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crisis pregnancy centers as portrayed on Full Frontal


SparklyUnicorn
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That's quite the wild eyed hit piece.

 

Yes, they focus on getting women care that doesn't result in abortion, like that's some horrible goal?

 

Usually there is a nurse volunteering at all times along with local women from the community to help moms get in touch with resources and care they need (several mothers from our church, as well as a college student and my own MiL, have volunteered there). Ours here locally also works as a donation center for baby items, maternity clothing, and assists in paperwork as needed to get the mothers and their children financial aid and medical waivers if they qualify.

 

Our local one offers counseling services as well, and referrals to practices in the city for those who need more help than a charity funded, volunteer organization can offer.

 

The source of the article is bad enough, but the content was insultingly biased.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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Coercion, scare videos, and fake ultrasounds have been no part of any crisis pregnancy center I have seen. If that is actually happening and there is evidence of it then that can be dealt with legally. But that is far from the norm and I can say that with confidence.

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That avoiding intentional killing of the inhabitant of the womb if the mother is at all amenable to an alternative is considered coercive is a tragedy. Pregnancy is not devoid of a fundamental understanding that there are two people involved, even if one is fully matured and the other is not.

 

God help us to see truth in this and any other discussion on pregnancy and the dignity of life at every stage of conception.

 

That's all I'll say on this subject as a mother pregnant with a five week old unborn baby who is as much a human being of dignity and purpose as me. Who deserves protection and care as much now as when they are out of my womb and in my arms.

 

 

As an FYI to all tender hearted, avoid the comments in that article. They're predictably vile and callous on the whole. Good night to everyone willing to duke this out further.

Edited by Arctic Mama
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That avoiding intentional killing of the inhabitant of the womb if the mother is at all amenable to an alternative is considered coercive is a tragedy. Pregnancy is not devoid of a fundamental understanding that there are two people involved, even if one is fully matured and the other is not.

 

God help us to see truth in this and any other discussion on pregnancy and the dignity of life at every stage of conception.

 

That's all I'll say on this subject as a mother pregnant with a five week old unborn baby who is as much a human being of dignity and purpose as me. Who deserves protection and care as much now as when they are out of my womb and in my arms.

 

 

As an FYI to all tender hearted, avoid the comments in that article. They're predictably vile and callous on the whole. Good night to everyone willing to duke this out further.

Thanks for your post. We live in a society in which attacking babies in the womb is perfectly fine, but any attempt of protecting them is seen as wrong. Couldn't agree more with your post. Congratulations on your pregnancy!!!
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There are organizations out there (and I won't say the name, since honestly I don't want to engage in a senseless proabortion debate) that tell young women that their babies are just MASS, TISSUE, that there's no life in them. THIS SHOULD BE A CRIME, as it couldn't be farthest from the truth. That little baby's heart is beating, he or she is alive, and to deny it is the biggest lie. To remind women that what they are carrying is a baby is not coercive, it's the truth. They are carrying a baby, a human being, who only needs time to develop. How is it OK for people to refer to babies as "tissue", but to remind someone that their baby is certain number of weeks old is coercive?? Give me a break. I am glad there's people out there reminding this young women that what they are expecting g IS a baby, not a magic piece of tissue that miraculously starts living when they are born. That's all I'm saying. There have been plenty of never ending prolife/proabortion discussions around here.

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That's quite the wild eyed hit piece.

 

Yes, they focus on getting women care that doesn't result in abortion, like that's some horrible goal?

 

Usually there is a nurse volunteering at all times along with local women from the community to help moms get in touch with resources and care they need (several mothers from our church, as well as a college student and my own MiL, have volunteered there). Ours here locally also works as a donation center for baby items, maternity clothing, and assists in paperwork as needed to get the mothers and their children financial aid and medical waivers if they qualify.

 

Our local one offers counseling services as well, and referrals to practices in the city for those who need more help than a charity funded, volunteer organization can offer.

 

The source of the article is bad enough, but the content was insultingly biased.

 

The one where I did my counseling hours for years did the bolded. Women always had a choice. They could walk out and have an abortion. Some chose abortion and came back to be counseled afterwards or join the post abortive group that was being led by a woman who "had been there and done that."

I cannot say what every crisis pregnancy center does but I can say the one where I worked did not coerce anyone or pressure vulnerable women toward a particular decision.

 

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That avoiding intentional killing of the inhabitant of the womb if the mother is at all amenable to an alternative is considered coercive is a tragedy. Pregnancy is not devoid of a fundamental understanding that there are two people involved, even if one is fully matured and the other is not.

 

God help us to see truth in this and any other discussion on pregnancy and the dignity of life at every stage of conception.

 

That's all I'll say on this subject as a mother pregnant with a five week old unborn baby who is as much a human being of dignity and purpose as me. Who deserves protection and care as much now as when they are out of my womb and in my arms.

 

 

 

As an FYI to all tender hearted, avoid the comments in that article. They're predictably vile and callous on the whole. Good night to everyone willing to duke this out further.

 

If you announced your pregnancy previously, I missed it. CONGRATS!  :hurray:

 

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http://www.reproductiverights.org/feature/crisis-pregnancy-centers-denying-women-accurate-information-about-pregnancy-options

 

Truth in advertising would go a long way. These clinics need to let women know explicitly and  up front that they do NOT offer unbiased counselling or support and that they are NOT abortion providers or referrers. 

 

Getting women in there under false pretenses is just wrong. 

 

The centers in our state clearly mention on their site that they do not provide abortions. It is also (in the US) ethically mandated to have the client sign a form that distinctly describes the services provided and those that cannot be offered. Unlicensed "clinics" may advertise differently since they are presumably not concerned about licensing issues. Again, I can only comment on licensed facilities on this particular issue.

 

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It's the unlicensed anti-abortion centers masquerading as pregnancy crisis centers that are under discussion. These clinics aren't outliers. 

 

Almost half of these clinics in California, for example, lie to women about the false and discredited 'link' between abortion and breast cancer. 

 

It's great that the other half aren't behaving unethically. But the other clinics really need to be brought into line. 

 

Laws that aim to do so are under almost constant challenge. 

 

And until laws catch up (and it takes usually a good while) potential clients need to be made aware of the difference between licensed and unlicensed providers.

 

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I can't even look.  I was an unwanted pregnancy.  I am thankful abortion wasn't even legal when I was born.   I was adopted.

 

My son was an unwanted baby.  We adopted him at age 2.  He is one of the most amazing kids I know.

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Your post is a good example of what coercive language looks like in practice, Arctic Mama. It's fine for you to use emotionally manipulative language, because you don't have any kind of duty of care towards a client in this discussion.

 

In real life, however, a counsellor who used coercive language would be failing in her duty of care towards her client. 

 

Offering alternatives isn't coercive in and of itself, however. It's entirely possible to offer alternatives without the use of coercion, and that should be the gold standard of pregnancy crisis care.

 

I think this is a hard line to walk honestly.  It can be manpulative, on purpose, to call a fetus a baby.  But I think you could also make an argument that it is being manipulative to aviod it - dehumanizing is a pretty time honoured way to avoid thinking about what we are actually doing.  And I've quite freqently see people argue that to allow that a fetus is a human being is also manipulative (which is scientifically poppycock) and that the word fetus should be usd specifically because it makes it "other."

 

All of which is to say - the whole subject of language use around this is rife with implications no matter what you say.

 

I also think that the idea that giving an ultrasound is in itself manipulative is a little - well a problem.  It is in the sense that the motivation for some people to want to do this is for the women to see the fetus as something real.  On the other hand - it is something real.  I've never been able to take the view that it is better to hide realities from ourselves to make us more comfortable, even when it is hard and we are vulnerable.  There are lots of other examples of that kind of self-protection in life, of othering when we want or feel we need to take an action that has moral implications.  I cant think of any of them as truly positive, and most are far worse than that.

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I think this is a hard line to walk honestly.  It can be manpulative, on purpose, to call a fetus a baby.  But I think you could also make an argument that it is being manipulative to aviod it - dehumanizing is a pretty time honoured way to avoid thinking about what we are actually doing.  And I've quite freqently see people argue that to allow that a fetus is a human being is also manipulative (which is scientifically poppycock) and that the word fetus should be usd specifically because it makes it "other."

 

All of which is to say - the whole subject of language use around this is rife with implications no matter what you say.

 

I also think that the idea that giving an ultrasound is in itself manipulative is a little - well a problem.  It is in the sense that the motivation for some people to want to do this is for the women to see the fetus as something real.  On the other hand - it is something real.  I've never been able to take the view that it is better to hide realities from ourselves to make us more comfortable, even when it is hard and we are vulnerable.  There are lots of other examples of that kind of self-protection in life, of othering when we want or feel we need to take an action that has moral implications.  I cant think of any of them as truly positive, and most are far worse than that.

 

If it were me in that situation, using the term baby or fetus wouldn't matter.  I'm very well aware of what I'd be doing.  I see no reason for an ultrasound though.  Either way it should never be required.

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There are organizations out there (and I won't say the name, since honestly I don't want to engage in a senseless proabortion debate) that tell young women that their babies are just MASS, TISSUE, that there's no life in them. THIS SHOULD BE A CRIME, as it couldn't be farthest from the truth. That little baby's heart is beating, he or she is alive, and to deny it is the biggest lie. To remind women that what they are carrying is a baby is not coercive, it's the truth. They are carrying a baby, a human being, who only needs time to develop. How is it OK for people to refer to babies as "tissue", but to remind someone that their baby is certain number of weeks old is coercive?? Give me a break. I am glad there's people out there reminding this young women that what they are expecting g IS a baby, not a magic piece of tissue that miraculously starts living when they are born. That's all I'm saying. There have been plenty of never ending prolife/proabortion discussions around here.

 

I KNOW you aren't talking about Planned Parenthood.  Because when I was 23, unmarried, not yet finished with my college education, and I expressed doubt that I was ready to have a baby (my language), they did not use any of your "tissue" language.  In fact, they encouraged me to have the baby.  Honestly, I believe they followed my lead.

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If it were me in that situation, using the term baby or fetus wouldn't matter.  I'm very well aware of what I'd be doing.  I see no reason for an ultrasound though.  Either way it should never be required.

 

Yeah, I'm not sure everyone does though.  Information about human development seems to be pretty scarce in some quarters. 

 

 I also don't think we can argue that there is power in using language to shape perception in one direction and then claim that it doesn't or can't also be used in the other direction.  It is far too ubiquitous among humans to other to ignore it as a mechanism. 

 

We don't have any of the u/s business around here with abortion, but to me it looks like where it has been instituted it is a kind of reactionary response to a tendency, or a perceived tendency, of pro-choice advocates to support that kind of language use.

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IMO the only information that should be given to someone seeking an abortion is a listing of resources available for those in tough situations who want to keep their baby.  I think it is possible that some walk in there not knowing there is any help out there and thinking that abortion is their only option.  (Although I do not know what help is out there so I'm only guessing there is.) 

 

Anything else is extremely judgemental and some of the stuff allegedly said to some in that video was an outright lie. 

 

Kinda reminds me of the attitude I encountered with one of the midwives in the practice I went to.  She asked me if I planned to breastfeed.  I said no.  She basically told me that if I didn't breastfeed I'd cause my kid brain damage.  I'm smart enough to know this is bull crap, but her attitude turned me way off to even considering it.  Had she handed me a list of BF classes or support information that would have gone a much longer way in convincing me.

 

 

 

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Because there's no possible way any unintentionally pregnant woman could ever want to consider not terminating.  No way.  Obviously.  Why, it's so obvious it's hilarious.

 

What an irresponsible piece.

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Because there's no possible way any unintentionally pregnant woman could ever want to consider not terminating.  No way.  Obviously.  Why, it's so obvious it's hilarious.

 

What an irresponsible piece.

 

But does that need to be accomplished by lying and exaggerating?  If I go into an abortion clinic not sure about my decision, give me facts and information about what is out there that might help me. Don't scare me, threaten me, judge me, etc. 

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I KNOW you aren't talking about Planned Parenthood. Because when I was 23, unmarried, not yet finished with my college education, and I expressed doubt that I was ready to have a baby (my language), they did not use any of your "tissue" language. In fact, they encouraged me to have the baby. Honestly, I believe they followed my lead.

Depends in the location I guess? Glad you ran into a good one. No, not talking about the one where you went specifically.
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IMO the only information that should be given to someone seeking an abortion is a listing of resources available for those in tough situations who want to keep their baby.  I think it is possible that some walk in there not knowing there is any help out there and thinking that abortion is their only option.  (Although I do not know what help is out there so I'm only guessing there is.) 

 

Anything else is extremely judgemental and some of the stuff allegedly said to some in that video was an outright lie. 

 

Kinda reminds me of the attitude I encountered with one of the midwives in the practice I went to.  She asked me if I planned to breastfeed.  I said no.  She basically told me that if I didn't breastfeed I'd cause my kid brain damage.  I'm smart enough to know this is bull crap, but her attitude turned me way off to even considering it.  Had she handed me a list of BF classes or support information that would have gone a much longer way in convincing me.

 

I don't know - I mean, is that how we treat other kinds of medical procedures, in the sense that we don't clearly outline what it all involves?

 

I think overall, among the general population that is generally accepting the idea that abortion should be legal, there are two pretty diverged attitudes at the moment.  There is the older one which seems to say it is a morally significant decision so should be done with real awareness and consideration and knowledge.  (The safe, legal, rare, crowd often falls into this catagory.)  More recently though there has been an increase - I don't know if it is really in numbers but in exposure anyway - in a group that says it is , in itself, a morally insignificant decision, and so it does not need to have any kind of consideration of knowledge attached to it apart from issues pertaining to the woman's health or preference.

 

I think that each of those tends to lead to a different approach to availability of abortion.  And I'm not sure it is possible to pick both from an institutional perspective.

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I KNOW you aren't talking about Planned Parenthood.  Because when I was 23, unmarried, not yet finished with my college education, and I expressed doubt that I was ready to have a baby (my language), they did not use any of your "tissue" language.  In fact, they encouraged me to have the baby.  Honestly, I believe they followed my lead.

This is nice to hear. 

 

PP's vary a lot from place to place.  I have heard first person stories about one in our area that are quite different from this, glad you spoke up.

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But does that need to be accomplished by lying and exaggerating?  If I go into an abortion clinic not sure about my decision, give me facts and information about what is out there that might help me. Don't scare me, threaten me, judge me, etc. 

 

Umm I am certain the linked video contained many many "lies" and exaggerations.  Please look at it again if you think that was pure unadulterated truth.

 

Even the lady they used for the interview - she chose that center not because it said "abortion central," but because it was the biggest ad on the page in the Yellow Pages?  Everybody knows there are many pregnancy crisis centers that don't do abortions but recommend alternatives.  If anyone is truly in the dark about that, then I don't know who to blame for that.

 

I would think people on all sides of the issue would be offended by how they made a huge joke about abortions.

 

Edited by SKL
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Everybody knows that?  I did not know that.  Why would I know that?!

 

So up until this moment, you believed that the only purpose of every pregnancy crisis center is to perform abortions?

 

I'm pretty sure you are in the minority there.

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I don't think anyone says it is incorrect. That doesn't mean other words are not also correct.

Fetus can't be debated though as it has a specific meaning. Baby has a general meaning and whether it applies to the unborn is a matter of opinion. In a clinical setting, one would normally expect to hear the medical term.

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Fetus can't be debated though as it has a specific meaning. Baby has a general meaning and whether it applies to the unborn is a matter of opinion. In a clinical setting, one would normally expect to hear the medical term.

 

I agree to a point, though not actually with the clinical setting part.  I think that is probably less common when talking to patients in a clinical setting, part from dealing with terminations.  I've been for two early u/s recently and didn't hear the word fetus once, and I never have in that setting.  baby generally means "immature member of species" so as far as it goes I don't think it is that controversial - but it does have emotional content for most people.

 

Now, I think it is fair to say that to some extent choosing words needs to be sensitive in medical settings.  Baby and fetus could both be insensitive depending on the context.

 

But to me it is very disingenuous to say that fetus is not used in many instances because it makes it easier for people to not think of a fetus as a human being.  Yes, it is a correct technical term for a stage of development, though fr any animal, and we know it isn't a fetal pig in there.  And using scientific and technical language when we want to distance ourselves emotionally or even rationally has a pretty unsavoury history. 

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So up until this moment, you believed that the only purpose of every pregnancy crisis center is to perform abortions?

 

I'm pretty sure you are in the minority there.

 

I've never heard of crisis pregnancy centers.  I wouldn't assume anything, but if I looked under abortion in the phone book and it showed up there then I'd assume they performed abortions.

 

Are there even clinics that do nothing but abortions? 

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I've never heard of crisis pregnancy centers.  I wouldn't assume anything, but if I looked under abortion in the phone book and it showed up there then I'd assume they performed abortions.

 

Are there even clinics that do nothing but abortions? 

 

Yes, abortion clinics are pretty common in some places.  They run essentially like a medical service, just like you would go to a blood collection clinic, you don't go for other things.  That is what they are set up to do.  It's regional though I think, we don't have them at all here in my province, in some places they are what most people use.

 

Pregnancy crises centers seem to differ a fair bit from each other.

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Yes, abortion clinics are pretty common in some places.  They run essentially like a medical service, just like you would go to a blood collection clinic, you don't go for other things.  That is what they are set up to do.  It's regional though I think, we don't have them at all here in my province, in some places they are what most people use.

 

Pregnancy crises centers seem to differ a fair bit from each other.

 

Ah ok.  Only place I know of that does this is the PP down the street.  They do lot's of other things though.

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As someone who has had more miscarriages than most people on these boards have had kids (yes, even more than some of the largest families), language matters to me. A miscarriage means I lost the baby I wanted but it doesn't change the fact that the proper medical term is embryo and then fetus. A six week pregnancy is very much in the embryonic stage and such a loss is not equivalent to a later term miscarriage ans certainly not a baby. I should have a 3 month old right now. I don't, because of an early second trimester loss. Does that sadden me? Yes. Is it the same thing as losing a newborn to death? Not for me. Between 1/5 and 1/4 of all pregnancies end by miscarriage, often before a woman is aware that she was even pregnant.

 

For those down on Planned Parenthood, that is the place where I got the information and support needed to decide NOT to have an abortion with my oldest son (we were very young and he was conceived on birth control). It's also the only place that would provide me plan B when 6 months postpartum we had a condom failure. I will always be grateful for ALL of the services I got there. From medical professionals, not unskilled volunteers.

Edited by LucyStoner
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As someone who has had more miscarriages than most people on these boards have had kids (yes, even more than some of the largest families), language matters to me. A miscarriage means I lost the baby I wanted but it doesn't change the fact that the proper medical term is embryo and then fetus. A six week pregnancy is very much in the embryonic stage and such a loss is not equivalent to a later term miscarriage ans certainly not a baby. I should have a 3 month old right now. I don't, because of an early second trimester loss. Does that sadden me? Yes. Is it the same thing as losing a newborn to death? Not for me. Between 1/5 and 1/4 of all pregnancies end by miscarriage, often before a woman is aware that she was even pregnant.

 

For those down on Planned Parenthood, that is the place where I got the information and support needed to decide NOT to have an abortion with my oldest son (we were very young and he was conceived on birth control). It's also the only place that would provide me plan B when 6 months postpartum we had a condom failure. I will always be grateful for ALL of the services I got there. From medical professionals, not unskilled volunteers.

 

Katie, I can't "like" this.  I am sorry for your recent loss, and the prior ones.   :grouphug:

 

 

I would echo that my own experience with several PP clinics in the Northeast, of both my own and accompanying several friends over the years, was that each of the clinics offered professional and emotional support for all options for the issues at hand, and followed the patient's lead without coercive pressure towards any specific choice.  

 

Every woman deserves professionalism and transparency.  Any crisis center relying on tactics amounting to duplicity (listing a service in the Yellow Pages that is not actually offered) and coercion is on thin legal ice and, IMO, already over the ethical line.

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As someone who has had more miscarriages than most people on these boards have had kids (yes, even more than some of the largest families), language matters to me. A miscarriage means I lost the baby I wanted but it doesn't change the fact that the proper medical term is embryo and then fetus. A six week pregnancy is very much in the embryonic stage and such a loss is not equivalent to a later term miscarriage ans certainly not a baby. I should have a 3 month old right now. I don't, because of an early second trimester loss. Does that sadden me? Yes. Is it the same thing as losing a newborn to death? Not for me. Between 1/5 and 1/4 of all pregnancies end by miscarriage, often before a woman is aware that she was even pregnant.

 

 

 

(((for you)))

 

Yeah when I had a second term miscarriage and someone who had **maybe** had a chemical pregnancy made it out like our experiences there were identical....it was...oh man...it was NOT the time. Likewise, I'd never EVER act like my experience approaches that of someone who'd lost a pregnancy at term, or a born child. ::shudder:: No.

 

-----

 

It's super disingenuous to frame pp and a cpc as equal forces on opposite sides of the abortion issue. Just in case anyone is thinking that way. Stop. Because one is about health and one is about perpetuating an ideology. That there are particularly bad apples (always) in every camp does not detract from that base fact.

 

----

 

I am neutral on the fetus/baby word issue. I think women can make good choices for themselves without worrying over-much about the (both colloquially correct) verbiage. ..............and this is obviously distinct from being neutral on the LEGALLY MANDATED issuance of "correct" language.

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But does that need to be accomplished by lying and exaggerating?  If I go into an abortion clinic not sure about my decision, give me facts and information about what is out there that might help me. Don't scare me, threaten me, judge me, etc. 

 

Totally agree with you. Taking care of the woman is the priority (at least where I worked).

As far as Sadie's post on how to make unlicensed centers cease and desist...it's impossible at this point. So a woman has to check if a facility is licensed or not which is not difficult. They would likely not visit a "self-appointed" quack for medical care either.

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Totally agree with you. Taking care of the woman is the priority (at least where I worked).

As far as Sadie's post on how to make unlicensed centers cease and desist...it's impossible at this point. So a woman has to check if a facility is licensed or not which is not difficult. They would likely not visit a "self-appointed" quack for medical care either.

 

Unless the price was right.  That might be one reason why someone might go to an unlicensed place.

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Unless the price was right. That might be one reason why someone might go to an unlicensed place.

If Christian Scientists set up a clinic that pretended to be an urgent care and did fake tests using random, unqualified, unlicensed people with zero medical training in order to trick people out of getting actual medical treatment, they'd be shut down and prosecuted.

 

ETA: I agree with you that cost could be a reason, but these crisis pregnancy centers don't exist out of a desire to provide low cost medical care.

Edited by zoobie
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If Christian Scientists set up a clinic that pretended to be an urgent care and did fake tests using random, unqualified, unlicensed people with zero medical training in order to trick people out of getting actual medical treatment, they'd be shut down and prosecuted.

 

ETA: I agree with you that cost could be a reason, but these crisis pregnancy centers don't exist out of a desire to provide low cost medical care.

 

No but they might charge low prices to entice people to come to their centers.  Plus what kind of high cost care are we talking about if they mostly only check if you are pregnant, perform ultrasounds, and counsel you on all the reasons you should not have an abortion? 

 

And we might think well surely they'd be ratted out for their shifty practices except I think it's entirely possible they could get away with it for quite some time because I imagine a lot of people don't want to put themselves out there like that.  They may not want anyone to know they were seeking (or had) an abortion. 

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If Christian Scientists set up a clinic that pretended to be an urgent care and did fake tests using random, unqualified, unlicensed people with zero medical training in order to trick people out of getting actual medical treatment, they'd be shut down and prosecuted.

 

ETA: I agree with you that cost could be a reason, but these crisis pregnancy centers don't exist out of a desire to provide low cost medical care.

Excellent analogy

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So up until this moment, you believed that the only purpose of every pregnancy crisis center is to perform abortions?

 

I'm pretty sure you are in the minority there.

 

I didn't think they only did abortions, but I did think they offered a full range of pregnancy support. The one in my area definitely does not. I only went there looking for help for baby supplies as we were having financial struggles when I got pregnant with our birth control baby. But they were not especially interested in helping me after they found out I had already decided to have the baby. They only offered "counseling" to encourage me to keep the baby. Oh, and the counseling did require an ultrasound. By a non-licensed person, not a medical professional.

 

Fortunately my OB had a list of places that actually offered help and support.

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I decided to look in my 2 phone books.  There is the category of abortion providers where it is clearly spelled out that they perform abortions and/or refer for abortion services.  Then there was a separate category for abortion alternatives where it was clearly spelled out that the businesses in that category do not perform abortions nor do they refer for abortion services.

 

 

 

 

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I didn't think they only did abortions, but I did think they offered a full range of pregnancy support. The one in my area definitely does not. I only went there looking for help for baby supplies as we were having financial struggles when I got pregnant with our birth control baby. But they were not especially interested in helping me after they found out I had already decided to have the baby. They only offered "counseling" to encourage me to keep the baby. Oh, and the counseling did require an ultrasound. By a non-licensed person, not a medical professional.

 

Fortunately my OB had a list of places that actually offered help and support.

There is one that is local to me that would have cheered you on, given you clothes, diapers, a car set, a diaper bag, and whatever else was available at the time, and helped with prenatal care.  And if you had had an ultrasound there, it would have been from a medical professional--that's all they use for ultrasounds.  

 

Like PP affiliates, they seem to vary a lot.

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