Monday, April 13, 2009

Crisis pregnancy center protest  

Did anyone participate in National Crisis Pregnancy Center Protest Day?

I sure did. The protest I held was a definite success. We had, at the most, around 10 people, which is more than I was hoping for. I did a ton of promotion for the protest, but as I've learned in the past, apathy is a plague. Besides, what was that Margaret Mead quote?

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

We had a couple people come up to us to get more information, and although we lost count, I think our "HONK IF YOU SUPPORT CHOICE" sign received well over 300 honks.

The best part of the day was when an elderly woman came up to us and said, "I support you as someone who had to travel to New Jersey over 30 years ago to get an abortion." I felt really proud at that moment, like I was part of a new generation of feminists working to correct the injustices of the past and today. It wasn't that long ago that even New York, one of the first states to liberalize abortion laws, didn't have an abortion clinic. It is truly our duty as modern feminists to do everything we can to protect what little reproductive justice we have, if not for ourselves then for the feminists who fought for it decades ago, giving their entire lives to the cause.

After the protest, we went into the crisis pregnancy center to talk to the women who worked there. They had heard that we were coming, and so one woman sat down with us to have a discussion. I vocalized my concerns that scared pregnant women will find them in the phonebook or online, see the words "pregnancy support," and come into the center, not knowing that they won't get all their options. The woman shot back with, "We're clearly a pro-life organization." I told her there is nothing "clear" about them being pro-life. I had to dig extremely deep on their website to confirm that they are a pro-life center - I mean, someone like me who is educated on this issue would know right away, but how many pregnant young women are likely to have a BA in Women's Studies? Moreover, their advertisements are the typical "Pregnant? Need Help? Call Us" type deal, without saying anything about being pro-life or not offering abortion referrals. She told me that they don't try to scare women away from having abortions, to which I picked up a pamphlet on "post-abortion stress syndrome" and said, "What's this then?" I told her that the so-called "syndrome" has been disproven by even the American Psychological Association and she had no response.

The one good thing they did offer was free baby clothes, diapers, and food to new mothers. However, I saw that as just another ploy to get women to "choose" life by saying, "Here, look at all we can offer you if you do decide to keep your baby."

Basically, this center and other crisis pregnancy centers know what they are doing. They are extremely sneaky and deceptive. If they are so proudly pro-life, as this woman claimed they were, why not put "pro-life" in their title? Or on the website? Or in the advertisements? Or in their pamphlets? I didn't see it anywhere. All I saw were promises that they can provide loving support to frightened pregnant women who might not know better.

What next?

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6 comments: to “ Crisis pregnancy center protest

  • April 14, 2009 at 1:58 PM  

    "...However, I saw that as just another ploy to get women to "choose" life by saying, "Here, look at all we can offer you if you do decide to keep your baby."

    So its wrong to choose life? Hypocrite!

  • April 14, 2009 at 2:58 PM  

    When did I say it was wrong to choose life?

  • April 15, 2009 at 12:05 AM  

    "Our trained counselors will listen to you, and help you understand all the

    options and resources available to you. Our goal is to help you make

    the best possible decision for yourself, your baby and to help you plan for the future." --from their website.

    ALL the options? Really? Hmm...

    My brother once volunteered at a cpc helping stock donations and things they received for their "hope" (the clothes, diapers etc) store. But while he did it, he would remove all of their pamphlets with negative things about abortion and replace them with more informative ones from the local planned parenthood. They never figured out it was him dping so. Now he hasn't worked there since he was in high school, but I hope his inside job gave at least one woman ALL her options.

  • April 15, 2009 at 12:08 AM  

    No, I think she put "choose" in quotes because these centers aren't really saying women have a choice... they are trying to pressure women into going through with their pregnancies. It is perfectly fine to choose life when it is what YOU want, when you understand all your choices, and when it's the best thing for you. These centers aren't presenting women with all of their choices, they're trying to sway them one way by masquerading as more neutral organizations.

  • April 22, 2009 at 4:01 AM  

    As someone who volunteers at a cpc I feel obligated to respond to the blog and comments that I have just read. It is not the role of the cpc to make the decision for the client, but we firmly believe that if women were aware of the gravity of the decision to abort their pregnancy that they would choose life.
    I understand that it is protocol for abortion clinics to not show their clients ultrasounds of their baby, and for good reason too! If these women could see that what their bodies are nurturing is, in fact, a living growing individual, you could bet that they would reconsider. If they knew of the emotional pain and grief of undergoing an abortion, their decision might not be the same.
    Now, I know that you may think that all cpc's are bible bashing nazis who spew out condemnation and judgment. Those places exist, I'm aware of it, but most of these organizations are staffed with loving and compassionate people who have a calling on their lives to guide women with unexpected pregnancies to make the more honorable decision.
    I admire that you are dedicated to a cause when so many others are apathetic and unaware. I pray that you would grow to have a reverance for the sanctity of life and that you would defend it with remarkable zeal.
    Be well and know that you're loved :)

  • May 6, 2009 at 11:15 PM  

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