by Steven Ertelt
November 2, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A pro-abortion group calling itself a watchdog organization has filed a lawsuit seeking information on federal funding of pregnancy centers across the country. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) claims that the government is funding centers that are providing misleading information to women.
CREW is one of several pro-abortion groups that have tried to tarnish the reputation of the thousands of pregnancy centers across the nation by claiming they are giving women false information about abortion’s risks.
Previously, CREW asked the Department of Health and Human Services and the White House about the federal governments policies on funding such centers. When HHS failed to respond to an August Freedom of Information Act request for documents, CREW filed suit.
CREW’s lawsuit was filed last week with the Washington, DC federal district court, according to a NewStandard report.
The group wants documents on the criteria for funding, information on efforts by the centers to separate practical help for women with unplanned pregnancies and religious outreach efforts, and communications from the HHS about the accuracy of the information the pregnancy centers provide.
CREW’s complaint relies on a biased report abortion advocates in Congress released in July claiming pregnancy centers give women false information. The report provided little concrete evidence and relied mostly on pro-abortion denials of extensive research linking abortion to breast cancer, depression and other mental health risks.
The report blasted the Bush Administration for giving pregnancy centers $30 million in federal grants since 2001 and other earmarks have provided more funds.
However, the pregnancy centers are relying on studies that have shown the numerous risks associated with abortion.
A January study by Dr. David Fergusson, a New Zealand researcher who backs abortion, found 42 percent of women who had abortions had experienced major depression within the last four years. That’s almost double the rate of women who never became pregnant.
According to the study, women who have abortions were twice as likely to drink alcohol at dangerous levels and three times as likely to be addicted to illegal drugs. The risk of anxiety disorders also doubled.
His research follows a survey by professors at Bowling Green State University in 2004 who examined data on nearly 11,000 women between the ages of 15 and 34 who had experienced an unintended pregnancy.
Their survey found that women who have abortions of unexpected pregnancies were 30 percent more likely to experience subsequent problems with anxiety than those who don’t have one.
Women in the study who had abortions and suffered from general anxiety disorder experienced irritability, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, a pounding or racing heart, or feelings of unreality.
This research has prompted the American Psychological Association to withdraw an official statement denying a link between abortion and psychological harm.
It also prompted a leading group of British psychologists and doctors to release a joint statement saying, "Since women having abortions can no longer be said to have a low risk of suffering from psychiatric conditions such as depression, doctors have a duty to advise about long-term adverse psychological consequences of abortion."
Their warning came in the form of a group letter written in the London Times newspaper.
This isn’t the first time CREW has promoted abortion in its lawsuits.
Last November, the group claimed pro-life organization Focus on the Family was violating its nonprofit tax status by allowing Dr. James Dobson, its founder and president, to advocate the election of political candidates.
CREW sent a letter to the IRS asking it to investigate and consider revoking FOF’s nonprofit tax status.
Dobson has said many times before that he only makes endorsements as an individual and not in his capacity as the head of Focus no the Family. But CREW accuses Dobson of using the organization’s resources to advance those endorsements.
Jim Bopp, a pro-life attorney who is a national expert on campaign finance laws, dismissed the CREW complaint.
"Anyone can send a letter to the IRS," he told Capitol Hill Blue. "Anyone can send out a press release about the letter. And that means nothing to the IRS."