Crisis Pregnancy Center Lies Caught on Tape


Salon.com has a report on new videos shot at a “crisis pregnancy center” — read: anti-abortion indoctrination center — in Cleveland. The “counselor” at the center is either incredibly ignorant or she flat out lies to the young woman who comes in to ask about getting the morning after pill.

In a secretly recorded video (embedded at the bottom of this story), a young woman named Kate, 19, tells a counselor at Cleveland’s Womankind “maternal and prenatal care” center, “Usually we use condoms, but yesterday we didn’t.” She’s taken a pregnancy test, but is told it is probably too soon. Then Kate asks, “Like, I know there’s a pill you can take to not get pregnant. And I don’t know if you have to go to the doctor?”

After some confusion, the counselor replies inaccurately, “It sounds like the morning after pill. If you have intercourse and then take this pill and it causes a period to come on or something, or bleeding. It’s like having kind of an abortion.” She adds, “That could harm you. It really could harm you … You could hemorrhage from anything like that.”…

Whether the counselor was misinformed or intentionally misleading, her advice on emergency contraception was false. The so-called morning after pill, or emergency contraception, has been shown only to block ovulation to prevent fertilization after unprotected sex; it’s decidedly not an abortion. It is entirely distinct from medication abortion, which can only be taken at a doctor’s office, and which does cause bleeding by inducing a miscarriage. By contrast, the possible side effects for Plan B, the most commonly taken form of emergency contraception, are listed as changes in your period, nausea, lower abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, dizziness and breast tenderness. The counselor did seem to be vaguely aware of the distinction, saying of the pills in question, “I know people do buy it over the counter, but is that wise? Something somebody else might do you don’t do.”

Despite the fact that the fictional Kate would have a good chance at preventing an unplanned pregnancy, and perhaps an abortion, with the morning-after pill, the counselor also asks her, “Why do you have sex? You’re not married.” After saying sex is a responsibility, the counselor adds, “It has consequences and you don’t want to put the consequences on having to harm yourself. And harming yourself would be having an abortion. Or taking the pill after. Because sometimes taking a pill like that could cause more bleeding than what you think. It would only take you to the emergency room and you having to take care of what’s happening. A lot of those things, you probably could read online, on the Internet, the risks in taking something like that would be. There’s risks in anything. It could leave damage to the cervix, it could mean hemorrhaging.”

There are 2500 of these places around the country, masquerading as actual clinics but usually staffed by clueless people like this.

Comments

  1. Alverant says

    It anyone really surprised? The whole “thou shall not bear false witness” doesn’t apply when the truth doesn’t serve your agenda.

  2. hackerguitar says

    Alverant, +1

    The rhetorical contortions the religious use to justify lies and distortion know no bounds. With this, though, it gets better: they claim to care about the fetus and about families, and their policies undermine the well-being of both.

  3. anubisprime says

    Yep…not a shocker!
    Tis wot the religiotards do that show them for what they actually are…lying sleazebags…and dangerous with it!

  4. CaitieCat says

    They’re not clueless. They’re evil, and very cunning about how to manipulate credulous, often religious, young women into not having the emergency contraception she is asking for, by claiming unspecified harms to randomly-named bits of vulva-related plumbing.

    “It could harm your -” *rolls dice, checks table* “- cervix, your left ovarian cyst, and your labia minora!”

    Evil. Forced-birth advocates who believe strongly that women can’t be trusted to make decisions about our own bodies. On the continuum with rape culture: both serious threats to bodily autonomy.

  5. says

    My first question to the idiot behind the desk would be, “How many children have you had?”. See if she walks the walk (the answer is almost certainly “No.”, unless she’s oneathem “quiver full” breeders.

  6. says

    I was taken in by one of these centers. They happily lead me along the path to making sure I had my daughter. Nevermind that between my ex and I we were making less than 15 dollars an hour and we both were only part timers at our jobs and without healthcare. They didn’t care about the circumstances my daughter would be born into, only that I would agree to have the baby. They assured me I would be a good parent. As if they had any clue what kind of person I was.

    I’m a good parent, my daughter is the light of my life, and I wouldn’t change a thing. That result doesn’t excuse the fact that these centers are hostile to the agency of all uterus owners and a bane to society.

  7. says

    Can we organize some picketing of Womankind centers? I think some creative messaging showing that secular, pro-choice folks aren’t the evil scum that picket Planned Parenthood makes us out to be (although, I can imagine some signs/chants that would be at their level, but they’re not very nice). Passing out pamphlets with accurate information to answer the questions Womankind uses to emotionally push the abortion option away from people that come to them would be good. Hand out directions to actual pregnancy support clinics. I donate to support pro-women, pro-choice organizations, but I’m not sure how much they go after these anti-choice propaganda centers (pardon my ignorance).

  8. smhll says

    I appreciate that you are helping to educate people on this topic.

    My understanding is that since these places aren’t medical facilities, even though they tried hard to look like they are, they are thus not covered by normal laws about medical privacy. They can put people’s pregnancy and birth status on a billboard or the internet if they want to. (If what I read was correct.)

  9. CaitieCat says

    Don’t be silly, MO. If there were an amendment passed that said, “They shall not take public money, who bear false witness against pretty much anything”, then no Republican (and few Democrats) would have a staff anymore. Of course, they wouldn’t need much staff, because none of the members of either house would be able to take a dime.

  10. doublereed says

    Oh, so that’s how those places worked. I was always kind of confused. So they just lie to people. Okay.

  11. raven says

    I can’t see how anyone could be fooled by these centers.
    (Although, Timid Atheist just explained it, I guess).

    They just scream Fake!!! and Oogedy Boogedy xians!!! I’d be wary of a place if I walked in and it was staffed by vaguely humanoid toads.

  12. Synfandel says

    The ‘counselor’ is impressively inarticulate. I had a dickens of a time trying to figure out what she meant.

  13. says

    I can’t see how anyone could be fooled by these centers.
    (Although, Timid Atheist just explained it, I guess).

    I was in a new state, about 2k miles from my nearest parent or relative, living with someone I’d met over the internet who decided not to tell me he thought it was possible to get pregnant during one’s period because he figured I knew what I was doing. I was no longer a devout Christian, but I still believed in a god and was pissed off at him, but I was still afraid of hell at the time. That and the way the woman talked to me in the center, by basically steamrolling me into it, resulted in a choice I didn’t really want to make.

  14. poxyhowzes says

    The City of Baltimore (Maryland) enacted a statute a couple of years ago that required this sort of “clinic” to notify their clients and potential clients as to whether the clinic offered abortion counseling or services.

    On appeal from the RCC Archbishop (as I recall) the law was struck down on “free speech” grounds.

    This is just one reason why it is so necessary to have “3-day after” pill(s) available WITHOUT PRESCRIPTION.

    pH

  15. Michael Heath says

    What’s particularly ironic when it comes to reading this is blog post is how the anti-abortion movement is successfully reducing the number of venues which can perform abortions. Which they’re doing by passing legislation requiring abortions only in facilities more like that of a hospital.

    Re Synfandel’s noting this lady was inarticulate to the point of incoherency: Embrace the ideology of Sarah Palin, un-learn to think like her, and you’ll begin to appreciate it’s not what we argue, but instead that we unthinkingly submit to the conservative Christian tribe while emotionally projecting our fealty to the tribe. That way short bursts of words are sufficient, no logic necessary, incoherent dog whistles rule!

  16. maddog1129 says

    since these places are advocating giving birth, maybe they should be required to have a staff ob-gyn, who has admitting privileges at a hospital not more than 30 miles away, and fully staffed and equipped surgical operating rooms.

  17. CaitieCat says

    WE JUST WANT THE BABIES TO BE SAFER DON’T YOU LOVE BABIES WHY DO YOU HATE BABIES SO MUCH YOU DON’T WANT A NICU? HUH? HUH?

    Actually, that could be kinda fun, in a mean way.

  18. cry4turtles says

    They tried to lay this bullshit on me when I was 18 and preggers. I saw right through them, kicked them to the curb, and found a real clinic. No regrets.

  19. sezme says

    Sleazy, no doubt. But I have trouble with secretly recording conversations, especially in cases such as this involving personal information. I was appalled at Breitbart for the same reason, only furthered by the blatant editing.

    If we support Ed’s notion of “presumption of liberty” then I think this type of recording is wrong. I do support state laws against covert recording of private conversations.

  20. gerryl says

    I’m currently reading a new book called “The Child Catchers” about the Christian Adoption Movement. I’m about a third of the way in, where the discussion is about these so-called crisis pregnancy centers. (Apparently there are more than 2x as many of these CPCs as there are abortion providers in the US.) Some of these places are associated with adoption services and aim to get young women to give up their babies to feed the demand for newborn “orphans” that can be adopted by eager Christian couples.

  21. says

    The only thing that will stop this gross misinformation is a national health service like the UK has. I’m sure just about everyone in Britain would fight to the death for it, and I sure as hell would too if it was under threat. A not-for-profit organization in for the benefit of all of the people would do a world of good to this corrupt system we have now.

  22. dingojack says

    Oliver Record – but, but, but:-
    ‘Death Panels’, ‘forced terminations for everyone’*, ‘Stephen Hawing would have died under the NHS’, “Socialized Medicine’** and etc.
    @@
    Dingo
    ——–
    * especially for those pesky male geriatrics (and those in the morgue) !!
    ** ’cause Americans evidently prefer their medicine to be ‘anti-social’

  23. Thumper; Atheist mate says

    I am genuinely fucking disgusted. How are these places allowed to exist? Why is someone like that allowed to dispense this bullshit masquerading as advice? I am so angry.

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