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 »
A few weeks ago, I was privileged to attend a screening of “12th & Delaware,” a new documentary that screened to critical acclaim at Sundance and debuts tonight on HBO at 9 p.m. (EST). The film examines the fight over reproductive rights in the United States though the lens of an abortion clinic and a so-called “crisis pregnancy center,” which are located across the street from one another in Fort Pierce, Florida. The abortion clinic, which is constantly picketed by protesters, operates under high security and the doctor is driven to and from work every day with a blanket over his head. Meanwhile, the Pregnancy Care Center is run by anti-choicers who purposefully named their business to sound like an abortion clinic and purposefully opened up shop near an abortion clinic to confuse women seeking to end a pregnancy. Keep reading »