Okay, hypothetical situation time. Imagine you had sex. You used protection, but the condom broke, or your birth control pills failed. You panic and think you might be pregnant–so you take a pregnancy test . . . And you’re pregnant. And scared. In a situation like that, you want someone to turn to, because hello, this is a crisis, and you need to think about all your options. When you’re looking around for somewhere to go and someone to help, you stumble across something called a crisis pregnancy center. That sounds safe and like a nonjudgmental place to think over your options and make the best decision for you, right?
Wrong. Here’s why you should never go to one, and why one state is trying to limit how they can advertise their services.
Crisis pregnancy centers are not what they sound like. On the surface, crisis pregnancy centers pretty much advertise themselves as full-service reproductive health clinics, similar to a Planned Parenthood center. However, crisis pregnancy centers actually are funded by religious groups and are designed to actually dissuade you from getting abortions or using birth control.
Aside from their false advertising practices, crisis pregnancy centers also use other shady practices. They provide factually false information on abortion procedures and birth control to girls who go there seeking help in a dramatic and possibly traumatic time in their lives. How can you make an informed decision when the people who are supposed to be helping you are deliberately lying to you and telling you the wrong thing? What’s more, crisis pregnancy centers often hold little to no regard for confidentiality–which means, when you’re dealing with something you’d probably want to keep very private, they have no issues with putting your life on blast.
What may be the worst thing about crisis pregnancy centers is that they are a waste of time–and in situations like an unplanned pregnancy, time is incredibly important. Regardless of whether you choose to keep the baby or abort it, you need as much time as you can get to not only make your choice, but to go through with whatever it is–especially if you want to get an abortion, since depending on where you live, you may not be able to get one after a certain point. And that’s exactly what crisis pregnancy centers are going for.
Thankfully, an appeals court in Baltimore is hearing a case about crisis pregnancy centers, and if the original case is overturned, crisis pregnancy centers within Baltimore will be required to post a sign within their offices saying that they “do not provide or make referrals for abortion or comprehensive birth control services.” Similar measures were passed in New York City, Austin, Texas, and San Francisco.
Please know that we’re not trying to tell you what to believe, nor are we trying to steer you more towards one decision than another. We just want whatever decision you make to be one that is informed and that is best for you. Even if you disagree with abortion on a moral or spiritual level–and dude, that’s totally fine, and that’s your right–almost all beliefs and creeds disagree with deception, and that’s what crisis pregnancy centers are really selling.
What do you think about crisis pregnancy centers? Should they have to change what they call themselves? Should they be allowed to lie to people? Tell us in the comments!