LANSDOWNE, VA – In a YouTube video posted May 10th, NARAL Pro-Choice New York has revealed a national strategy to specifically target pregnancy centers in urban areas for hostile legislation intended to shut down these centers and direct women to abortion providers.
Care Net President Melinda Delahoyde said the video is a helpful tool in exposing current strategies of abortion advocacy groups. “This video reinforces the fact that legislation against pregnancy centers is part of a nationwide strategy by abortion advocacy groups aimed at shutting down the competition,” Delahoyde said. “It also reveals for the first time that these legislative attacks will be focused on urban areas, the very areas where abortion providers are prevalent, support for abortion alternatives is lacking, and abortion rates are skyrocketing.”
In NARAL’s video, a representative from the National Institute of Reproductive Health highlights the “Urban Initiative,” an effort to network local legislators across the country in order to pass legislation, such as anti-pregnancy center bills. “Our goal is to create a movement, to have each of these bills, not just an isolated victory, but really to address these crisis pregnancy centers, one urban area at a time,” says Angela Hooton, the group’s Interim Executive Director.
Rev. Dean Nelson, Care Net’s Vice President of Underserved Outreach, said that NARAL’s efforts will be met with opposition from community leaders, especially clergy. “Talk to pastors in urban areas and see if they support efforts to promote abortion and to crack down on organizations that are supporting pregnant women,” said Rev. Nelson. “I was there in Baltimore when the anti-pregnancy center bill mentioned in this video was being discussed, and not a single local pastor I spoke with was in support of that bill. This so-called ‘urban initiative’ is an injustice toward the very women, children, and families that live in urban areas.”
Currently, a vast majority of abortion providers are located in metropolitan areas. Many of them are in predominantly minority-populated communities, thereby contributing greatly to the disproportionate impact of abortion on minorities. Statistics show that African American and Latina women account for only 27% of the female population in the U.S., yet they undergo 59% of all abortions. In many urban communities, abortion providers outnumber pregnancy centers by a ratio of five to one. Care Net is working on expanding access to the important resources provided by pregnancy centers so that women in urban areas are empowered to carry their pregnancies to term.