Idaho’s state senate may vote as early as today on a bill that will force women to get a medically unnecessary ultrasound before terminating an unwanted pregnancy. Anti-abortion activists say forcing a woman to have an ultrasound gives her “more information” before an abortion. Pro-choice activists and doctors say this is just another a tactic to restrict middle- and low-income women’s access to abortion, as the additional cost can be prohibitively expensive for women who already may be struggling to pay to end an unwanted pregnancy.
And guess who would love to jump in and “help” with that financial conundrum? Idaho’s so-called “crisis pregnancy centers,” which offer free ultrasounds to women but are staffed by anti-abortion activists — not actual doctors! — who will do everything, including lie to women, to stop them from terminating a pregnancy. Several cities around the country have actually passed legislation to thwart CPCs from misleading women.
So, to recap: Idaho women would be forced by law to have an ultrasound and if they cannot afford that ultrasound, the only place they could get one for free would be from anti-abortion activists.
Let’s have a big round of applause for women’s health care in America, everybody!
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First Resort, a so-called “crisis pregnancy center” in San Francisco, has until the end of the month to change its advertisements misleading women about abortion-related services — or else. “Crisis pregnancy centers” often look like women’s health clinics and advertise about pregnancy counseling and services; they claim to help women pay for prenatal care and give them free diapers and other baby supplies. However, CPCs are frequently run by religious organizations and don’t have actual medical professionals on staff; instead, they “counsel” women to not have abortions. Thus, the SF city attorney sent First Resort a cease-and-desist letter warning them about its ads that “appear to be designed to confuse or mislead consumers.” The SF Supervisor Malia Cohen also introduced an ordinance on Tuesday that would punish CPCs for using misleading statements in their ads that make it seem like they provide abortion or counseling for abortions. Keep reading »
Yesterday, I talked about Florida’s “Woman’s Right To Know Act,” which sounds all lovely and innocuous but is actually this Orwellian-named, anti-abortion bill that would require women, including rape and incest victims, to see an ultrasound of their fetus before an abortion. Oh. Ugh. So-called “crisis pregnancy centers” — which can also be called innocuous-sounding “pregnancy help centers” or “pregnancy care centers” — take the cake for Orwellian names. America’s 3,000+ CPCs portray themselves as “clinics” to help women with unwanted pregnancies. However, they are often run by and/or almost entirely bankrolled by anti-abortion activists or Christian groups and despite occasionally owning an ultrasound machine, have no medical professionals on staff. As Slate.com’s Explainer, um, explains, a 2006 investigation by Congress even found some CPCs tell women over the phone that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer, which a lil’ something called the National Cancer Institute says is not true. Keep reading »
South Dakota, South Dakota, South Dakota. What are we doing to do with you? Governor Dennis Daugaard, a Republican, has signed an extreme bill that will require women seeking an abortion to wait three whole days after meeting with her doctor for the procedure to be performed. This law will now be the longest waiting period in the nation. The bill also requires women receive pre-abortion “counseling” from so-called “crisis pregnancy centers,” which are anti-abortion groups that try to dissuade women from terminating pregnancies at all costs. A court challenge is expected imminently. But nevertheless, it’s a shameful day for women’s reproductive rights in America. [Reuters, NPR] Keep reading »
You fail at life, South Dakota: the state’s senate has passed a bill that requires a woman wait 72 hours and receive “counseling” from so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” before an abortion. SD’s governor, who is anti-abortion, said he is “inclined” to sign the bill into law. Keep reading »
Some good news, finally: New York City’s City Council voted yesterday to require so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” to be more transparent about their anti-abortion motives to women.
There are different types of CPCs, but many are run by anti-abortion extremists which intentionally appear to look like abortion clinics from the outside but in actuality will dissuade women from ending a pregnancy through any tactic at all. The city council demanded that CPCs inform women on advertising and signs in entrances and waiting rooms that they do not actually provide abortions, emergency contraceptives or prenatal care. CPC employees will also be required to provide that information if asked about it over the phone or in person. NYC’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to sign the bill into law. Keep reading »
South Dakota, will you stop f**king with us? Enough already! South Dakota’s House of Representatives has approved a bill requiring a woman seeking an abortion to be “counseled” first at a so-called “crisis pregnancy center.”
Proponents of the bill say they are trying to assess whether women are being forced to end a pregnancy, as a doctor would have to sign off that the abortion is “voluntary, uncoerced, and informed.” The bill, which refers to the woman as a “pregnant mother” (agenda, anyone?), requires the woman to have pre-abortion counseling and be informed what kind of help is available to them if they continue the pregnancy. The bill also requires the woman to wait 72 hours after first meeting with the doctor who’ll perform the abortion. That time period is what anti-abortion activists claim is giving women time to think, but in reality it makes scheduling the procedure more difficult for working women or women with children, as they have to go to not one appointment, but two. And considering the vast majority of counties in America do not have an abortion clinic, terminating a pregnancy can involve driving long distances in some parts of the country. Keep reading »
At some point in your life, you’ve probably seen a billboard which said something like “Pregnant? Scared? Call us!” You may have thought nothing of it, because you weren’t pregnant or even sexually active yet. In New York City, home to over 8 million people, signs like these depict a young, concerned-looking women under the words “Free abortion alternatives.” They advertise the 12 various E.M.C. FrontLine Pregnancy Centers around the city which are “crisis pregnancy centers”; the city also has four other CPCs.
Indeed, they offer “abortion alternatives,” if you could even call them that. “Crisis pregnancy centers” are actually anti-abortion organizations, often run by pro-life groups, and do not actually provide a full range of reproductive health services for women. They sometimes offer sonograms for pregnant women. However, they are not necessarily staffed by licensed medical professionals and do not provide family planning (like birth control pills) or referrals for abortions. Keep reading »