A woman who walks into a crisis pregnancy counseling center is probably already in "crisis" mode. So, what should she expect? Counseling. The ability to talk freely. Options. What if she couldn’t have options?
The city of Baltimore is the only city in the country where an ordinance requires pregnancy counseling centers to disclose if they provide birth control or perform abortions. Critics say the rules are a violation.
The secret back story is that these centers are often just fronts for anti-abortion activity that ultimately manipulate women's choices by refusing to give them the whole story.
I call bull @#*&.
Abortion is not a black and white issue and I'm pro-choice, but also very glad I never had a pregnancy I considered a "crisis."
Despite my reservations about abortion, I adamantly believe all women need to know all of their options. I also believe that unwanted pregnancies are sometimes just mistakes, but more often than not, they're the result of misinformation (or no information) about birth control.
To me, it seems unconscionable to offer no abortions or options to women seeking advice on pregnancy prevention. Maybe I just live in a bubble (and let's face it, in Boston, I may), but I feel like it's very well established that abstinence education Does. Not. Work. We owe it to women to allow them to make their own informed decisions.
As a woman, I take it as an insult that centers like these are assuming if they withhold information from me or pump me full of lies and propaganda, that I will make the decision they would make. I would rather have all my options laid out equally and then be allowed to make the decision that's best for me, my family, and my body.
And of course, the main question: Why are these centers so afraid to include the disclaimer when they know it's true?
Clearly, they're up to no good when they balk at a little clarity.
What do you think about pregnancy counseling centers?
Image via Daquella manera/Flickr