Crisis Pregnancy Centers and Misinformation: And you thought healthcare was hard enough to understand as it is!

You’ve probably seen billboards with this message: Pregnant? Need help? The signs usually feature a confused and frightened looking woman holding a positive pregnancy test. Whenever I see these signs I can only imagine how confused and frightened I would be in the face of an unplanned pregnancy. If I didn’t have the right information in such a moment of crisis – I could end up making a decision I wasn’t ready to make, and that decision could forever change my life.

First things first – if you are in one of those moments of crisis – if you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, DO NOT CALL THE NUMBER ON THE ‘Pregnant? Need help?’ billboards! If you do chances are you’ll be directed to a Crisis Pregnancy Center, and a whole bunch of lies and misinformation will follow.

Crisis Pregnancy Centers, or CPCs, are a dangerous menace to women’s health care. They are religiously affiliated clinics that claim to give women information regarding ALL choices when facing unplanned pregnancies. Some of the information is great – how to find resources for you and your child if you decide to raise your child; how to get in contact with adoption resources if you decide to give your child up for adoption – women need this type of information (‘cause women love well-informed choices, they’re the best!).

But here’s where things get troublesome if not downright illegal: most of the information CPCs give women regarding abortion is a complete lie. A recent study initiated by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) found that 87% of all CPCs gave “misleading and medically inaccurate information to women seeking abortion.” Can you imagine what being wrong 87% of the time looks like? If hospitals and doctors offices were run like that – we’d all be dead!

CPCs and those who work within them do not want women to have abortions. If they controlled all the uteruses in America, there would be no more abortion – just a bunch of struggling mothers with unplanned families (sounds great!…sike). Here are some of the predominant lies they have been telling women all across the country:

1)   There is a direct link between abortion and breast cancer (FALSE!!!)

The New England Journal of Medicine found there to be ABSOLUTELY NO CONNECTION between abortion and breast cancer way back in ’97! But medically proven truths don’t stand in the way of CPCs! A study of New York CPCs found that 13% of clinics investigated told women that abortion would lead to breast cancer. In North Carolina, 16% of the CPC’s investigated told women abortion would lead to breast cancer. In the for-profit world, we call this false advertising – except with this lie, you get a baby instead of a faulty product!

2)   There is a direct link between mental health problems and abortion (FALSE AGAIN!)

Several studies have shown little to no mental health issues stemming from abortion procedures. However, plenty of CPCs claim otherwise. For example, on the website of a local Pittsburgh CPC, www.imissedmyperiod.org, they list the following as mental health risks for women who have abortions: “clinical depression, drug and alcohol abuse, post traumatic stress disorder, suicide, guilt, grief, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, difficulty bonding with partner or children, and eating disorders.”

Hmmmmmm….you know what that sounds like? Sure sounds like postpartum depression to me! The only difference is that postpartum depression is a real disorder that sadly affects hundreds of thousands of new mothers, and ‘post-abortion syndrome’ has never been found to be credible, or seen with any frequency in post-abortive women.

3)   Abortion is a dangerous procedure that can result in infections, other serious injury, and even death (FALSE FALSE so FALSITY FALSE!)

First off – lets just talk about how prevalent abortion is. One in every three American women will have an abortion by the time she is 45. If abortions are as dangerous as CPC’s tell women they are, I’m sure we would have heard about all these abortion infections, injuries, and deaths in the 40 years between today and Roe v. Wade. But guess what? The only people talking about how dangerous abortion is to women’s health are people who hate abortion. They could give two figs about the health of the mother as long as that baby gets born.

On the other hand, going through childbirth has been proven to be a relatively dangerous procedure for women. Thanks to the glory of modern medicine, only 8 women in 100,000 die from childbirth every year. If the CPCs are right, then roughly three times that amount would die from abortion, but guess what – they’re not right. In fact, they’re totally, completely, undeniably wrong. Only 0.6 women in 100,000 die from abortion annually. So in reality, abortions are way safer medical procedures in comparison to childbirth.

In conclusion: Don’t trust CPCs. Trust medical facilities that don’t force their religion on their clients. Trust doctors who really care about women’s health. Trust your instincts. Trust your body, but don’t trust CPCs.