by Steven Ertelt
December 27, 2004
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — A women’s magazine has touched off a firestorm of criticism with an article attacking pregnancy resource centers.
The December 2004 edition of SELF magazine carries a two-page article dubbed, "The New Pregnancy Scare: Clinics Run by Antichoice Supporters Are Drawing in More Unsuspecting Women Than Ever." The article accuses pregnancy centers of using coercive tactics with their clients.
It’s a claim pregnancy center operators have heard before — and a media-driven myth they hope to dispel.
"This article paints such an unfair picture of pregnancy centers," said Kurt Entsminger, president of Care Net, which represents a network of pregnancy centers.
“It (the article) goes against all that pregnancy center staff and volunteers are trained to do–to treat clients with the care and professionalism that they deserve," Entsminger added.
In the article, client Amanda Greene states she was pressured “to watch a video of aborted fetuses." She adds that, when she refused, “The counselor promised financial aid if she kept her baby."
When Greene insisted on an abortion, "a nurse took her into an examination room for an ultrasound. While she lay on the examining table waiting to begin, the counselor handed her religious pamphlets."
She added that she felt "incredibly trapped. Eventually it dawned on me that I wasn’t getting an abortion that day."
"We are urging SELF to do another article to investigate whether the type of claims made by Amanda Greene are truly characteristic of pregnancy centers across the United States. We are confident that SELF magazine will find that they are not," Entsminger said.
The article goes so far as to encourage readers to go to abortion centers when faced with unexpected pregnancies.
Greene’s experience seems inconsistent with the experiences of thousands of other women, who have found pregnancy center staffs to be caring and supportive.
In fact, Care Net centers follow a "commitment of care" requiring that clients be treated with the "utmost of integrity and professionalism." Centers have policies in place to ensure that clients are “never coerced, misled, or pressured."
In a letter to SELF, Entsminger wrote, "In December 2003, Care Net surveyed its affiliated centers and asked whether they used graphic abortion pictures and their opinion on the use of such materials in Care Net centers. The results showed that 94 percent already do not use graphic pictures with their clients and feel strongly that they should not be used."
Those wishing to respond to the SELF article can write to the magazine in care of Elizabeth Shaw; Senior Health Editor; SELF; Four Times Square; New York, New York; 10036-6599. You can also send a letter to the editor to: