Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Time Makes Me Want To Throw Things

They published an article about young women making "pregnancy pacts." Then they followed it up with another that ends with a veritable love letter to crisis pregnancy centers.

Click the expandy-thing to read my letter to the editor.

Nancy Gibbs did a disservice to women everywhere with her article "Give the Girls a Break." At the end, she credited so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) with "talk[ing] women out of having abortions and offer[ing] whatever support they can." While they do, in fact, aim to talk women out of abortions, what they offer is far from support.

These centers use scare tactics, pressure, and flat-out lies to keep women from making their own reproductive choices. Many CPCs deliberately position themselves very close to legitimate women's health clinics to cause confusion. They do whatever they can to trick women into entering their "clinic" instead of the real one, then once she is inside they try and scare and brainwash her so she can't make an informed choice. On the phone, they won't give out any information and will insist you visit the clinic.

Frequently CPCs won't even tell a woman whether or not she is pregnant, especially if she says she wants an abortion. They will instead sit her down and tell her all the "evils" of abortion, many of which are completely untrue. Their lobbies and waiting areas are full of religious and anti-choice propaganda, most of which is based on intimidation and blatantly false information. Women who have accidentally entered these places report harassment, as well as being forced to pray with center employees and even being followed home or later hassled by phone or mail. To any woman out there: if you find yourself in one of these centers get out immediately. Don't stop to tell anyone, don't wait for your test results; get out, find a legitimate clinic, and make your own informed decision.

These centers do not, in fact, help women of any age "take responsibility" for having sex. The best way to take responsibility for your sexual activity is to protect yourself with contraceptives, get regular health screenings and keep yourself informed of your reproductive choices, including both carrying to term and deciding to abort. Any choice a woman makes about her pregnancy is taking responsibility, and no woman should ever feel pressured or be lied to in order to sway her decision.

1 comment:

Stella IV said...

ugh. Hells yes. What burns my cookies the most about the kind of "support" offered by CPCs is that it perpetuates the aura of defensiveness that surrounds abortion providers and supporters.

That's what comes from politicizing an issue so profoundly personal: things come to appear bizarrely black & white.

Awesome letter.