May 13, 2015


"The big anti-choice lie: Crisis pregnancy centers -- tools of the Christian right -- are only good for making women scared and miserable," Amanda Marcotte, Salon: Marcotte writes of a "darkly hilarious expose of crisis pregnancy centers [(CPCs)]" that aired this week on "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee," which "showed how these Christian right organizations lure women seeking abortion by pretending to be women's clinics and offering free pregnancy tests, only to hit them with a bunch of anti-choice propaganda full of lies about how they are supposedly going to suffer and die if they get abortions." Marcotte questions, "Are crisis pregnancy center tactics like lying to women and scaring them with false threats of illness or death effective at persuading women not to abort?" She explains that CPCs often promote stories of women "talked out of abortion" because the facilities' public and private funding depends on "'discourag[ing]' abortion." However, according to Marcotte, "[I]t appears that CPCs are being just as dishonest with their funders as they are with the women who walk in their doors." She cites a Rewire article that examined CPC-collected client data and found "'[o]f the 2.6 million clients who visited crisis pregnancy centers since 2004, 3.52 percent ... decided against having an abortion.'" Marcotte writes the findings are not surprising to abortion-rights supporters and doctors who know "[i]f women can't get [an abortion] safe and legally, they'll get it on the black market or, worse, do it themselves. That's how determined women are to control their own child-bearing." According to Marcotte, CPCs continue to deceive women despite knowing their tactics will largely fail because "preventing abortion has never been and will never be the actual goal of CPCs, no matter what their fundraising materials might say." She writes, "The real purpose is to shame women for having sex and to spread stigma over abortion, contraception, and any non-procreative sexual activity." Marcotte continues, "The misogynist agenda is why most CPCs don't offer any services that are proven to prevent abortion, such as offering contraception" and in fact "go out of their way to scare women about contraception, too." She writes, "It's all a lie, but shows that the real goal here is not 'life', but about delegitimizing medical care that allows women to have sex without fear of [unintended] childbearing." Marcotte concludes, "While they suck at preventing abortion, CPCs are real champions at making women cry. It's time to admit that it's because women's tears, not healthy babies, is what CPCs are all about" (Marcotte, Salon, 5/11).

What others are saying about crisis pregnancy centers:

~ "'Crisis pregnancy centers are just plain a--holes': Samantha Bee and Patton Oswalt expose fake abortion clinics," Antoaneta Roussi, Salon.