Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Misleading women in vulnerable situations

 We all know that the political divide over abortion rights runs deep.  Political disagreement is one thing.  Outright lying and exploitation of women in vulnerable situations is quite another.  Change.org ran a story yesterday that everyone should read.  Here's the gist of it:

 ..a new investigative video reveals a disturbing trend of fake family planning clinics around the country, called Crisis Pregnancy Centers, which advertise themselves as providing "abortion services" only to give false medical information to women in order to pressure them not to have an abortion.

This deception was initially documented in a Congressional report which found that 87 percent of the 3,500 Crisis Pregnancy Centers nationwide misinform women about birth control and reproductive rights. This includes telling women that abortion will dramatically increase their risk of breast cancer, could impact their future fertility, and may cause them severe mental health problems — all statements that have been discredited by major medical and scientific bodies.

There is also documentation of the use of an alarming tactic of telling pregnant women considering an abortion that they're not actually pregnant, hoping that by the time these women realize they are, it will be too late for them to access an abortion.
Some communities like Austin, Texas have responded by voting into law a measure that will require Crisis Pregnancy Centers to post signs stating that they do not provide information on abortion or comprehensive birth control. And other cities are passing similar truth-in-advertising measures.

This is a hopeful sign.  But many of these fake clinics still receive millions of dollars from the government for providing family planning services.   A movement Congress to withhold these funds is gaining momentum.  Write to your legislators and tell them to keep this momentum moving.

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