Abortion Advocates Attack Crisis Pregnancy Centers After New Report Released
by Steven Ertelt
October 5, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Not able to stand the competition that pregnancy resource centers provide by helping women find tangible help and support during an unplanned pregnancy, abortion advocates are attacking pregnancy centers and using a new report highlighting their history and service to do so.
LifeNews.com noted the new report, produced by the Family Research Council in conjunction with Care Net, Heartbeat International and NIFLA.
The report gives a historical overview of the pregnancy center movement and highlights case studies and interviews with staff and former clients to demonstrate how pregnancy centers have helped millions of women during their time of need.
Last Thursday, Wendy Norris, a blogger at the pro-abortion RH Reality Check blog fired back.
Norris contends the centers "push wildly inaccurate, non-scientific and biased information on pregnancy and contraception in schools and at facilities staffed almost exclusively by volunteers."
"In other words, people with a clear theo-political agenda are operating ultrasound equipment and providing intimate information to women and teenaged girls about sexuality, prenatal development and medical issues outside the scope of public regulation or expert supervision," she claims
"This logic is especially troubling when one considers that no other health care service is delivered under the guise of lay people without medical training," she contends.
Norris ignores the fact that the hundreds of pregnancy centers nationwide that provide limited obstetric ultrasound do so under the supervision of a licensed physician and carefully follow industry guidelines.
Michael New, a political science professor at the University of Alabama, noticed the attacks.
"She claims that PRCs provide unregulated medical care. However, many PRCs have a medical director or adviser. Additionally, people operating ultrasound equipment at pregnancy-resource centers are trained professionals," New responds.
New also responds to Norris’ claim that pregnancy centers provide false information on abortion risks and problems.
"There do exist peer-reviewed studies which provide evidence that abortion has negative psychological effects for women," he said.
Norris is also clearly bothered by the $200 million that pregnancy resource centers raise annually.
"While this is certainly a lot of money, some perspective is needed here," New explains.
"First, most pregnancy-resource centers do not have large budgets. Many are Mom and Pop operations that are staffed by volunteers," he says.
"Second, nearly all of the $200 million comes not from the government, but from private donations. This is in marked contrast to Planned Parenthood, which receives hundreds of millions from the government every year," he adds. "Finally, this $200 million is a small fraction of the billions of dollars of revenue that Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers receive in revenue every year."
Norris claims that, despite their funding, pregnancy-resource centers only see a relatively small number of women.
"However, in 2005 (the most recent year for which data on both births and abortions are available) there were 4.1 million births and 1.2 million abortions," New notes.
"According to the FRC report, pregnancy-resource centers had 1.9 million clients last year. Now, not all of those clients are pregnant women. However, these numbers make it clear that pregnancy-resource centers are reaching out to a sizeable percentage of women with an potential interest in their services," he explains.
New says that if abortion advocates truly supported choice, they would support centers that help women with the choice of carrying to term.
"In the past 40 years, pregnancy-resource centers have succeeded where the abortion industry has failed. PRCs have offered real alternatives to literally millions of women facing crisis pregnancies," he says.
"The testimonials in FRC’s latest report are evidence of the positive impact of the life-affirming options offered by many pregnancy-resource centers. As such, it is not surprising that activists for abortion rights feel threatened," he concludes.
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