Anti-choice organizations operating under the guise of “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) have long been known for providing biased and flat-out wrong information to pregnant women. The problem is so widespread that a congressional investigation in 2006 found that 87% of the (then) estimated 3,500 CPCs in the US disseminate gross lies, such as that abortion increases chances of breast cancer and can cause infertility. Being outed for their lies hasn’t stopped the crisis pregnancy centers from terrifying women into giving up their right to choose though. The second year-long investigation from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Foundation found that the lies are as rampant as ever.
The investigation, which was conducted with the help of NARALPro-Choice America, recorded CPC agents “counseling” women. It is one thing to learn that crisis pregnancy centers lie to women. It is a completely different thing to actually hear the recordings yourself. Imagine being in the shoes of a pregnant woman who is confused about her options and then hearing things like “At the end of the world you’re gonna know ‘that was my child I choose to kill.’” Some of the other highlights from the undercover investigation include:
“Having an abortion will damage all of your future relationships.”
“Condoms are naturally porous and do not protect against STDs.”
“The first three ingredients in the birth control pill are carcinogenic.”
The contractions from abortion are so strong that you “can wind up bleeding for like 3 to 4 weeks at a time.”
You can listen the anti-choice lies yourself here.
The fact that CPCs have been spreading their lies for years is infuriating enough. But it is even more infuriating that governments are helping the anti-choice groups with their fear-mongering tactics. Virginia crisis pregnancy centers get some of their funding from revenue generated by “Choose Life” license plates which the Department of Motor Vehicles offers. And whose bright idea was it to put an anti-abortion message on license plates? None other than Ken Cuccinelli – former senator, current Attorney General of Virginia and the 2013 Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia.
With so many powerful anti-choice figures backing CPCs, it obviously isn’t enough to out their lies (we’ve been doing that for nearly a decade now). The Pro-Choice movement needs to step up and insist that CPCs be held to the same standards as other institutions which receive state funding and dispense health information: that they must provide unbiased, accurate information. Further, we’ve got to work harder on helping pregnant women in need find information about their choices so they don’t set sucked in by the strong lies of the anti-abortion front.