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Crisis Pregnancy Centers Laws

Should Crisis Pregnancy Centers Clarify Anti-Choice Stance?

I briefly volunteered on a postabortion hotline. The idea was plenty of women who identify as pro-life have abortions (and, trust me, there are plenty), and even the most pro-choice people could feel regret afterward. Hard calls would start like this: "I don't believe in abortion, but . . ."; and the worst calls would start with "I killed my baby." It's pretty much impossible to comfort a woman from there.

So crisis pregnancy centers, pro-life advocacy organizations disguised as pregnancy options counseling, stir as much anger as I can muster for something I'm not personally involved with. They provide "options counseling" but present abortion as the devil's procedure. Medically disproved "facts" are doled out like aspirin for cramps: the pill causes infertility; condoms don't protect from STDs; and abortions increase the risk of breast cancer, often end in suicide, and cause a fictional disease — postabortion stress syndrome — which is like PTSD but not recognized by medical associations. In the most aggressive cases, they'll come right out and say "God will never forgive you," which I heard echoes of on so many calls.

Now legislation is being proposed in New York City, where a center has conveniently set up shop across from Planned Parenthood. It proposes all crisis pregnancy centers clarify intentions by clearly stating they provide abortion "alternatives." The law would require signs in waiting rooms to say the center does not provide or make referrals for abortions or contraceptives approved by the FDA and be clear if there are no licensed medical professionals on staff.

I say it's a good step — what about you?

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