Pro-choice groups continue to go into Crisis Pregnancy Centers and catching the entirely unqualified people who work there telling egregious lies to women seeking help. The latest sting was in Virginia, which captured audio of a whole pack of falsehoods being spewed.
lp-Ressler on August 8, 2013 at 9:40 am
CREDIT: NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia
An new undercover investigation into Virginia’s right-wing “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) exposes the blatant misinformation about women’s health, as well as the shame-based messages surrounding sexuality, that their employees typically impart to patients. NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia — which has been working for years to expose the dozens of CPCs in the state — caught the lies on tape and released their findings on Wednesday.
NARAL recorded a counseling session between a young woman and a CPC employee. The woman received false information about the risks of hormonal birth control, misleading explanations about how contraception works, and judgmental messages about her decision to be sexually active before getting married. During the conversation, the CPC counselor repeatedly suggested that her organization was more trustworthy than the staff at abortion clinics, since abortion providers are ultimately trying to convince their patients to spend money at the clinic. “I’m not lying to you, sweetie — why would I lie to you? I’m not asking you to give me anything here,” she said. “We’re a pregnancy health and education center.”
For several minutes, a CPC employee told horror stories about the dangers of being on birth control, saying she typically tries to talk women out of using it. She likened birth control to “tremendous dosages of steroids,” and belittled her patient for opting to flood her body with artificial hormones. “You really want that stuff inside of you? You have a brain, think and choose here,” she said. “Any of that stuff is just not good for you.”
According to the CPC counselor, birth control is dangerous because taking it for four years before becoming pregnant can increase women’s chance of getting breast cancer by 48 percent. She repeatedly referred to the “carcinogens” in contraception. She also cautioned her client to “read the fine print,” warning that even if she would never choose to have an abortion, she could accidentally end up aborting a fetus while using hormonal contraception. “If you’re on the pill, on the patch, on the shot, and get pregnant… Unintentionally, you will abort that baby because the uterus cannot sustain that pregnancy because the lining has been so altered by those steroids, the artificial hormones,” she claimed.
The CPC employee falsely asserted that condoms and birth control pills are about equally effective at preventing pregnancy, and claimed that using condoms doesn’t actually prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. “They’re naturally porous — there’s always a chance of them breaking, a chance of spillage,” she said. “The only safe sex is no sex.”
The conversation also quickly took a religious bent. “If you’re not married, why are you having sex?” the CPC counselor asked her client. “That’s why you feel like you have to put these hormones in your body — the more you have sex, the more chance you have of getting pregnant.” Later, she added, “Confined to a marriage, of course, sex is expected — you believe in God, that’s the whole plan of God.”
And remember, these places exist to talk women out of having abortions. And what do they tell them? Not to use birth control. Because the real target, as I’ve been saying for years, is not abortion. If their goal was to stop abortion they would be demanding that birth control be as widely available as chewing gum. But they aren’t because that isn’t really their goal. Their goal is for no woman to have any control over their reproduction at all so it’s all up to God — and the men they think God has put in charge of women.
You can hear the audio recordings here. And bear in mind that in some states, these centers receive public funding to tell these lies.