Pro-Life Laws

This Resolution To Support Anti-Choice ‘Pregnancy Crisis Centers’ In Ohio Is Infuriating

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scared pregnant woman

Lawmakers in Ohio recently introduced a problematic resolution to honor “pregnancy resource centers,” aka pregnancy crisis centers. These centers claim to provide “counseling” for pregnant women, but unfortunately this counseling usually little more than anti-choice propaganda. Not only that, but according to a 2013 report from NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, these centers rarely perform actual medical services (only two percent out of the more than 100 centers investigated) and often dispense medically inaccurate information.

According to the wording of the resolution, titled HCR 52, its aim is “to recognize the valuable work of pregnancy resource centers and their positive, life-affirming impact on women, men, babies, and communities.”

I have a serious problem with the idea that these centers are “life-affirming” or positive in any way. From my experience, they tend to advertise in low-income areas and specifically target young, impressionable women during what is probably the most difficult period of their lives. I know this because I was one of those young women. I was 19, newly pregnant and scared as hell. So I called the nearest pregnancy crisis center expecting objective advice from a medical professional. What I got instead was an hour-long guilt trip from a “counselor” with no medical training. I also received a pamphlet on the evils of abortion and birth control (Abortion causes cancer! The pill will make you sterile!) and a tiny little onesie to bring home with me. You know, to remind me that it’s a person, not a choice.

In the end, I did choose to continue my pregnancy, not because of some guilt-laden lecture from a crisis center employee, but because it was the right decision for me and my partner. I am all for giving pregnant women information on all of their choices, but it’s important to do so without the lies and bullshit found at pregnancy crisis centers. A woman who is trying to decide whether or not to have a child should be talking to a doctor, not a questionable “counselor” with an agenda.

According to the NARAL, here are some of the lies pregnancy crisis centers have been known to tell:

  • Abortion causes cancer (breast, ovarian, you name it)
  • Abortion is always psychologically scarring
  • Abortion can make you sterile
  • Birth-control pills and other hormonal BC methods cause abortion/sterility/global warming (okay that last part might be exaggerated, but you get my point)

I would be less hostile to the idea of pregnancy crisis centers if they would drop the bullshit and call themselves what they really are; pro-life pregnancy centers, or better yet anti-choice pregnancy centers. If the folks who run these things actually believe that their way is right, then why all the subterfuge and lying? Why advertise where abortion providers advertise, and why try to pretend you’re a medical facility when you’re not?

The very worst part is that these pregnancy crisis centers are almost exclusively run and operated by conservative republican types who preach their pro-life agenda in one breath, while lobbying against funding for low-income families in the next. They want you to shun abortion, and have unwanted children because “all life is sacred,” but once that kid’s popped out, he’s on his own, because his life ain’t THAT sacred.

If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem, and when you’re lying to scared, young pregnant women about abortion and birth control, you are absolutely a part of the problem. Here’s a novel idea, Ohio lawmakers! Why don’t you spend less time supporting religiously-affiliated pregnancy “help centers” and more time supporting comprehensive sexual education so that less unwanted children are conceived in the first place? Crazy, I know.

(Photo:  Paul Schlemmer/Shutterstock)