Attacking Pregnancy Centers: Abortion Advocates Can’t Produce a Real Scandal

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 29, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Attacking Pregnancy Centers: Abortion Advocates Can’t Produce a Real Scandal

by Joseph Backholm
January 29, 2010 Note: Joseph Backholm is the Executive Director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, a pro-family, pro-life organization that opposes a bill in the Washington legislature that attacks pregnancy centers helping women.

Yesterday in Olympia the Senate committee on Health and Long-Term care held a hearing on SB 6452 which seeks to regulate crisis pregnancy centers in a variety of unnecessary and unconstitutional ways.

The bill, promoted by Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Rights Advocacy League (NARAL), would place a series of regulations on crisis pregnancy centers that would not apply to centers that offer abortion. For those of you following along at home, yes, that is probably unconstitutional.

Still, the hearing allows us to hear the horror stories of what is supposedly going on in crisis pregnancy centers that simply must be stopped.

One Planned Parenthood employee said she was told that "the HIV virus goes through a condom like rice through a tennis racket." Their doctor testified that condoms, when used every time, are 70% successful in preventing HIV. I know I felt a lot better when I learned that only 3 out of 10 "safe-sexers" would contract HIV if exposed.

Another Planned Parenthood employee said that she was told that sexual activity was going to lead to depression, STD’s, and possibly even drug and alcohol abuse.

Yet another Planned Parenthood employee, who admitted to going into a crisis pregnancy center under false pretenses for the purpose of making a documentary, explained that the results of her pregnancy test were not given to her until she had been asked to watch an "outdated" movie. She claimed that it scared her, even though she is "an informed young women."

She summarized it this way: "The underlying message of the video is that teen sexual activity leads to death, suicide, and depression and that you are bound to get an STD even if you wear a condom."

Their star witness, a doctor from the University of Washington, testified that centers have been telling patients that an abortion will give you an increased risk of cancer. She explained that there was absolutely no evidence and said something to the affect of "the science is settled."

Later in the hearing, Sen. Cheryl Pflug informed the committee that in 2009 a study by the National Cancer Institute and the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center found that an abortion increased your risk of cancer between 20% and 50%.

The entire time I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was waiting to hear something scandalous. Surely someone had been kidnapped in an effort to prevent an abortion. But there was nothing.

For the record, I am someone who likes good information. I do not like being lied to nor do I appreciate it when someone tries to manipulate me. So I’ll never defend someone who is knowingly disseminating false information. But no one believes it is the job of the Washington State legislature to ensure that every word that is spoken or printed in Washington State is true (as if that was possible).

Therefore, governments monitor information only to the extent it poses a potential risk to public safety. Companies can’t say paint thinner "tastes great on cereal." But parents can tell their kid that they’ll look like Popeye if they eat spinach.

So what is the risk of believing the misinformation quotes provided by Crisis Pregnancy Centers? First, teenagers will have less sex. Second, women will give birth to beautiful little babies. If you’re missing the urgency of the situation, join the club.

We have a $2.6 billion budget deficit. The education system fails to educate. Unemployment is almost 10%. Remind me again why we need to spend time and resources regulating the army of volunteers that are providing free medical services, counseling, and support to women in need?

I bet the family of Alexandra Nunez, who died earlier this week from injuries caused during an abortion, would have been ok with someone talking her out of getting the procedure even if non-peer reviewed studies were cited.

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