Are you sitting down? I hope you are, for safety’s sake, because you are about to receive the shock of a lifetime.
Pregnancy centers—or “CPCs” as NARAL Pro-Choice America likes to call them—have been caught red-handed gearing their free, community-supported services to “women with unplanned pregnancies who are considering abortion.”
Turns out pregnancy centers exist for the primary purpose of serving pregnant women. What gave us away?
The revelation comes courtesy of NARAL’s Colorado state chapter in its Jan. 6 diatribe, “Against Our Will: How National Anti-Choice Groups are Targeting the Pro-Choice Majority in Colorado,” which follows similar state-level “reports” produced in Connecticut and California. Each state-level paper draws from a March 2015 attack by NARAL’s national wing.
Coming at a unique time for the abortion discussion in Colorado—just two months after the shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs and in the midst of a continuing effort to defund the Abortion Goliath—the report’s release also predated a strange turn of events where NARAL slammed U.S. House Minority Leader and noted abortion supporter Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for saying she’s “not for abortion on-demand” in a Jan. 13 interview.
A laughable cacophony of the abortion lobby’s favorite attacks on pregnancy centers, the report enumerates several grievances against the life-affirming outreaches that out-number abortion clinics at a 3-1 rate both nationally and in the state of Colorado.
Targeting Pregnant Women
Michelle Bisbee was one woman “targeted” by a pregnancy center back in July of 2013. Pregnant and living with a drug dealer, Michelle felt haunted by a past abortion and the four miscarried babies she and her ex-husband had endured.
When she told the baby’s father she was pregnant, she thought he would react with tenderness and support. She was wrong.
“On a daily basis I was hurt physically, emotionally, and mentally,” Michelle writes. “I vividly remember being locked in a room for three days without food. I was wrong to think that the abuse would stop once he knew I was expecting his child. He would lock me up and then return to beat me, accusing me of cheating on him while he was gone.”
In her desperation, Michelle reached out to her family, who connected her with a pregnancy help center called, “The Open Door.” She scheduled an ultrasound at the center and, after seeing her son’s heartbeat and watching him wave at her on the screen, Michelle dug in for the journey to motherhood.
The Open Door turned out to be a lifeline for Michelle, before, during and now long after what turned out to be a tumultuous pregnancy. In fact, she and her son, Jackson—along with five other moms—are traveling to Washington, D.C. to tell her story directly to her congressional representatives Jan. 21 with Heartbeat International’s Babies Go to Congress.
That’s what happens when pregnancy centers “target” women in unexpected pregnancies.
In stark contrast, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains has been under fire since early August, 2015, when a young girl came forward with allegations that the Denver Planned Parenthood staff enabled her step-father to continue sexually assaulting her, and aborted her baby when she was just 13 years old.
[Click here to subscribe to Pregnancy Help News!]
The gap could not be wider. Pregnancy centers do in fact “target” their services to pregnant women and girls. But so does Planned Parenthood. So do other abortion clinics. That, in and of itself, is more of a feature than a flaw.
The main difference is what happens inside.
Unlicensed, Unregulated… Unwashed
The report’s section detailing the alleged abuses of pregnancy centers on the citizens of Colorado—whose lawmakers adopted a state resolution honoring pregnancy centers in 2015—opens with a rather bleak statement on NARAL’s assessment of the organizations.
Following up portions lamenting the very existence of Americans United for Life and Alliance Defending Freedom, the report introduces pregnancy centers with the following sentence:
Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) are a national network of generally unlicensed, unregulated religious extremist anti-choice organizations posing as comprehensive health care clinics, organized by the anti-choice movement to discourage women from choosing abortion.
In other words, there’s a group of religious crazies out there, playing an elaborate game of bait-and-switch by starting up pretend abortion clinics. “[G]enerally unlicensed, unregulated religious extremist anti-choice organizations”—it’s a wonder the word, “unwashed” doesn’t appear in this sneering anti-commonsense tirade.
What license or regulation would assuage NARAL’s fury?
The answer seems to be, “none,” considering that nearly half (1,100-plus) of 2,500 U.S. pregnancy help centers actually are licensed by states to perform ultrasound services—including 22 of 59 locations in Colorado.
Tweet This: Big #abortion losing ground to #prolife pregnancy help. #whywemarch @HeartbeatIntl
NARAL’s call for state regulation of pregnancy centers is also a cautious attempt to follow up on the legislation its sister chapter in California pushed through in the so-called “Reproductive FACT Act” in 2015.
The law, which is being fought in courts, forces pregnancy centers and licensed pro-life medical clinics alike to post signage directing their clients where and how they can abort their child on the taxpayer’s dime.
While NARAL’s California director has said she is not satisfied with the reach of the current regulation, it seems Colorado’s state chapter has designs on following the Golden State’s example.
Inappropriate Support and Information
As if any one allegation could be more damning than pointing out the fact that pregnancy centers serve pregnant women, “Against Our Will” also alleges that CPCs fail to “provide appropriate support and information” to women in surprise pregnancies.
What free services does a pregnancy center have to offer? Let’s look back to Michelle’s story above and see if we can compile a list: ultrasound, peer options counseling, parenting classes, material support, referrals to other community resources, emotional and relational support before, during and after pregnancy.
That’s not to mention—since this doesn’t come into play in Michelle’s story—pregnancy testing, short or long-term housing help, job skills training, adoption referrals, or the STI testing that is found at a growing number of pro-life pregnancy clinics.
[Click here to subscribe to Pregnancy Help News!]
There’s only one service missing from the list—but it’s a biggie. Abortion. That, in the twisted mindset of NARAL, is the true litmus test for “appropriate support.” Anything besides abortion is “inappropriate” in this view.
As an advocate group for the abortion industry NARAL is beholden to the notion that abortion is the only answer for a woman facing an unexpected pregnancy. For NARAL, any alternative to abortion is anathema and the product of “religious extremist anti-choice” thinking, as the report asserts.
Neutral Zone Infraction
In what may be the most curious portion of the attack, “Against Our Will” sounds the alarm that life-affirming pregnancy centers are getting too close to Planned Parenthood and other abortion businesses.
“CPCs often set up offices near family planning clinics and/or abortion providers in order to intercept women who might consider abortion,” the report complains.
It’s as if, by purchasing property on which to run a clinic, an abortion business gets to claim ownership of a larger chunk of land in the process. How big a zone should an abortion mill be entitled to beyond its own property line?
Do pregnancy centers get to claim a similar neutral zone and disallow abortion clinics within a certain radius of where we set up shop? If so, game on. Did I mention pregnancy centers already out-number abortion clinics 3-1?
Tweet This: NARAL, #PPAct don't own a woman in crisis pregnancy. She is free to choose life. #WhyWeMarch
Given the name of the report, “Against Our Will,” does it strike you as a bit ironic that the abortion industry is assuming its rightful ownership of all women who may consider abortion as an option?
A woman who is considering abortion chooses—within her own will—to visit a pregnancy center instead of an abortion business. She is, in NARAL’s words, “intercepted.”
Who is harmed here but the abortion clinic itself, which just lost a customer?
Certainly not mothers like Michelle. And certainly not children like her little boy, Jackson.