Why so green and lonely? Everything's going to be alright, just you wait and see.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Pregnancy 'Resource' Centres

Some U.S. congressman organised a test to see whether "crisis pregnancy centres" were giving accurate information to pregnant teens who called them up. These crisis centres are mostly run by religious groups, which is fine, except...
20 of the 23 centers reached by the investigators (87%) provided false or misleading information about the health effects of abortion.
The misleading or dishonest information was broken down into three categories: abortions cause breast cancer, abortions cause fertility problems, and abortions are more traumatic than giving birth. From this article:
Eight centers told the caller that having an abortion would in fact increase her risk. One center said that "all abortion causes an increased risk of breast cancer in later years," while another told the caller that an abortion would "affect the milk developing in her breasts" and that the risk of breast cancer increased by as much as 80% following an abortion.
Seven centers told the caller that having an abortion could hurt her chances of having children in the future. One center said that damage from abortion could lead to "many miscarriages" or to "permanent damage" so "you wouldn't be able to carry," telling the caller that this is "common" and happens "a lot."
However, thirteen centers told the caller that the psychological effects of abortion are severe, long-lasting, and common. One center said that the suicide rate in the year after an abortion "goes up by seven times." Another center said that post-abortion stress suffered by women having abortions is "much like" that seen in soldiers returning from Vietnam and "is something that anyone who's had an abortion is sure to suffer from."
I have no idea what a pregnant teen goes through, but having an impartial person to talk to would obviously help. I mean, maybe some freaked-out boyfriend or parent is pushing for an abortion or whatever. So why do these places have to screw it up with cherry-picked info and outright lies?

I thought this was interesting, from Wikipedia:
Pro-choice advocates have accused crisis pregnancy centers of deliberately misinforming women on abortion and birth control. On March 30, 2006, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) introduced a bill called the "Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women's Services Act", which aims to hold crisis pregnancy centers up to truth in advertising standards.
I think it's hilarious that laws even have to be passed for stuff like that. Just like advertising firms, some religious groups have priorities they put above the teen's own interests, so similar laws have to be put in place to protect teens from disinformation. Some of these places are run by a group now called Care Net, originally the Christian Action Council. This article quotes a spokeswoman from Care Net saying that the breast cancer, fertility and trauma stats are accurate despite scientific consensus saying otherwise. At least they believe what they're telling teens then... I guess.

I googled "pregnancy in London, ON" and exactly two locations showed up within the city limits. Both of them are pro-life groups. The London Crisis Pregnancy Center on Piccadilly St has some insane statistics on post abortion stress; stuff like "65% consider suicide" and "100% feel regret." The other one is Birthright International that has a place on Richmond St. I can't tell from their web site whether they're honest or not:
...use "scare tactics" or pressure.
...show abortion slides or pictures.
...picket or harass abortion clinics.
...lobby for legislative changes or engage in the public debate on abortion.


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