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.
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .