Crisis pregnancy centers must be transparent

Source: The Daily Illini

By Jaime Watts, Columnist

Crisis pregnancy centers are nonprofit organizations that supposedly help pregnant women with counseling, parenting resources, health resources and more. The little-known secret is these centers are actually meant to mislead women seeking abortions — they are their target. Instead of focusing on helping, their primary focus is preventing a woman’s right to choose.

Their goal is attracting women seeking abortions to come to them first and then convince these women to opt out of that option through deception.

The concept of a crisis pregnancy center is beneficial but only in theory. They serve as an option for women who might not yet know what to do and definitely provide insight in navigating those next steps. But they are advertised as resources where a woman can receive an abortion. In reality, this is not the case.

At first, I did not know these crisis pregnancy clinics are fake abortion clinics. After watching a Vice News expose on them and reading a NARAL report, it is clear they are unethical and use the vulnerability of pregnant women in order to push their pro-life agenda.

Of course, abortion is incredibly political, and this is shown in the centers. Most right-leaning states have more crisis pregnancy centers than abortion clinics, and more funding goes toward the pregnancy centers. In Minnesota, “95 percent of Minnesota counties do not have an abortion provider, but there are over 90 CPCs in the state.”

In the Vice News expose, Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York put it perfectly into words: “There isn’t a right to choose if there isn’t access to choose.”

I understand the intention of these centers as a woman’s right to choose is exactly that: Going through with pregnancy or seeking an abortion is entirely up to the woman. But how is it acceptable to mislead women with false information? These clinics claim abortion causes women to become infertile, are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer and suffer severe mental health issues — all of which have been discredited by medical experts. In the Vice News expose, a woman went in for a free sonogram and appointment where the staff lied about how far along she was in order to prevent her from getting an abortion.

These centers are usually conveniently located by abortion clinics, and many women accidentally walk into the pregnancy center thinking it is the abortion clinic.

However, in Illinois, there is a law stating “medical providers must inform patients about all available medical options, including abortion and contraception, even if the nurse or physician has faith-based or moral objections.” While this does somewhat keep CPCs in Illinois from lying to their patients, the law received a lot of legal challenges from the faith-based crisis pregnancy centers.

Here on campus, there is Planned Parenthood and the Women’s Resource Center. There’s little doubt these resources provide important information and guidance, so students should always keep them in mind.

All women deserve to know what their options are.  They should not be taken advantage of by CPCs.

If a woman goes in intending to keep the child, then I do not see an issue. At the same time, CPCs cannot mislead women who are seeking abortions and give them false information. These CPCs should just advertise as an aid when dealing with pregnancy — not that they provide abortions.

Jaime is a junior in LAS.

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