CPC Action Week: Fighting Back Against Anti-Choice CPCs
Stephanie Budrus is the Development and Organizing Fellow at NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri
"I got a pamphlet telling me to be 'respectful but firm' in refusing my boyfriend sex - after all, he's just 'wired to want it.'" - Paige, CPC investigator
"I was locked in a room with a woman and a Bible and hit with the question: 'Honey do you know how to get to Heaven?'" - Stephanie, CPC investigator
These statements are something I would never hope to hear about anywhere outside of a bizarre episode of Leave it to Beaver or the Twilight Zone. But they were made in modern-day St. Louis, Missouri inside anti-choice facilities that are funded, in part, with taxpayer dollars.
Unfortunately, these sexist, medically inaccurate, and ideologically charged "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) are not anomalies and they're not confined to historically conservative regions such as the Midwest - they're everywhere. Masquerading as medical offices that provide the full range of reproductive-health services, CPCs lurk behind compassionate billboards and friendly faces ready to subject women to scare tactics, deception, and humiliation.
Last week, we fought back.
NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri's contributions to the CPC Week of Action have been exciting, innovative, and predominantly Missourian. Coming from the "Show Me" state - we showed CPCs a few things last week.
We showed CPCs that we've see the lies on their websites, that we've read the lies in their literature, and that we have heard the lies they tell women in person. We showed them that we're on to them, and that we aren't afraid to expose them.
Our Campus Reps have shown college students across the state the harmful impacts of CPCs through informational campaigns, tabling, chalking, and making noise on campuses. We've shown them 12th & Delaware, a documentary that shows how far anti-choice activists will go to push their agenda. Our student activists are taking a stand against policies that allow social-work students to fulfill their practicum hours at CPCs by showing university administrators the harm caused by these facilities. We're also working hard on college campuses to show school administrations that allowing CPCs to advertise in the student newspaper is not as "apolitical" or equitable across viewpoints as they believe it to be.
Amid all of the work we're doing to show the true colors of CPCs, we've set aside some time to show real health facilities how thankful we are for the work that they do. Our campus reps and student activists have revamped our clinic-escort program and are leading trainings at the end of the month to recruit new members to stand with us and to stand with women - by literally standing between them and anti-choice protestors.
We're very excited to have participated in all of the events last week - and we can't wait to show you what we've got up our sleeve in the coming months!
Learn more about NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri.