An abortion rights group in North Carolina released a report Monday stating that the majority of anti-abortion ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ (CPCs) in the state were lying to women about the medical consequences of abortion.
According to the Charlotte Observerand The Raw Story, the NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Foundation (NPCNCF) report revealed that more than two-thirds of the state’s CPCs were giving medically unsound and misleading information to women who visited them. This is in line with the findings of a 2006 federal investigation that determined the “vast majority” of federally-funded CPCs were lying to or misleading women, mainly about links between abortion and breast cancer (the National Institutes of Health say there is no link), infertility and mental illness.
In North Carolina, there are eight times as many CPCs as there are abortion clinics. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but some of what goes on inside the CPCs is. Besides lying to women and girls, NARAL Pro-Choice investigators have uncovered some other shocking occurrences at CPCs. The majority of North Carolina centers investigated by NARAL lacked any medical professionals on staff, but three quarters of them failed to disclose this fact to clients. All told, 92% of the state’s identified CPCs had no medial professionals on their staffs.
The wrongdoing transcends medical matters. Shockingly, an undercover Jewish investigator posing as a pregnant woman was told she wouldn’t go to heaven unless she converted to Christianity. This happened at five different CPCs in the state, belying claims that such transgressions are the work of rogue volunteers.
At another CPC, staff prayed for an undercover investigator and urged her to become a “born-again virgin.”
CPCs often deny the allegations against them, saying they merely guide women through their options. They say their intent is not to influence their decision, but to help women make more informed choices. “Our goal is to educate her but also help her know there’s a support system available to her under the very difficult situation she might be in,” Bobbie Meyer, director of the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship, an umbrella group of 67 anti-abortion centers, told the Charlotte Observer. “It’s not about helping her change her mind, but about helping her get her life together and make good decisions.”
But this claim seems highly dubious and obviously false, since the groups are overwhelmingly run by abortion opponents. And it is hard to imagine any circumstance under which such groups would believe that having an abortion would be a “good decision.”
The fact that CPCs will now be receiving state funding via North Carolina license plates that admonish motorists to “Choose Life” raises serious questions about the propriety of CPC actions, not to mention the very fact that the state is endorsing a position that many feel ought to remain private. Fifteen dollars from each plate issued will go to fund anti-abortion centers. In light of this development, NARAL is calling for state regulation of CPCs.
“Our investigation of CPCs in North Carolina makes clear that our state’s leaders cannot ignore how these centers intentionally mislead and misinform women, including those facing unintended pregnancies,” NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina executive director Carey Pope said in a statement.