labor nurse has been reborn and shares her experiences as a new nurse-midwife, woman, and blogger

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pregnancy Care Follow Up

There have been several themes among the comments of my most recent post on a pregnancy care center's tactics that I have been thinking about. I have been pleasantly surprised that overall the comments have been very civil and respectful, so thank you.

But I want to follow up on some questions. First of all, I did end up investigating this particular center. They even have a website that I read through thoroughly. Frankly, after reading it, I can't imagine how anyone could say the place doesn't run on a political and religious agenda. For one, the main page has "In God We Trust" with bible verse quotes peppered in different sections. They have an entire section dedicated to their grassroots efforts of stopping "mandated abortion coverage" in the current proposed federal health care legislation. There are sections for visitors to leave prayers and donations.

Again, I think it's hard to argue that this place (and it's many national affiliates) doesn't have an agenda.

Another thing that had been brought up was what services beyond "counseling" are provided. I did find out that in fact they do provide diapers, car seats, and early infant items in limited numbers. When asked, items needed beyond an infant's needs are not provided. There were support groups, most of which were religious in nature (like bible readings). It was clear to me that they felt that providing religious counseling and some diapers removed the "barriers that make abortion the only option".

On the other hand, I can't fault the the organization entirely. I think, from my perspective, that they are very clear where they stand on abortion. But to an unsuspecting woman who hasn't done the research on exactly what the pregnancy care center is offering beyond "pregnancy care" or "counseling" or even pregnancy testing, it can be very misleading.


Diana J. said...

Hi, Rebirth!

I've been reading your blog for a long time and love it! Please keep up the good work.

I'm pro-life myself and have volunteered at a local pregnancy center. I'd love to leave a few comments:

- Yes, religiously-oriented centers do have an agenda - that is, to save babies' lives. We really do believe in the humanity of a baby from conception, and thus, we consider abortion to be murder. I know that sounds really biased, and I guess it is. It's based on world-view. However, the same thing may be said for more pro-abortion centers such as Planned Parenthood - girls are often talked into abortions there just as they are talked out of them at Christian centers. Each set of people is trying to do their best for the girl/woman involved - it's really a matter of underlying worldview as to who is right and who is wrong. However, we do our best to provide unconditional love and support for each woman, regardless of her final choice.

- We do our best to give girls as many supplies as we can - diapers, clothes, car seats, cribs, etc. However, these centers are staffed almost exclusively by volunteers and are maintained by donations, so we simply cannot give the girls everything they need (housing, income, etc.). Our center does, however, provide referrals to community service and continued free classes in baby care, labor/delivery, and parenting (by which the girls earned points to go toward more baby-supply purchases).

Any questions welcomed! Many apologies for anything phrased offensively.

Looking forward to reading your blog in the future.

Carbon said...

There is a religion-oriented center down the street from us. The sign on the street announces a few services: Pregnancy Testing, Support, and

Now, I assume the first is accurate. I can make no claims about the second. However, I've always found the inclusion of the word "choice" to be a deliberate and insidious attempt to mislead young women.

Maria @ A Mom Is Born said...

I work as a counselor in an abortion clinic, and I have NEVER talked a young girl into having an abortion. If there is any ambivalence on the patient's part, she is sent home. Without question. My work in AB is similar to my work as a doula -- it is about information so that people can make choices. I have sent MANY patients home, as they weren't ready to make the decision that day.

Laura said...

I dunno, I still think you're going a bit far with the "misleading" thing. It sounds malicious, as though they know one thing but say and do another, and I just don't think that's the case.

momstinfoilhat said...

I have talked to several abortion providers and abortion counselors and attended lectures and forums with provider panels.

Overwhelmingly, they have to fight off parents or guardians of teenagers who want their pregnant teenager to have an abortion against her will, and they refuse to do it.

I know many, many women who have had abortions, and have never heard of a case of someone being bullied into an abortion by a counselor or provider.

There is nothing wrong with supporting pregnant women who want to continue their pregnancies. What I have a problem with is biased propaganda that is presented to women who are tricked into listening. I also have a problem with people who claim to be anti-abortion but are against accurate information on birth control. I definitely have a problem with millions of tax dollars going to support these misleading centers, not to mention abstinence only education.

Here is a good article about the immoral tactics of crisis pregnancy centers.

And Diana J, you may not realize it, but your use of inaccurate terms supports extremists and terrorists. Talking about ending an 8 week pregnancy (90% of terminations are in the first trimester" as a "baby's life" is incorrect. Making an early, safe, legal termination sound like infanticide is lying, and encourages terrorists who think they are fighting murderers to feel justified.

If you feel strongly against termination of early pregnancy, fight unplanned pregnancy. Thanks!

womantowomancbe said...

"I think we have deluded ourselves into believing that people don't know that abortion is killing. So any pretense that abortion is not killing is a signal of our ambivalence, a signal that we cannot say 'yes, it kills a fetus, but it is the women's body, and therefore ultimately her choice.'"
* Faye Wattleton, former president of Planned Parenthood, as quoted in Salon Magazine, (June 27, 1997)

Laura said...

"your use of inaccurate terms supports extremists and terrorists."

People who bomb clinics are dangerous, evil, immoral, and indefensible, and it is inconceivable to me that anyone would extrapolate that calling a fetus a "life" SUPPORTS those kinds of terrorists. Seriously? Is this the level to which discourse has fallen in this country, that people who disagree about abortion can't even have a conversation without someone saying that the opposite position supports terrorists?

Are we to censor our views and opinions because some whack job somewhere might use it as justification to do something truly awful?

People who bomb abortion clinics are not rational people who carefully weigh all the various claims of both sides and then calmly decide to build a bomb and plant it outside a Planned Parenthood office. They are delusional, evil people who have sadly latched onto a particular cause and use that cause as an outlet for their delusions.

What about people who bomb animal testing facilities or cloning labs? What about people who use violent methods against whalers or oil companies or polluters? Should we stop criticizing animal testing or cloning, or whaling or oil drilling or pollution, because our criticism "encourages terrorists"?

These kinds of accusations do nothing to further the pro-choice view. They are simply an effort to silence those who take a different stance.

a. brown said...

@Diana J.

Could you not use the term "pro-abortion"? I don't think anyone *wants* to get an abortion, sometimes they have to. You seem very nice, but that phrase is not accurate at all and is calculated to be misleading and incendiary.