What are crisis pregnancy centers?

Alice Webster, Student editor

Abortion is a hot button topic in today’s political world. Planned Parenthood is one of the most famous women’s health centers which provide abortions in the United States. But those who oppose abortions have discovered a sneaky way to prevent abortions: masquerding as abortion clinics called crisis pregnancy centers.

Crisis pregnancy centers are usually religiously affiliated but won’t advertise their religious ties. They also often belong to umbrella organizations such as Heartbeat International, which provide training and legal support. Crisis pregnancy centers don’t actually offer abortions, but they advertise to scared and unprepared women in the early stages of pregnancy. Their main mission is to convince women not to abort. They appear to be genuine medical institutions, but in reality the only medical services they offer are ultrasounds and STD testing. 

Crisis pregnancy centers cast the illusion of choice to manipulate women into keeping their babies, whether in the long run or with plans for adoption. They advertise counseling for “all options” while coaxing them into one. To accomplish this, they provide resources such as maternity clothes, diapers, and parenting classes. While it is important for these things to be available to underprivileged mothers, they should not be used as a bribe to get them to carry to term. Ultrasounds are often used to force the mother to make a connection with the fetus. Ultrasound technicians will often talk in a way that makes the fetus seem like a fully realized person instead of a mass of cells that are not at all viable outside of the mother, projecting human movements and emotions onto them. 

Some crisis pregnancy centers are less aggressive while others use intensely manipulated tactics to make women feel guilty for taking control of their lives. It is important to be educated on what crisis pregnancy centers do and whether there are any if your area in order to protect yourself and your loved ones.