Results tagged “Crisis pregnancy center” from Blog for Choice
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.
We can all agree that women never should be lied to when they need information about pregnancy - no matter where you stand on the issue of abortion. Well, anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) don't seem to be getting the message and keep spreading false information about reproductive health and shaming women for considering abortion.
Pro-choice activists across the country, including comedian Lizz Winstead, shared some of the egregious lies they've heard at CPCs. You wouldn't believe what these fake clinics tell women to try to stop them from choosing abortion.
The secret is out: CPCs pose as legitimate pro-health clinics, then lie to and shame women out of choosing abortion care. CPCs are essential to the anti-choice movement's strategy to block abortion access. The president of Ohio Right to Life even admitted:
"When we look at the overall strategy of ending abortion, not just in Ohio but nationwide, we have to have a strong federal strategy, a very strong state strategy, and then a local strategy to support our pregnancy centers."
This is the final day of our CPC week of action, where we've partnered with Feminist Majority Foundation to tell the truth about CPC lies. Today, we're pulling back the curtain on who keeps dangerous "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) in business.
There are a whole slew of anti-choice organizations with friendly-sounding names that keep CPCs up and running. Care Net and Heartbeat International are two powerful umbrella networks that provide support and training to thousands of CPCs across the country. Through this funding and training relationship, these groups teach new CPC "counselors" strategies to manipulate women.
You don't have to take our word for it. Just listen to Abby Johnson, an extreme anti-choice activist, train new CPC "counselors" on how to lure a woman through their doors and use coercion and lies to talk her out of choosing abortion.
Beyond anti-choice umbrella organizations, state governments directly fund CPCs with taxpayer dollars. The same legislators who passed the now infamous anti-choice omnibus bill in Texas, for example, voted to funnel millions of dollars to CPCs. And in Ohio, anti-choice politicians used the state budget to give funds meant to help low-income women and families to CPCs instead.
And of course, CPCs receive "charitable" contributions from anti-choice individuals. Ken Cuccinelli, who recently lost the gubernatorial election in Virginia after female voters deemed his anti-choice policies too extreme, made thousands of dollars of personal contributions to CPCs over the last four years to make sure they continue to tell women lies like "abortion causes breast cancer" and "birth control is enslavement."
But shockingly, Cuccinelli isn't the worst of them. Very few people are aware that the Koch brothers have been donating millions CPCs as well.
The powerful politicians, organizations, and individuals like there aren't going to stop using CPCs to push their agenda. That's why we need your help to get the word out and protect women from CPCs' dangerous lies. Learn more about CPCs and find out how you can get involved.
Check out our post that was too "controversial" for Buzzfeed:
The race for governor is heating up in Virginia, which is why it's so important for pro-choice voters to know the facts.
Anti-choice Ken Cuccinelli claims that government legislation shouldn't touch birth control and that he has "never supported legislation that invades people's choices about contraception." We're calling blatant LIE on this one. Cuccinelli's extreme anti-choice record of restricting women's access to reproductive-health care and birth control truly speaks for itself.
1. Cuccinelli co-sponsored "personhood" legislation that would ban abortion in almost all cases, and could outlaw common forms of birth control - including the pill.
Because sponsoring legislation to ban birth control is the best way to show that you have no agenda...to ban birth control.
2. Cuccinelli doesn't even know what contraception is. He's called birth control and emergency contraception "abortion methods."
Newsflash Ken: The medical community disagrees with you there.
3. Ken is a big fan of anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) that lie to women about their reproductive options.
CPC employees have been caught on tape telling women that birth control causes cancer and saying that birth control is "enslavement."
4. He also cosponsored legislation that would make it more difficult for young women to get birth control and force teens to notify their parents if they want information about STI prevention and emergency contraception.
5. Let's get real: Ken just doesn't want you to get birth control, and CERTAINLY not without a co-pay.
Cuccinelli has been one of the most outspoken opponents of the birth control benefit under the Affordable Care Act, which provides birth control coverage to countless women who may otherwise not be able to afford it.
Recap: Ken is "not going to touch contraception as governor"? Yeah right, he's not fooling anybody.
What other lies will Ken tell before pro-choice voters head to the polls in November and show him that his anti-choice agenda won't fly with women in Virginia?
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Have you ever seen signs that say "Pregnant? Scared?" and offer free counseling, pregnancy tests, or ultrasounds? Those are likely ads from anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) that lure women through their doors and then lie to, shame, and deceive women in order to talk them out of choosing abortion. Most people aren't even aware that these centers exist. And right now there are as many as 3,000 CPCs across the country.
Here are some of the lies you'll hear from CPC "counselors:"
CPC Lie #1: Abortion causes breast cancer.
Yeah, about that... the most respected scientific studies all show that abortion care does NOT increase a woman's risk of breast cancer. Just ask the National Cancer Institute.
CPC Lie #2: Abortion will ruin your chances of having children in the future.
Another scare tactic. The truth is: while any medical procedure can pose risks, research shows that early abortion care poses "virtually no risks" to long-term fertility.
CPC Lie #3: Abortion is extremely dangerous. You'll probably die if you get one.
Actually, legal abortion is one of the safest medical procedures performed in the U.S. today and it's a lot safer than giving birth.
CPC Lie #4: Having an abortion will ruin all your future relationships - and your life.
The decision to end a pregnancy is never an easy one. But research shows that even though some women may feel sad after the procedure, many also feel relieved and grateful.
CPC Lie #5: Birth control is enslavement.
A CPC employee was caught on tape telling a woman that taking oral contraception every day is basically enslavement. Absurd, we know. By the way, hasn't she heard of the wonder that is Nuva Ring?
CPC Lie #6: Condoms don't work.
CPC Lie #7: By the way, we CPC employees aren't lying about any of this.
We can't think of anything more dangerous than pretending to give women actual medical facts or advice when CPCs are actually telling them blatant lies that could truly endanger their reproductive health.
Today is Women's Equality Day and the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing a woman's right to vote.
While our country has made incredible strides to protect and expand women's rights, the celebration of women's equality feels bittersweet when 43 anti-choice measures that undermine a woman's right to decide when to start a family have already been enacted in 2013.
Whether it's mandating waiting periods before a woman can access abortion care, imposing unnecessary regulations on abortion providers in order to close their doors forever or supporting anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) that lie to women about their reproductive health and options, these laws endanger women's health and safety by making it impossible for many women to get safe and honest health care. More than 50 abortion providers have been forced to close in the last three years.
If you've ever wondered what it would mean to have no access to abortion services, you only have to look abroad. The numbers show again and again: when abortion is illegal women die, and the number of abortion procedures doesn't decrease.
Take, for example, Kenya, where abortion is completely banned. A new report shows that more than 2,500 women die each year from illegal abortion, and thousands more face severe complications from unsafe abortion procedures. This is a frightening glimpse of what the U.S. could look like if extreme anti-choice laws continue to limit women's access to reproductive-health care.
Meanwhile, Ireland only recently expanded its laws after a young woman died from being denied safe abortion care. Her death sparked such an outrage that the Irish government was persuaded to grant access to abortion when a woman's life is threatened. The very first legal abortion was performed in Ireland this month, and it saved a woman's life.
That's why, on Women's Equality Day - and every day - we work to protect and expand a woman's right to choose by supporting pro-choice candidates and holding anti-choice groups accountable for endangering women's health and safety.
In November, every pro-choice person in the country is going to wish they lived in Virginia just so they'd get the chance to vote against Ken Cuccinelli for governor. Don't get me wrong, they'd be happy to vote for Terry McAuliffe because he's a committed pro-choice supporter who will fight all the attacks coming out of Richmond. But Cuccinelli's devotion to "crisis pregnancy centers"(CPCs) that lie to women and his disturbing record as an anti-choice crusader makes him one of the worst politicians we've seen.
It's kind of a challenge even to narrow down the worst things he's done... but since we know it's hard for most people to keep track of all 228,431,970 anti-choice attacks he's launched, here are our top five:
- This is a no-brainer: Ken Cuccinelli wants to ban all abortion. Period. Even for women who have been raped. He opposes abortion so much he said he wants "to make abortion disappear in America." Really? Where's it going to go?
- But Ken Cuccinelli really outdid a lot of other anti-choice politicians when he compared abortion to slavery.
- Cuccinelli showed his true stripes when he threatened members of the Virginia Board of Health and threw a temper tantrum because he needed their compliance to shut down the majority of abortion providers in Virginia.
- But when the Board of Health agreed to the restrictions he wanted, he was like:
- Come on, Ken, the only thing more dangerous than closing clinics that provide actual health care to women is supporting fake clinics that lie to and shame women instead. Naturally, that's one more thing Ken Cuccinelli thinks is awesome.
Bad news for Ken: abortion and reproductive rights will be key issues for voters in the upcoming election. That means that every time a pro-choice voter finds out what Ken Cuccinelli has done to take away women's rights, they're more than ready to say:
Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice America, www.ProChoiceAmerica.org, and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
Have you ever seen advertisements that read "Pregnant? Scared?" or offer free pregnancy tests? Those are marketing tactics by anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) aimed at luring women through their doors in order to deceive and shame them out of choosing abortion.
Here are a few of the most egregious lies that CPCs tell women who believe they're getting honest medical advice, debunked:
CPC Lie #1: Abortion causes breast cancer.
Truth: This claim has been refuted by the American Cancer Society, the American Medical Association, and the National Cancer Institute. The most respected scientific studies all show that abortion care does NOT increase a woman's risk of breast cancer.
CPC Lie #2: Abortion will ruin your chances of having children in the future.
Truth: Another unfounded claim. The Guttmacher Institute explains, "The preponderance of evidence from well-designed and well-executed studies shows no connection between abortion and future fertility problems." And according to the Mayo Clinic, abortion (both surgical and medical) does NOT harm a woman's chance of getting pregnant or having a healthy pregnancy in the future.CPC Lie #3: Abortion is extremely dangerous.
Truth: The National Abortion Federation reports that legal abortion is one of the safest medical procedures performed in the U.S. today. Of the women who received early care - when the majority of women end their pregnancies - "97% percent of women report no complications, and less than 0.5% have more serious complications that require some additional surgical procedure and/or hospitalization." In fact, the complication rate of legal, medically supervised, first-trimester abortion in the United States is significantly lower than the complication rate of most other common outpatient procedures.CPC Lie #4: Having an abortion will ruin your life.
Truth: The decision to end a pregnancy is a deeply personal one and can elicit a wide variety of emotions, but research has found that "[w]hile some women may experience sensations of regret, sadness or guilt after an abortion, the overwhelming responses are relief and happiness." Another Guttmacher study found that most women do not feel regret after having an abortion procedure. In order to make the best decision for her and her family, a woman must have accurate and comprehensive information. If CPC employees really cared about women's mental health, they wouldn't subject them to coercion and shame.
These lies are designed to scare women out of choosing abortion care. When a woman doesn't have honest information about her options, it could endanger her reproductive health. And it's happening across the country. There are 34 states that currently support these dangerous centers with taxpayer dollars. Is your state one of them?
What could be more extreme than politicians in Ohio trying to take tax dollars from low-income families and give them to anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" that lie to women?
Thirty-five politicians (and counting) are pushing this bill, which is so egregious that it will force providers to knowingly mislead pregnant women and in some cases even tell them that they do not need medical care at all.
This is truly an anti-choice monster of a bill, so we've broken it down. If passed, the "Politicians Playing Doctor Act" would:
- Force women to undergo an ultrasound before she can get an abortion even if it's medically unnecessary - and then make her pay for it herself. In an especially outrageous twist, if the forced ultrasound does not show certain gestational markers that normally appear between four and six weeks, a woman's provider would be forced to tell her she will miscarry and therefore needs no further medical care at all.
- Require a physician to swear under oath and under penalty of perjury that they've complied with every requirement of the bill or face up to 10 years in prison and pay a $1,000,000 fine.
- Require doctors to lie to women about the "risks" of abortion care.
- Extend Ohio's forced waiting period from 24 to 48 hours before a woman can get abortion care, even if she has a medical emergency. And with only one abortion clinic left in Ohio, the time it takes to schedule an appointment can amount to a day of a lot more than 48 hours.
- Requires women to sign a "conflict of interest" statement that includes the physician or abortion facility's gross income, a percentage of that income that came from providing abortion care, and a statement explaining the financial loss if the woman decides not to get an abortion. It's clearly not about giving a woman information, it's about harassing and stigmatizing abortion providers.
Shocked yet? It gets worse: there is no exemption from any of these requirements if a woman is a survivor of rape, incest, or if her health depends on accessing abortion care sooner.
Politicians think lying, shaming, and even withholding care is medicine, and it's inexcusable. This bill demonstrates just how little regard anti-choice politicians have for women's safety - and how far they're willing to go to restrict a woman's right to choose in Ohio.
If you live in Ohio or have friends there who are as appalled as we are, join NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and ask them to tell Ohio Gov. Kasich to stop these politicians from playing doctor and block this bill if it comes to his desk. You can also stand with Ohio women and tweet your disapproval of this bill to Gov. Kasich's twitter handle: @JohnKasich
Anti-choice politicians are using the state budget to take essential funds away from low-income women and children and give them to anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) instead.
CPCs are anti-choice facilities that often set up next to legitimate reproductive-health clinics in order to trick women into thinking they're going to see staff who will be honest with them. Once they have confused a woman and gotten her into their doors, CPCs are likely to shame and intimidate her so that she's too scared to consider abortion. Sometimes CPC workers will flat out lie to women. That's the exact opposite of the quality, accurate reproductive-health care women need.
So let's get this straight: anti-choice politicians want to strip funding from effective programs that help low-income women and children and give those funds - taxpayer dollars - to anti-choice organizations that lie to women.
Are you outraged yet? Because that's not all...
The budget would also allow the director of the Ohio Department of Health to reject abortion providers from getting a transfer agreement with a local hospital for any reason at any time. Maybe that doesn't sound so bad. But, because of an anti-choice regulation already on the books in Ohio, every abortion provider must have such an agreement - or close their doors.
As if that isn't enough, language in the budget proposal also includes a ban on rape crisis counselors counseling about or referring for abortion care if the survivor seeking help is pregnant from the rape.
It's doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that anti-choice politicians in Ohio are unleashing an extreme anti-choice agenda that would really hurt the general well-being of tens of thousands of people.
Bottom line: This extreme anti-choice budget proposal is truly horrendous and dangerous for women's health in Ohio. If you live in Ohio or have friends there that are as appalled as we are, tell Gov. Kasich to stop these lawmakers from playing politics with women's health and veto these provisions when the budget comes to his desk.
For those of you who do not live in Ohio, show your support for women in that state by tweeting your disapproval to Gov. Kasich at @JohnKasich
It's the end of May, and that means it's time to introduce the newest members of our pro-choice Hall of Fame and Shame.
It's hard to believe that there are actually people out there sincerely devoted to misleading and intimidating women who want to learn more about their reproductive-health options - but organizations all over the country are doing just that.
That's why the newest members of our May Hall of Fame are the pro-choice members of Congress who stood up to anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs).
CPCs exist to lure women away from legitimate reproductive-health centers, like Planned Parenthood, by falsely advertising reproductive-health services they do - and don't - provide. Many CPCs use medically inaccurate information, shame, and manipulation in order to block women from considering abortion - and even birth control - as an option.
That's why Sens. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) are working to end these deceptive practices with the "Stop Deceptive Advertising For Women's Services Act."
That CPCs are run by anti-choice activists who lie to women looking for honest medical information is a big problem. But if that weren't bad enough, CPCs get strong support from national anti-choice organizations that want to make abortion rights a thing of the past.
Which brings us to the newest member of our Hall of Shame: anti-choice and deceptively-named Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List.
SBA List is an extreme anti-choice political group that has said it wants to become the NRA of the anti-choice movement. Their mission is to elect anti-choice politicians, defund Planned Parenthood, and ban abortion nationwide.
What could be more anti-woman than that?
There were plenty of inspiring pro-choice champions and anti-choice opponents who could've earned a spot in our Hall of Fame and Shame. Check out our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates and stories about these pro-choice heroes and anti-choice baddies.
Nick is a member of NARAL Pro-Choice America's policy department and a South Dakota native.
Anti-choice politicians in South Dakota gained notoriety in 2011 by passing an extreme measure that forces a woman to submit to a state-mandated in-person lecture at an anti-choice crisis pregnancy center (CPC), wait 72 hours, and make three trips before getting abortion care. Thankfully, a federal judge blocked the 2011 law from going into effect, but anti-choice state legislators keep trying to up the ante. In 2012, they amended the law to make it even worse: now the law forces doctors to probe women about deeply personal topics, including her religious beliefs--even if against her will. Fortunately, again the courts enjoined it.
I didn't think these anti-choice politicians could take it any further, but they proved me wrong. Last week, South Dakota state Rep. Jon Hansen introduced HB 1237, a bill that would redefine the 72-hour forced delay to apply only to business days, so that weekends and holidays wouldn't count toward the three-day waiting period. This demeaning bill assumes that women can make medical decisions that impact their lives only during business hours. Apparently, on weekends and holidays women just can't think for themselves. It's insulting.
This bill would put abortion care even further out of reach for women who already live in one of the most difficult states for reproductive-health services. South Dakota has only one abortion provider, and in many cases, women must travel long distances for care. It would have the worst effect on low-income women, rural women, and Native-American women, all of whom have the hardest time getting health-care services. Facing a mandatory delay and a two-trip requirement, women also may need to take time off from work or school, and arrange for child care, transportation, and overnight stays.
I did the math: in practice, this bill could mean delays of weeks. Such a long waiting period could have serious consequences for women's health. Apparently Rep. Hansen and his anti-choice allies don't feel that protecting the health of women in South Dakota is a priority.
As NARAL Pro-Choice South Dakota executive director Alisha Sedor points out, HB 1237 perpetuates "antiquated and sexist views of women...by implying that they are unable to make decisions about their reproductive health-care if it isn't a business day."
This tone-deaf measure fundamentally misreads where South Dakotans stand on government interference in citizens' private lives. And I should know--I grew up on a third-generation family farm in the northwestern corner of the state. South Dakotans understand that politicians have no business interfering with a woman's private health-care decisions. But you don't have to take my word for it: South Dakota voters have twice rejected abortion bans at the ballot box. Anti-choice politicians just don't get it.
Maybe that's why the Rapid City Journal selected HB1237 as the "Odd Bill of the Week."
CPCs are anti-choice operations that pose as comprehensive women's health clinics. However, many CPCs deceive and lie to women to scare them away from choosing safe, legal abortion care.
Ten percent of the profits from "October Baby" go to fund organizations that match the description of anti-choice CPCs. And the movie's website lists Care Net and Heartbeat International, two umbrella organizations that support CPCs, as partners.
RH RealityCheck obtained audio from Heartbeat International's annual conference. You can hear anti-choice activist Abby Johnson, who endorsed "October Baby" and even recorded a message for its YouTube page, explain how to lure women seeking abortion care into a CPC instead:
The best client you ever get is one that thinks they're walking into an abortion clinic. Okay? Those are the best clients that could ever walk in your door or call your center. The ones that think you provide abortions.
If filmmakers want to make a movie with an ideological message, that is entirely their right. But American moviegoers also have the right to know whether their ticket dollars are going to fund organizations that deliberately mislead women.
Already, thousands of our supporters have joined us in calling for a meeting with Sony CEO Doug Morris to educate his company about the dangers CPCs pose to women's health. (A subsidiary of Sony is distributing "October Baby.")
Last week, I told you about "October Baby," a new movie that's generating a lot of buzz.
The filmmakers claim "October Baby" is just a coming-of-age story with no political agenda.
That's an interesting claim, given the filmmakers' ties to extreme right-wing groups like the American Family Association and Focus on the Family. The filmmakers even did screenings of "October Baby" to help support the Mississippi's failed "personhood" initiative.
What's more, 10 percent of the profits from "October Baby" go to fund organizations that match the description of anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs)--facilities that regularly deceive and lie to women seeking abortion care.
Whether someone wants to make a film with a political bias is not the issue. The point is that American moviegoers have the right to know whether their ticket dollars are going to fund organizations that mislead women.
That's why we're calling for a meeting with Doug Morris, the CEO of Sony Music Entertainment. (Provident Films, the distributor of "October Baby," is a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment.)
We want to educate Mr. Morris' company about the danger CPCs pose to women's health.
CPCs rely on secrecy and deception in their efforts to trick women. They're counting on people not knowing how they really operate.
That's why it's so important that we get the word out.
Sign our letter to Doug Morris today! The American people deserve to know if their money's going to CPCs.
Could a movie with an anti-choice agenda be coming to a theater near you?
Today's New York Times had a story on the new movie "October Baby," which made $2.8 million in its opening week.
"October Baby" bills itself as a coming-of-age story with no political agenda. But a closer look at the filmmakers and the groups behind this movie reveals a troubling connection with the extreme anti-choice movement.
Who's behind "October Baby"?
You'll notice that the movie's website lists several supporting anti-choice organizations.
Focus on the Family and the American Family Association are among the groups that support extreme "personhood" measures.
Last November, the American Family Association campaigned aggressively for a "personhood" initiative in Mississippi that would have banned abortion care without exception, and could also have outlawed most common forms of birth control.
The filmmakers, Andrew and Jon Erwin, even did screenings of "October Baby" to help support the "personhood" initiative.
But the people behind Mississippi "personhood" aren't giving up. They're pushing similar measures in other states.
Who's getting money from "October Baby"?
The movie's website lists Care Net and Heartbeat International as partners. They're umbrella organizations that support anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs).
Ten percent of the profits from "October Baby" go to fund organizations that match the description of Care Net CPCs. That's more than $280,000 funneled in the last week alone toward misleading women!
So, here's why moviegoers should have concerns about how this financial arrangement affects women.
CPCs are anti-choice operations that pose as comprehensive women's health clinics. However, many CPCs deceive and lie to women to scare them away from choosing safe, legal abortion care. In other words, they aren't what they appear to be.
Investigations by NARAL Pro-Choice America state affiliates and HBO's documentary "12th & Delaware" have shown that CPCs regularly provide false or misleading information.
A CPC in Florida even suggested to one woman that her abusive boyfriend would stop abusing her if she carried her pregnancy to term.
There are more than 4,000 CPCs operating throughout the country; they outnumber health centers that provide abortion care by a 4:1 margin.
Sometimes, a movie's just a movie--but that's not the case with "October Baby."
Please feel free to share this information and check your local movie listings.
The start of the new year means that state legislatures are back in session--and that means we can expect all sorts of mischief from anti-choice lawmakers.
Case in point: Florida state Sen. Mike Fasano recently filed a bill to designate this January as a month to honor anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs) in the Sunshine State.
What are CPCs?
CPCs are anti-choice operations that look like comprehensive women's health clinics. However, many CPCs deceive and lie to women to scare them away from choosing safe, legal abortion care. In other words, they aren't what they appear to be.
One Florida CPC was the subject of HBO's documentary film 12th & Delaware. The documentary exposes deceptive tactics a CPC in Fort Pierce, Florida uses to trick women into coming through its doors.
Believe it or not, Florida actually uses taxpayer money to fund operations that deceive women.
According to The Florida Independent, CPCs received $2 million from the state of Florida last year--while at the same time, comprehensive family-planning clinics saw their funding cut.
We know that politicians are looking for ways to cut government waste. Stopping funding anti-choice operations that mislead and lie to women might be a good place to start!
South Dakota's anti-choice governor, Dennis Daugaard, just released his 2012 budget proposal. It shows he's willing to use taxpayers' dollars to advance his anti-choice agenda.
In particular, Gov. Daugaard has budgeted $750,000 in legal fees to defend in court an outrageous, anti-choice measure that he signed into law earlier this year.
This is the law that forces a woman to wait 72 hours before receiving abortion care, and mandates that she receive an in-person lecture from an anti-choice "crisis pregnancy center" (CPC). CPCs are notorious for intentionally misleading women seeking information about reproductive-health care.
A federal court blocked the law from going into effect this summer, but Gov. Daugaard and his anti-choice buddies are appealing the ruling--at an estimated cost of $750,000 in taxpayer money.
Here's an idea: maybe, instead of spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars defending a law that forces women to hear misinformation from a CPC, they could, um, not do that.
Maybe they could spend that money on education, or roads, or job training, or health care, or better school lunches.
Do you have an idea for how better to spend $750,000 than on attacking women's health? Share it here in the comments section.
Gov. Daugaard's budget proposal makes one thing clear: as much as these politicians may hate government spending, they hate women's freedom and privacy more.
Last week, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, communicated with Apple CEO Tim Cook about her concerns that Siri was referring women seeking abortion care to anti-choice "crisis pregnancy centers" (CPCs).
The Daily Beast took an in-depth look into how Siri--unbeknownst to "her"--assists CPCs in their campaign to mislead and manipulate women:
Online listings for reproductive health services often lead women astray. The Yellow Pages website sometimes directs those seeking abortion services to crisis pregnancy centers, which don't provide abortion services at all but rather are places where women are often subjected to and manipulated by pro-life propaganda. You can be similarly misdirected on SuperPages.com, another online directory.
Why does this happen? What the Siri issue has brought to the surface, says Ted Miller of NARAL Pro-Choice America, are the dubious advertising tactics of crisis pregnancy centers, which claim to provide abortion services and purposely list themselves under that category instead of "abortion alternatives." That has helped the pro-life message seep into presumably apolitical resources like Google, and could likely be the reason Siri inadvertently seems pro-life, too.
ABC News also delved deeper into the Siri controversy--and connected the dots about how "her" glitch plays into CPCs' willful deception of women.
And Nancy has a new piece up on The Huffington Post emphasizing how important it is that Apple correct Siri's problem:
NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation will make sure that Apple follows through--and that Siri learns to recognize the difference between a comprehensive, women's health center and an anti-choice CPC.
No one--human or computer, iPhone or Droid--should mislead a woman about her most personal, private medical decisions.
Siri is an amazing tool, but we need to make sure "she's" not the unwitting tool of people who want to trick women into going to CPCs.
More on Siri, the personal-assistant application on Apple's iPhone 4S:
Yesterday, Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, wrote a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook expressing her concerns that Siri was not giving women accurate answers when they asked about finding birth control or obtaining abortion care.
Well, late last night, Mr. Cook responded:
Thanks for your note.
Our customers use Siri to find out all types of information and while it can find a lot, it doesn't always find what you want. These are not intentional omissions meant to offend anyone, it simply means that as we bring Siri from beta to a final product, we find places where we can do better and we will in the coming weeks.
I appreciate you pointing this out.
And here's what Nancy wrote back to Mr. Cook:
Thanks so much for your prompt response.
I am glad to see you're committed to working out the kinks Siri is experiencing. I would like to share a TV report from last night in which the reporter illustrates the key concerns we have with the app's advice in its current state.
As I wrote in the letter, while Siri is not the principal resource for women's health care, it is important that the women who are using this application not be misled about their reproductive-health options. Our door is open to work with your team to ensure this happens as Siri exits the beta phase.
Here's that TV report from WUSA Channel 9 that Nancy mentioned:
CPCs do not provide abortion care. In fact, these operations exist to scare women away from choosing safe, legal abortion.
Often, CPCs use deceptive tactics to trick women seeking abortion care into coming through their doors.
It looks like these tactics deceived Siri, too.
At NARAL Pro-Choice America, we believe that women deserve complete and accurate information about abortion care and birth control. And when someone--or something--misleads women or withholds information about their options, we take notice.
That's why we became concerned when we learned that, according to news reports, Siri, the robotic personal assistant on Apple's iPhone 4S, was not giving women accurate answers when they asked about finding birth control or obtaining abortion care.
Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation, just sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook expressing these concerns:
Siri is a great tool that mixes humor and sarcasm in responding to questions--and it is another example of how your company is on the cutting edge of demonstrating how technology can transform the way we share and access information. Thus, it is disappointing to read that a tool like Siri is missing the mark when it comes to providing information about such personal health issues as abortion care and contraception.
We would be happy to meet with members of your team who oversee the Siri application to go over our concerns in person. Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Let's start from the top--and give credit to those who broke the story.
When Megan Carpentier of RawStory asked Siri where she could find an abortion provider, she was directed to an anti-choice "crisis pregnancy center" (CPC):
Ask the Siri, the new iPhone 4 assistant, where to get an abortion, and, if you happen to be in Washington, D.C., she won't direct you to the Planned Parenthood on 16th St, NW. Instead, she'll suggest you pay a visit to the 1st Choice Women's Health Center, an anti-abortion Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC) in Landsdowne, Virginia, or Human Life Services, a CPC in York, Pennsylvania. Ask Google the same question, and you'll get ads for no less than 7 metro-area abortion clinics, 2 CPCs and a nationwide abortion referral service.
Ask in New York City, and Siri will tell you "I didn't find any abortion clinics."
It's an experience that's being replicated by women around the country: despite plentiful online information about actual places to get an abortion, Siri doesn't seem to provide it. It's a similar experience for women seeking emergency contraception: in New York City, Siri doesn't know what Plan B is and, asked for emergency contraception, offers up a Google results page of definitions.
Curiouser and curiouser.
It's particularly troubling that Siri would direct women to CPCs, as many of these operations deceive and lie to women to scare them away from choosing safe, legal abortion.
We'll be following up with Siri (and "her" programmers) to ensure that women get accurate information about their personal, private medical decisions.