calloutcpcs

This sign seems harmless enough. But it’s part of a scheme by an anti-choice crisis pregnancy center (CPC) to trick women seeking abortion services. Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) pose as legitimate reproductive health centers. They have a track record of outright lying to women and work to dissuade people from exercising the right to choose.

Here’s what happening: this particular CPC sits right next to a legitimate abortion clinic (called EMW). That’s one way they cause confusion. Check out the “parking permit” gimmick. That’s how the CPC is luring women to the parking lot and getting them to come inside for a parking permit. Once a woman goes into a CPC, an anti-choice volunteer may try to get the woman to miss her appointment or use shame or scare tactics to pressure the woman not to access abortion.

Sketchy and so wrong.

If you live in or near Allendale, Allegan, Grand Haven, or Holland, Michigan beware of POSITIVE OPTIONS.

Pro-Lifer blogger “aubscares” informed me she works at a CPC called “Positive Options.” It has four locations:

Holland
339 S River Ave
Holland, MI 49423
Tel: 616-396-5840

Allendale
4623 Lake Michigan Dr
Allendale, MI 49401
Tel: 616-895-1893

Allegan
114 Chestnut
Allegan, MI 49010
Tel: 269-686-7111

Grand Haven
700 Washington, # 130
Grand Haven, MI 49417
Tel: 616-842-7510

There’s also a ‘mobile center’ (a bus) that only provides pregnancy tests and ultrasounds.
Tel: 616-294-0822

Website: POSITIVEOPTIONS.ORG

The site is incredibly misleading, the tagline literally stating “For your health, choice and future.” The front page has three links labeled “Pregnancy,” “Adoption” and “Abortion.” “Abortion” is not clickable but the other two are. There are three ‘happy client stories’ and only one has talked about deciding to parent, the other two are extremely open-ended and leave a lot up to the person reading the ‘story’ and one even makes it sound like they’re opting for an abortion but ‘haven’t decided yet.’ There is no indication they do not preform abortions aside from a small ‘disclaimer’ stating a list of services they do not provide. The list reads as follows:

~All of Positive Options’ services are free of charge;
~Medical services are overseen by licensed medical professionals, some of whom are volunteers;
~Our pregnancy test is 99% accurate 3 to 5 days before a missed period (positive or negative);
~Positive Options recommends clients consult a licensed physician to confirm the results of a pregnancy test or ultrasound;
~Any counsel received at Positive Options is not intended as a substitute for professional counseling;
~The use of electronic recording devices will not be permitted in order to protect client privacy and the privacy of Positive Options staff;
~Any attempt to obtain services or resources under false pretenses will result in the discontinuation of services; and,
~All information is kept confidential and will not be released without a client’s written consent, except if child abuse and/or criminal sexual conduct reporting laws apply or if we believe or hear that a client is  in danger of hurting themselves or others.
~Positive Options does not offer annual exams, birth control devices, mid-life services, abortion services or referrals, mammograms or breast screening, in-vitro fertilization services, pre or post-natal care, treatment of infertility, or treatment of reproductive tract infections.
~Clients will receive a referral list of local physicians for continued reproductive care.
~The contents of this website are for information purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
~In no event shall Positive Options be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the content of this website.

                                                                                                               “

Some items have been bolded because they deserve extra attention and cause suspicion.

This site has an entire page dedicated to abortion and the different types with no indicators that this ‘clinic’ does not offer them. Oh, excuse me, yes they do have a small disclaimer at the bottom of the ‘services’ page:

I have gone through the entire site at least four times and only just noticed this. I couldn’t imagine what a scared, nervous, anxious, or upset pregnant person could miss or interpret. 

The ‘medical team’ includes two Nurses (Linda Dykstra RN, Nurse Sonographer and Val Kuipers RN, Nurse Sonographer) and a Nurse Practitioner (Mary Teerman LPN, Nurse Sonographer) and a Doctor Jim Gerard, MD the Medical Director, and a local practicing OB/GYN in West Michigan. Three nurses and one doctor for four locations? My general practitioner has two LPN’s and about six nurses and she’s in a small family practice!

Also this cute line:

“We are dedicated to providing our communities with a wide range of free and confidential services to all.”

Yeah, you mean pee tests and free ultrasounds. That’s a ‘wide range’ of services.

So if you live in or near Allendale, Allegan, Grand Haven, and Holland be aware of Positive Options. If you do drop by, say hi to aubscares for me. :)

Lies Crisis Pregnancy Centers Might Tell You

By Sasha

LIE: “CPCs are here to provide support, unbiased information, and the resources needed to help you make the best choice.”

THE TRUTH IS many Crisis Pregnancy Centers are operated by anti-choice staff (mostly volunteers, not trained medical professionals) trying to manipulate people in crisis and keep them from making fully informed decisions about their reproductive health. They will often misrepresent data, make up statistics, and generally try to dissuade you from making choices that don’t fit into their “pro-life” agenda.

LIE: “You’re not pregnant.” or “You’re only x weeks pregnant and have plenty of time to make a decision.”
THE TRUTH IS CPCs have been known to give patients false negatives or understate how far along in their pregnancy they actually are in order to delay decision-making. Should you actually be pregnant, it gets riskier, more expensive, or altogether impossible to get an abortion the longer you wait.

LIE: “Condoms don’t work.”

THE TRUTH IS condoms, when used correctly, are among the most effective forms of birth control at preventing pregnancy (97% effective) and protecting against sexually transmitted infections (80% and greater protective effect).

LIE: “Birth control and the morning-after pill cause abortion.”

THE TRUTH IS both the birth control pill and emergency contraception (the morning-after pill) work to prevent pregnancy by inhibiting ovulation and fertilization. That is to say, neither causes abortion; in fact, these methods have no effect on a fetus if taken once pregnant.

LIE: “Abortions cost much more than carrying your baby to term.”
THE TRUTH IS the two don’t even come close. The average cost of abortion ranges from $350 - $600, while a recent study places the average cost of delivering a baby at around $30,000 for vaginal delivery and $50,000 for a C-section.

LIE: “You don’t need an abortion. A large number of pregnancies end in miscarriage anyway.”
THE TRUTH IS the National Institute of Health estimates about 15-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Crisis pregnancy centers often inflate this number to imply it’s unnecessary to make a choice because it’s likely to be made for you anyway. If you’re pregnant and don’t want to be, relying on a miscarriage is extremely risky—the odds are slim and the longer you wait expecting to miscarry, the smaller your window of opportunity to make a choice.

LIE: “Abortions cause breast cancer.”

THE TRUTH IS no relationship has been identified between abortions (whether induced or spontaneous) and an increased risk of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, and American Medical Association all agree. 

LIE: “The abortion pill is unsafe.”

THE TRUTH IS, if taken as indicated, the abortion pill (aka Mifeprex or RU-486) is perfectly safe. The Food and Drug Administration states that in many cases in which serious adverse effects were reported, the drug had been used in a manner contradictory to FDA instruction. Further: “since the approval of Mifeprex in September 2000, FDA has been informed of eight deaths in the United States due to serious infections following medical abortion with mifepristone and misoprostol that FDA has concluded may possibly be related to the use of these drugs.”

LIE: "Surgical abortions can kill you.”

THE TRUTH IS the National Abortion Federation has determined legal surgical abortion as one of the safest medical procedures performed in the United States—even safer than giving birth. Ninety-seven percent of patients less than 13 weeks pregnant who undergo the abortion procedure report no complications.

LIE: "Your baby already has a heartbeat/ can feel pain/ knows who you are.”
THE TRUTH IS this depends entirely on how far along you are in your pregnancy and the stage of embryonic and fetal development. A medically untrained volunteer at a CPC clinic is unlikely to be able to correctly read your sonogram, much less be able to identify which stage of pregnancy you are in.

LIE:  “If you have an abortion now, you won’t be able to have children in the future.”

THE TRUTH IS, as with most medical procedures, there are risks and possible complications associated with abortion, but according to The Mayo Clinic, there is no research that suggests it affects long-term fertility.

LIE: "Women suffer permanent psychological and mental damage as a result of having had an abortion”

THE TRUTH IS while a number of studies have found a wide variety of emotional responses to abortion, there is no scientific evidence proving long-term psychological or mental damage. In fact, research suggests the contrary: “while some people may experience sensations of regret, sadness or guilt after an abortion, the overwhelming responses are relief and happiness.”

LIE: “An abortion will ruin your life and make it impossible to have successful relationships later on.”
THE TRUTH IS the choices you make concerning your reproductive health may, at times, be difficult but they are personal decisions that you alone should ultimately get to make. If you’ve determined that having an abortion is what you want to do, the decision and its impact on your future (if any) are up to you.

For more information, visit NARAL Pro-Choice America or check out other BCIW posts on Crisis Pregnancy Centers.

To find legitimate, unbiased health centers, try searching the directories of NAF Member Facilities and Planned Parenthood Health Centers.

Crisis pregnancy centers disguise themselves as legitimate reproductive health clinics using vague advertising, even though their main practices are to

  • DECEIVE women facing unplanned pregnancy, by claiming that abortion causes mental-health problems, breast cancer, and infertility.
  • DENY that birth control and condoms are effective in preventing pregnancy and STIs and suggest only abstinence before marriage.
  • DELAY time sensitive pre-natal and abortion care, scheduling appointments several weeks in the future and recommending unnecessary ultrasounds.

Find out how you can spot & avoid going to one of these deceptive centers by checking out www.certifiedtruth.org

Call to Action: Crisis Pregnancy Centers

By: Erin

Crisis Pregnancy Centers; you may have heard the term before (since we have been posting about them all week), but in cased you missed it we will go over it again. CPSs are places that hide under the mask of being resource centers for pregnant people who need support, but really are just there to instill fear about abortion in through lying, scare tactics and shaming. Often, they’re located near abortion clinics, so that people will confuse them with being the providers. There are actually more CPCs in the United States than abortion clinics, and they are typically founded and run by religious groups but are more and more frequently being funded by taxpayer dollars. Thats right, our money is funding lies and anti-choice propaganda. One undercover investigation in Virginia found that 71% of CPCs in the state were lying to patients. Some common lies they tell include: “Abortion causes breast cancer,”  “The abortion pill is dangerous” and  “Condoms don’t work.”

In order to stop these centers from spreading lies and trying to prevent women from having access to reproductive healthcare, we have to take action. This week is CPC Action Week, sponsored by pro-choice organizations NARAL and the Feminist Majority Foundation.

So what can we do to fight back? Here are just a few ideas:

Call Your Representatives

It is so important to take an active role in politics. Your voice MATTERS! Your representatives in Congress are there to represent your views and telling them what those are is critical. Think about if even 20% of people in your district or state called their senators or representatives to tell them to stop supporting funding for Crisis Pregnancy Centers- that would have a HUGE impact!

You can use this tool to find your state’s Senators and this one to find your representatives in the House.

If you want to cite some specific information on CPCs and the policies in your state, you can find that information here. And yes, there are CPC’s in all 50 states.

NARAL has also created a quick pre-written letter you can send to you can fill-in and send to your representatives, telling them to stop supporting CPCs.

Work for/Volunteer With Pro-Choice Organizations

A great way to work against CPCs is to work with pro-choice organizations. Obviously, NARAL and the Feminist Majority Foundation are great choices (as they’re the ones responsible for this week of action) but by no means is pro-choice activism limited to them.

Choice USA, the Feminist Abortion Network, Women’s Health Action and Mobilization and Planned Parenthood are some other great pro-choice, anti-CPC organizations you can work or volunteer with! There is ALWAYS a need for more volunteers and right now there is a huge need for clinic escorts (people who escort those going into abortion clinics into the clinic safely) and doing this job can be very empowering and very relieving for those who might be facing anti-choice protestors.

Donate

Even if you don’t have the time to volunteer, you can always give your money to pro-choice organizations! All non-profits rely on donations to keep their work going, so your contributions are very important.

If you don’t have the money, consider asking your friends and family to donate to a specified organization instead of giving you birthday or holiday gifts. 75% of the gifts you receive are probably stuff that you won’t actually use anyway.

You could also organize a small get-together and ask all of your guests to donate $5 to a pro-choice organization in exchange for attending.

There are many ways you can collect donations, even if you don’t have a lot of money to donate yourself, so get creative.

Expose CPCs

One of the best ways to fight against crisis pregnancy centers is the actively to work against them, educate others about what they are doing and to expose what they are doing.

You can use this website to find a CPC near you. Think about writing a blog post or article about them, telling your networks to not use and to beware their services and if you’re feeling really brave, perhaps call or visit them, pretend to need services and write about or record (if your local laws allow) your conversation.

You can tell your friends about CPC’s on your social media websites or blogs. NARAL has made some graphics with quick facts that you can download here and share.

Blog About It

A great way to raise awareness and educate others about CPCs is to blog about it. You could write a post of your own, create an infographic, make a video, or simply reblog this post. 

The Feminist Majority Foundation is also looking for blog posts about CPCs this week, so even if you don’t have a blog of your own, you can still write about this issue!

Additionally, FMF is also partnering up with Project Unbreakable this week and is collecting submissions of people standing in front of CPC’s near them, holding signs with written quotes from their broachers or staff members.

If blogging isn’t your style, head over to Twitter for an ongoing Twitter conversation about CPC’s. Follow and/or tweet with the hashtag #CallOutCPCs to get in on the dialogue!

Keep in mind that actions are not limited to social media- Use your creativity and skills to take any kind of action, big or small. Everyone can make a difference, use your voice and speak out against crisis pregnancy centers.

 

This is a REAL pamphlet given to a young person at a crisis pregnancy center.  According to them, using a condom is “about as safe as hanging over a cliff with a frayed rope.”  

Talk about lies and misinformation.  

Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) pose as legitimate reproductive health centers. They have a track record of outright lying to women and work to dissuade people from exercising the right to choose. They often advertise as if they provide abortion services, drawing people in by promising free reproductive health services, including free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and options counseling.

#CallOutCPCs

youtube

Pro-Life? More like Pro-LIE - The truth about crisis pregnancy centers: “Lying to Pregnant Women for Jesus" 

Everyone should have all the facts to make the best decision for their own health. Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) pose as legitimate reproductive health centers. They have a track record of outright lying to women and work to dissuade people from exercising the right to choose. 

#CallOutCPCs!

Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) pose as legitimate reproductive health centers. They have a track record of outright lying to people and work to dissuade people from exercising the right to choose. 

This map from Salt Lake City, Utah shows how CPCs often position themselves right next to legitimate healthcare centers, so as to confuse people who are looking for comprehensive reproductive health services.

Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) pose as legitimate reproductive health centers. They have a track record of outright lying to women and work to dissuade people from exercising the right to choose. They often advertise as if they provide abortion services, drawing people in by promising free reproductive health services, including free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and options counseling.

Screenshot from @yytsirk’s Twitter feed - thanks for helping to #CallOutCPCs, Kristy! 

youtube

Must watch. At minute 7 we meet a woman tricked into an appointment at a crisis pregnancy center, and it’s heartbreaking. 

Google maps screenshot of a crisis pregnancy center (CPC) in Ventura, CA.

CPCs pose as legitimate reproductive health centers. They have a track record of outright lying to women and work to dissuade people from exercising the right to choose. They often advertise as if they provide abortion services, drawing people in by promising free reproductive health services, including free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and options counseling.

The Mountain Goats are so awesome - they even help #CallOutCPCs!  Check out this picture they posted on their Twitter.

Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) pose as legitimate reproductive health centers. They have a track record of outright lying to women and work to dissuade people from exercising the right to choose. 

america.aljazeera.com
Women forced to travel as Deep South closes doors on abortion clinics | Al Jazeera America

As termination providers in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana rapidly dwindle, women labor to access services

Women are being forced to travel huge distances for abortion care, while anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers are rapidly taking their place.

Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) pose as legitimate reproductive health centers. They have a track record of outright lying to women and work to dissuade people from exercising the right to choose. They often advertise as if they provide abortion services, drawing people in by promising free reproductive health services, including free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and options counseling.