitimate health clinics) these women were surprised to find counselors who tried to talk them out of abortion.
NARAL staff decided to check them out.
“The first part, which was actually sort of challenging, was identifying them,” said NARAL Pro-Choice California National Director Amy Everitt. “They do a really good job of changing their names and portraying themselves as something they’re not.”
They found CPCs with names similar to Planned Parenthood or other comprehensive health clinics … //
…On the federal level, 33 members of Congress and five senators have co-sponsored the “Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women’s Services Act,” which would empower the Federal Trade Commission to sanction CPCs that promote themselves as offering comprehensive reproductive health services.
Still, for the most part, CPCs operate across the country with little or no independent or government regulation.
NARAL California hopes this latest report will help bolster efforts to pass legislation forcing CPCs to disclose their pro-life, anti-abortion stance.
Alexa Cole worries about the young, frightened women who enter CPCs being denied their right to accurate information – and being dissuaded from their right to choose.
“Of course, I know better. But for a young woman who doesn’t know more?” (full long 3 pages text).
(Ted Cox is a Sacramento writer and professional troublemaker. He is writing his first book about going undercover in “ex-gay” sexual reorientation therapies. See: What Happened When I Went Undercover at a Christian Gay-to-Straight Conversion Camp, April 22, 2010).