New Report Exposes VA Crisis Pregnancy Center Tactics
An investigative study conducted by NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia has found that Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) in Virginia purposefully use inaccurate medical information and emotional manipulation to dissuade women from receiving abortion care (see study). The study, which was conducted undercover over the course of a year, details the methods used by Virginia's 58 CPCs to block women from receiving proper medical services, including a two-part sub-report that specifically outlines the medically-inaccurate information given to the pregnant women who receive "treatment" at any of the CPCs.
The study enlisted and trained volunteers who conducted the research both over the phone and with in-person visits. Volunteers learned of common strategies used by CPCs to attract pregnant women, including the use of mainstream review services [PDF] and websites that allowed the CPCs to masquerade as abortion providers. The CPCs avoided any mention of what services are or are not provided in the way of reproductive care on these mediums, and did the same when phoned. CPCs also purposefully establish themselves near university campuses and in urban centers [PDF]. Once a woman enters a center, the CPC volunteers take care to "outlin[e] conception in non-medical and emotional terms," mislead women about the length of their pregnancies, and place strong emphasis on disproven facts about abortion, such as breast cancer and loss of fertility [PDF].
In addition, the report discusses how recent anti-choice legislation requiring any woman seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound 24 hours [PDF] before the procedure drives women to seek out care at CPCs which often advertise free ultrasounds and pregnancy tests. In a press release, Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, said "No matter how a person feels about abortion, everyone can agree that women should never be misled when seeking information about pregnancy, birth control, abortion, or sexually transmitted infections. Yet not only is this happening in CPCs across the Commonwealth, but the Virginia Department of Health is actually endorsing this dangerous practice. These centers are a threat to women's health and they must be treated as such "not legitimized by the highest medical institution in the Commonwealth." NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia offers policy recommendations [PDF] in the study, such as requiring CPCs to obtain pre-certification by the Virginia Department of Health in order to confirm that only medically-accurate information is being given to patients.
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .