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Crisis Pregnancy Centers Lie In Minnesota, Too

Crisis Pregnancy Centers Lie In Minnesota, Too

Many states across the country have seen local funding to so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” increase, despite budgets for assistance to health clinics that provide STI testing and treatment, family planning and contraceptives, and fact based sex education being slashed.  Often, these centers have very little oversight or reporting required in exchange for their state grants and are run primarily by religious groups and organizations.

And, as more investigations have been showing, they often lie to their clients.

Now, NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota has conducted its own investigation into CPCs in the state that receive grants via the state’s “Positive Alternatives Act,” a program designed provide resources to Minnesota women with unexpected pregnancies in an attempt to keep them from considering abortion.  With an annual budget of $2.4 million, most of the money goes to religious, anti-choice CPCs who take an “any means possible” approach to talking women out of terminating pregnancies.

As NARAL notes, “The intent of the legislation was to support alternatives to abortion programs that aid women and families experiencing unplanned pregnancies with such services as parent education classes, care coordination, and transitional housing. Despite this intent, much of the funds are used to further the CPC’s mission of dissuading women from choosing legal abortion. Such tactics often include using a name similar to that of a comprehensive clinic, use of recreational ultrasound, and required viewing of medically inaccurate videos and literature.”

The reporting on CPC spending is quite minimal, but I learned the same when I was looking into where the money has gone in the past few years. As I wrote for RH Reality Check in fall of 2010:

According to Lifenews, the $4.7 million provided for the July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2010 cycle, assisted 13,037 women, breaking down to a total assistance of $360 per woman.  A list of the “assistance” paid for by these funds makes it fairly clear that a majority of the money is not going to the women to actually financially help them care for their children, but to anti-choice groups to provide parenting seminars, home visits, mentoring, nutrition programs, 24-hour information lines, and a large amount of undetermined “support services.”

Less than one quarter of the organizations claim to provide some form of medical care to women (a service desperately needed thanks to the governor’s eligibility cuts to the state medicaid program), and even less offer financial assistance, housing help or daycare assistance. As the reporting requirements on the grants have been lax at best, and non-existent at worst, there is no current record of how much money actually goes to support women continuing their pregnancy, versus keeping anti-abortion charities well-funded.

NARAL’s own investigation is much more hands on.  “The investigation, conducted by a team of NPCMF staff and volunteers, included 27 in-person visits, 15 website analyses, and 32 phone calls to 15 of the state-funded CPCs.”

So what did NARAL learn?

■ 73% of the CPCs investigated repeated the false claim that there
is a link between abortion and an increased risk of developing
breast cancer.
■ 87% of CPCs investigated advised that abortion will lead to severe
mental health problems.
■ 67% highlighted a link between future infertility and abortion
either through personal stories, pamphlets distributed at the CPC
or through their website. In addition, 75% of CPCs investigated
suggested a link between abortion and future miscarriages.
■ One CPC lists their position on abortion explicitly on their
website. For other CPCs, it is only after a woman arrives in-person
at the CPC that their true bias is disclosed.
■ None of CPCs investigated refer women for birth control. In
fact, 67% provided misleading information regarding the risks
associated with birth control and 60% provided medically
inaccurate information about Emergency Contraception (EC).
■ Based on research by NPCMF, the majority of CPC representatives
were medically untrained volunteers.87% of CPCs

State officials have said they will look into the allegation in NARAL’s report. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Deputy Commissioner Jim Koppel said, “While we have not yet had a chance to review the full report, we are concerned when there are allegations that an organization receiving grants from the Minnesota Department of Health does not provide accurate information to consumers.”

Meanwhile every day a woman or girl goes to one of these CPCs looking for help, and instead gets propaganda and lies, all via taxpayer dollars.

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51 comments

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3:41AM PST on Feb 3, 2012

Don't .








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Don't

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Don't Crisis Pregnancy Centers know that when you "lie", you always get caught sooner or later?




7:54PM PST on Jan 22, 2012

I have always been struck by Crisis Pregnancy Centers in that they are so deceptive. I thought that anti-abortion advocates were strong enough believers in their cause and believe in their arguments. If that is the case, why would they feel compelled to lie and manipulate to advance their cause?

7:15PM PST on Jan 21, 2012

Dan O:

When has a crisis pregnancy center "enhanced" a single life? For ll I've seen of CPCs, the NARAL report is pristine in its accuracy.

Despite what pro-life believes, most women do not wail and grieve and eat themselves up with guilt over an abortion. They do over surrendering a child for adoption, but not for an abortion. The most commonly reported feeling among women following an abortion is relief. Some women report an almost euphoric feeling of freedom, and say thing like, "I feel like I have my life back," or "This is how they feel on death row when the governor calls."

Those are only to statements I've heard from women who have just had abortions. Others include, but are not limited to, remarks involving "dodged that bullet" and "if that bastard ever comes near me without a condom again, I'll kill him." That last woman was talking about her selfish, sexually irresponsible husband, by the way, although, personally, I think he was deliberately trying to get her pregnant so she couldn't finish up her degree and would be less able to get by financially without him.

However, the "buyer's remorse" over an unwanted child can last two lifetimes, damaging and warping both the mother's and the child's.

Continued below:

7:14PM PST on Jan 21, 2012

Part 2:

I doubt you have ever actually talked with a woman who was having an abortion, either before or after the procedure. You likely have no idea what women feel, what they think, how they can view an unwanted pregnancy as the death of everything they want out of life. You have no idea how many of them say they'd rather die than be trapped by this unwanted pregnancy.

I've also known women who were forced by circumstances to bear pregnancies they didn't want. Invariably, the hostility, anger, frustration, and resentment they feel toward the pregnancy flows over directly into their feelings about and toward the child. You may be able to trap a women into pregnancy, but you cannot trap her into being a willing mother. Women who are angry and resentful over being pregnant are not transformed by childbirth into loving, supportive mothers. If anything, they tend to blame the child for the misery of pregnancy, the pain of labor and birth, and the trap they feel their lives have become because of motherhood. And a child whose mother feels trapped by him does not have a happy childhood in store.

You are pontificating about things you cannot possibly understand, because there is no possibility you will ever have to endure them. You are only professing what you IMAGINE a woman’s feelings SHOULD be, and projecting the assumption that the ones who don’t feel that way have something wrong with them.

Continued below:

7:14PM PST on Jan 21, 2012

Part 3:

Your imaginings are wrong. They are inaccurate. They simply do not apply to the reality of women who find themselves pregnant against their own wills. If you don’t understand that much, at the very least, you cannot possibly understand EITHER woman OR their feelings about abortion. How can you possibly logically discuss what you don’t understand?

Unless you are willing to open your mind, to listen and learn, to pick up facts and surrender fallacies, there is no such thing as discussing this issue with you. All that’s possible is correcting your flawed understanding and your inaccurate beliefs.

4:02PM PST on Jan 20, 2012

Thanks Robin.

3:46PM PST on Jan 20, 2012

Thank you NARL Pro-Choice Minnesota for that unbiased inaccurate report, So what did NARL learn? Nothing. Their pro-child killing agenda refuses to accept the facts concerning women's health risks. But why should they? Their specialty is taking lives not enhancing them. Experience has shown me a very disproportionate amount of buyer remorse when comparing having an abortion to having an unplanned child. I would put more trust in organizations devoted to preserving human lives, but that's just me.

And that tactic of using recreational ultra sound....despicable.....why in the world would you want to see what's in your womb when NARL can just tell you? As they say at NARL, "full disclosure is way overrated."

3:36PM PST on Jan 20, 2012

While I truly believe any agency that receives government tax money should be held accountable, I think a group a little less biased than the NARAL should do the investigating. I took some time to read their report and I took time to actually look up the Positive Alternative act. It seems improbable that these organizations, which include many licensed agencies, are out there actively lying to people. I saw groups giving away cribs and car seats, people helping with housing and rent money...all of these to women who have already had their babies. It appears the point of the legislation is to help women who have chosen to parent. You would think an accurate evaluation would reflect these activities. I googled "how to evaluate and evaluation," and I'm afraid this particular one comes up a bit short as a reliable tool of evaluation.

12:32PM PST on Jan 20, 2012

Each and every one of these damnable dens of misogynistic lies should be closed down permanently. Period.

5:59AM PST on Jan 20, 2012

Thanks for the article.

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