The Women's Health Center of West Virginia, a full service health clinic and abortion provider just got a new neighbor, the Women's Choice Pregnancy Resource Center. Women's Choice isn't a health clinic and it doesn't provide medical services. Instead, it offers counseling to try to persuade women not to have an abortion and provides free pregnancy tests, some diapers and some baby clothes. But, would you know the difference just from the names? Imagine how easy it would be for a woman looking for Women's Health Center to walk into Women's Choice instead, thinking, perhaps, that it is an affiliated clinic offering pregnancy and abortion care. It is called Women's Choice, after all, suggesting that it supports choice rather than an ideological anti-abortion agenda. In fact, it used to be called Lifeline of Charleston but changed its name in 2002. Referring to the name change, Sharon Lewis, the executive director of Women's Health Center, noted, "[M]y only conclusion is that that's part of a deceptive practice to get women in there because they're confused, thinking that they're going to a reproductive-health center."
These tactics — locating near an abortion provider, using a misleading name — are all common ways in which Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) try to get women into their doors. Unfortunately, deceptive practices by CPCs are fairly common and they don't stop with advertising and location. Read more »
Traveling on subways in NY, I often saw ads asking if a woman was “alone, scared, pregnant” and suggesting she call a Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC) hotline for help. Spread throughout the city, these seemingly-innocuous English and Spanish ads often faded into the background—designed to capture your attention only if you, a friend, or family member needed help.
Since one in two pregnancies across the U.S. is unintended, women daily face a need for reproductive healthcare that might prompt them to call one of the 2,500 to 4000 CPCs located across the country. Unfortunately, instead of offering transparent, unbiased, comprehensive information that allows a woman to make her own informed choices, CPCs adamantly advocate against abortion regardless of the woman’s life and health circumstances, and needs.
Earlier this month, we told you about a bill introduced in the Alabama House of Representatives that would let bosses use their religion to discriminate against female employees and make decisions about their reproductive health care. Unfortunately, the House passed H.B. 108 last week, and it is scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate today at 11:30 a.m. Read more »
As for me, well, let’s just say that I think I’ve held up pretty well for someone who grew up in the pre-sunscreen era and has two kids under the age of 4. Still, there’s no doubt I have more wrinkles, more aches and pains, and less flexibility than I used to. Read more »
For those of us born after Roe v. Wade was decided the reality of back alley abortions can seem remote. Stories of dirty facilities, infections and even death can sound fantastical to our modern ears. And, yet, they shouldn’t. Worldwide, there are 70,000 maternal deaths each year caused by unsafe abortions. Abortion bans can threaten the health and, even life, of women facing pregnancy complications.
Remember the terribly tragic story of Savita Halappanavar who was refused an abortion at a hospital in Ireland, and died because of it? Some legislators in Michigan evidently think refusing abortion in such cases is not only acceptable, but should not even bring any punishment on the hospital.
Michigan Senate Bill 975 passed the Senate last week – when they locked the public out of the state capitol – and is scheduled to be considered in a House committee this morning. It would allow a hospital to let a pregnant woman die, without risking its license or a lawsuit or even a fine. Read more »
Walsh ignores the reality that abortion is a medical procedure that can save women’s lives or improve their health. With maternal mortality on the rise, restrictive abortion policies that disregard these facts do more than overlook inconvenient truths—they can produce fatal outcomes.
In Ireland, a country with a near total ban on abortion, the procedure could have saved Savita Halappanaver’s life.
Last Wednesday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (PDF) upheld a district court decision finding that a Baltimore ordinance requiring limited service pregnancy centers, also known as crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs), to post completely factual information stating that they “do not provide or make referrals for abortion or birth control services” violated the CPCs’ right to free speech.
According to the Fourth Circuit, the notice would have been compelled speech that required CPCs “to participate in the City’s effort to tell pregnant women that abortions are available elsewhere as a morally acceptable alternative, contrary to the moral and religious beliefs of the Pregnancy Center.” The majority opinion privileges the beliefs of those who oppose abortion over the rights of women to get accurate information by declaring that a mere factual statement that CPCs do not provide or make referrals for abortion or contraceptive services is also a moral statement and endorsement of the opinion that abortions and contraception should be available.
This is false logic. A factual statement is not an endorsement and, in and of itself, does not carry a moral valence. After all, nothing is stopping a CPC from posting a sign stating that it does not endorse abortions or contraception next to the required notice. This sign could even be five times the size of the notice so that there wouldn’t be any confusion regarding the CPC’s moral position. Read more »