Let All Abortion Options Have a Voice

On the campus of the University of Mary Washington there is a campaign to remove advertisements for local Crisis Pregnancy Centers on the basis that these advertisements are “deceiving women.”

Members of the pro-choice club on campus have placed neatly laminated flyers on every table in the campus dining hall and have been going door-to-door as well as around campus asking students to sign a petition requesting the school to put a disclaimer on the advertisements of the Crisis Pregnancy Centers.

Their concerns are that the advertisements offering help for women who are in a crisis pregnancy are misleading, making women believe that they are going to an abortion clinic. They are outraged that these women who are looking for an abortion might accidentally end up in a place where alternatives to abortion are encouraged.

It might just be me, but if you are “pro-choice” doesn’t that mean that a place that offers choices would be ideal? What I don’t understand is why these people, who claim to defend freedom of choice and freedom of speech, are themselves attacking people who are offering women choices and are repressing the freedom of speech.

If abortion clinics are free to advertise on campus, why should places that offer legitimate options other than abortion be banned? Pro-choice activists argue that women are intelligent beings, and that they should be trusted to make the right decision for themselves. If they really believe this, why are they so worried that these intelligent women might be misled by these advertisements? God forbid women consider any option other than abortion.

Crisis pregnancy centers give women facts about abortion that women need in order to make an informed decision. They offer these women help, no matter what decision they make. They offer them options by giving them the help they might need to support their child, if they decide to keep him, or provide them with adoptive services if they decide to have their child and give him up for adoption. They offer friendship and counseling in addition to service.

If these people were truly “pro-choice” and “pro-women,” then they would be enthusiastically in favor of providing intelligent young women with the kind of help and information that they need to make the right decision for them, rather then vehemently trying to keep this valuable resource a secret.
Bridget Balch is a freshman.

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10 Comments

  1. Ron says:

    See comment under “Like it or Not…..”

  2. Ellie says:

    Actually these crisis pregnancy centers unfairly push and influence women to keep their baby and opt for abortion. They are also associated with biased religious groups. There is also evidence to indicate that they profit from arranging these adoptions. If a woman changes her mind (from adoption) and chooses to keep the baby she is footed with the bill for medical expenses which the organization previously had magnanimously and charitably taken care of. The petition which has been going around would only require them to place a disclaimer on their posters explaining their biases so that students know what they’re getting into and can make an informed choice.

  3. Erin says:

    The fact of the matter is that crisis pregnancy centers, including the one in Fredericksburg (the Bethany Center), give out medically inaccurate information. Crisis Pregnancy Centers do not give women ALL of their choices. Moreover, they frequently coerce women into doing what the center wants them to do by persuading them with highly biased, medically inaccurate, and misleading language. If you don’t believe me, check out this video about the advice given at CPCs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiEgnfYPEXQ The exact quotes were gathered by a NARAL representative that went undercover at CPCs.

    Furthermore, pro choice groups are NOT trying to “ban” these centers. You’re right, Bridget, they have every right to exist. I agree and understand that they have a right to exist and be a resource for women; however, I think they should inform their clients about what they actually provide. I think it’s perfectly okay for them to provide counseling and help pregnant young women- IF they give those women medically accurate information and truly give them all of their options. Coercing women to do one thing or another with their baby is not good counseling. Telling women untruths about abortion, birth control, and condoms is wrong. Making a pregnant woman feel guilty and ashamed is horrible. When facing a “crisis pregnancy,” a women should be given only objective advice and health information. For instance, they should be told they can keep it, give it up for adoption, or have an abortion- all of which are legitimate actions- and all of which have advantages and disadvantages. They should be informed of the health risks associated with all of those options. –(not the false health info provided by CPCs). Simply said, groups on campus want women to be aware of what CPCs provide and what they don’t provide. Currently, they provide extrememly biased counseling and medically inaccurate information.

    “Anyone seeking health-care services should receive comprehensive, unbiased, medically and factually accurate information. Women facing unintended pregnancy deserve no less.

    While some CPCs may provide appropriate support and information to women facing unintended pregnancies, many do not. Reports indicate that many CPCs intentionally misinform and mislead women seeking pregnancy-related information with the intention of dissuading them from exercising their right to choose.” (http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/issues/abortion/access-to-abortion/anti-choice-crisis-pregnancy-centers/)

  4. Mario says:

    Oh, lord….they were never arguing against alternatives to abortion….”pro-choice” is not even remotely synonymous with “pro-abortion”, as the author is suggesting the group is. The issue lies with the biased and inaccurate information that is being provided by these centers. Also, there is no case to be had by insinuating that we want the centers influence held at bay because we do not trust women to be intelligent; it should be well understood by everyone on this earth that during times of crises and extreme stress, any human being, no matter what their intelligence level, who is frightened and/or desperate is in a more vulnerable state than if they had peace of mind. It is utterly low and despicable that these centers are seizing the opportunity to spread pro-life bias by preying on vulnerable, frightened minds looking for answers and honest help.

  5. Britnae says:

    I like how the author of this article seems to have felt the need to express their opinion without doing the proper research, or even talking to “these people,” as she so kindly refers to the pro-choicers organizing this petition.

    We are NOT trying to get the centers to remove their advertisements. We simply want a disclaimer put on them stating that the centers do have a religious bias and that they do not offer medical services. Removing these fliers altogether would be wrong – everyone has a right to a choice, whether it be abortion, adoption, or keeping the baby. We encourage choice – but these centers shame and coerce women into making the choice THEY deem as the “right one.” By using false information, scare tactics, financial tricks, and shame, these centers leave intelligent, yet scared and confused young women feeling as though they have no choice other than adoption. So tell me, who exactly is “pro-choice” in this case?

    The author also states that “If abortion clinics are free to advertise on campus, why should places that offer legitimate options other than abortion be banned?” Well, when’s the last time you saw a flier on campus advertising abortion services? I’ll let you think for a moment. Can’t remember? Me neither. If there were, don’t you think there would be a huge uproar? Don’t you think all steps would be taken to ensure that there is no misleading information or coercion on those fliers?

    Women are intelligent. That is not up for debate. During an unexpected pregnancy, they may also be scared, confused, and financially compromised. Pro-choicers do not love abortion – we favor prevention (another subject crisis pregnancy centers mis-inform visitors about) and simply ask that a woman be trusted to make all choices pertaining to her body. In order to do that, she needs, and deserves, accurate information, without the biased nature of a crisis pregnancy worker or abortion provider trying to sway her either way.

    There is no Planned Parenthood in Fredericksburg. As such, we want to make sure women have access to all the information they deserve. We are not trying to ban any fliers, or force women to have abortions. We are simply asking that when women go to a place like the Bethany Center, they know what they are getting into.

  6. Amy says:

    My young teen-aged niece went to a Crisis Pregnancy Center under the mistaken belief that they would help direct her to an abortion service provider. Instead they told her that having an abortion at her age (15) would likely cause her to be infertile for the rest of her life. What a horrible lie to tell a 15 year old girl! It seems these Centers exist only to provide false information to vulnerable young women.

  7. Sarah D says:

    CPC’s are deceptive. THAT is why they want them out. Pro-choice people want centers that give ALL choices, not just centers that provide a few, slanted choices which the center is optimally trying to force upon the women. They tell these vulnerable women the most ridiculous and outrageous things, like abortion will cause breast cancer, contraception is evil, etc. Those places are evil and need to be shut down.

    Pro-choice: want ALL choices available for women: parenthood, adoption AND abortion. Pro-choice is NOT pro-force or pro-abortion.

    Anti-Choice/CPC’s: put FORCE upon women to continue the pregnancy, no matter what the situation the woman is in. Sickening.

  8. Maggie says:

    I made the mistake of going to a planned parenthood instead of a CPC…now referred to as a Pregnacy Resource Center and now have a life time of regret.

    The statement above regarding CPC is false…here’s how it should read:

    “By using false information, scare tactics, financial tricks, and shame, these Planned Parenthood centers leave intelligent, yet scared and confused young women feeling as though they have no choice other than ABORTION”.

    I think if anyone needs a discclaimer it’s Planned Parenthood….and they need to change their name.

    kudos to you Bridget!

  9. Fernando says:

    Pregnant women often need help. A long-term perspective is essential. College-educated people should be less prone to the deceptions of quick-fix solutions like abortion that cause maternal hardening, regret, and violence. More alternatives are necessary, and the government should stop abandoning these women into the hands of businesses which don’t care about long-term damage.

  10. Will says:

    It is incorrect to refer to crisis pregnancy centers as an “abortion option” since they do not offer abortion services. Instead, they coerce and misinform clients in order to prevent them from obtaining abortions.

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