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Ear to the Ground

Sex, Lies and Crisis Pregnancy Centers

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Posted on Aug 8, 2013
abiodork (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

In Virginia, where Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli got the state to sell “pro-life” license plates to raise money for crisis pregnancy centers, women are being blatantly lied to.

An undercover advocate from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia recorded a conversation with a counselor at one of these facilities. During this conversation she was told, among other outrageous things, that condoms don’t protect against STDs due to their porous nature, birth control pills increase the risk of breast cancer, and—brace yourself—she would encounter her aborted child’s soul in the future. “At the end of the world you’re gonna know that was my child that I choose to kill,” a staff member told her.

Sadly, these centers and their lies are not unique to Virginia. Katie McDonough reports at Salon:

Using medical misinformation and anti-choice sermonizing to pressure women out of exercising the full range of their reproductive health options is standard operating procedure at these centers. The audio recorded in Virginia is deeply troubling, but nearly identical to scripts used at these centers elsewhere in the country, as Katie Stack, a 24-year-old reproductive rights advocate, noted in a New York Times editorial about her own experience with a crisis pregnancy counselor in Iowa:

I was cautioned that abortions caused breast cancer, even though the National Cancer Institute has found serious flaws in all research that suggests so. I was warned that I would inevitably suffer from post-abortion stress syndrome, even though the American Psychological Association says there is no evidence of increased mental health problems among women who have an abortion in the first trimester. I was told that I would not hear this information from doctors, because doctors make money performing abortions and would lie about the procedure’s risks.

If Virginia can’t shut these anti-choice, lie-mongering facilities down, at the very least voters should beware of Cuccinelli’s support for centers that intend to “pressure women out of exercising the full range of their reproductive health options,” and force him to answer a few questions about the so-called facts these crisis pregnancy centers run on.

—Posted by Natasha Hakimi

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