By Dave Andrusko
A tip of the hat to a friend who sent me a link to a story that appeared in USA Today on November 15: “Pregnancy centers spread in Texas as abortion clinics close,” by Rick Jervus.
As you can readily imagine, this annoys pro-abortionists to no end. Bad enough that some abortion clinics–you know, the places where babies get torn apart, piece by piece–close. But to add insult to injury (from the anti-life perspective), those wretched pro-lifers are replacing death with life!
The focus for Jervus’ story is the Hope Pregnancy Center in College Station, Texas. But that’s just because Texas has been particularly aggressive in ensuring that abortionists–many of whom fly in a couple of days a month–have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic, and that abortion clinics meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers.
Jervus’ bigger point is that Texas represents something larger than making minimal requirements of abortion clinics. “[S]tate funding for pregnancy centers and other services in the Texas Alternative to Abortion Services Program has nearly quadrupled, from $2.5 million in 2008 to $9.15 this year, according to the [Texas Health and Human Services] commission.”
There are at least eight other states, “including Missouri, Montana and North Carolina,” Jervus warns, who
have sought funding this year for so-called “crisis pregnancy centers,” said Elizabeth Nash of the New York-based Guttmacher Institute, a policy and research center that advocates reproductive health rights for women. At $9.15 million annually, Texas spends far more for the centers than any other state, she said.
Get it? “So-called ‘crisis pregnancy centers.’” Source? The unbiased (that’s sarcasm, of course) Guttmacher Institute, formerly an arm of Planned Parenthood.
“This is yet another way for abortion opponents to pursue what they see as their mandate, which is to support any type of law or policy that minimizes abortion,” a bitter Nash told USA Today.
But if you actually read what people from the Hope Pregnancy Center say, you’ll get a fuller, richer picture.
But first a hugely important point that, to Jervus’ credit, he acknowledges: “Overall funding for women’s health services is at a historic high in Texas; it’s just not going to clinics that perform abortions,” he writes. “This year, state lawmakers earmarked more than $130 million for services ranging from breast and cervical cancer screenings to family planning counseling and pregnancy centers, according to state figures.”
Of course, the impression Jervus leaves early in the story is that there is goldmine of state money flowing like a river to CPCs. But, in fact, The Hope Pregnancy Center, which opened in 2001 and is the linchpin of his story
doesn’t take any state dollars, relying on private donors and churches for most of its funding, and all its services are free and confidential, [executive director Tracy] Frank said. Women at the center are counseled in warmly-decorated rooms. If they decide to take parenting classes, they could earn “Mommy Points” which are later traded for baby clothes, wipes, blankets and even car seats. Classes vary from First Aid for Children (15 points) and Intro to Breastfeeding (20 points) to Discovering God’s Plan (20 points).
Last year, when a Planned Parenthood clinic closed four miles up the road in neighboring Bryant, Tex., center officials bought the building. Today, it houses an STD testing and treatment clinic run by Hope, a private medical practice and a faith-based, pro-life organization.
Of course, the state NARAL has been busy offering “studies” which purport to show that crisis pregnancy centers [also known as women helping centers] are, at the very least mischievous, at worse liars.
The “evidence” is the usual tiresome litany: they present women with “false or misleading information about abortions, such as they can lead to breast cancer or cause future miscarriages.”
But it’s not false because NARAL and abortion-supporting national organizations decide to ignore the obvious links between having an induced abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer (it’s basic biology). Rather it must be “false” because it tells vulnerable women truths that are inconvenient to the Abortion Industry.
You will almost laugh when you read one state Representative’s opposition to funneling any money to CPCs: because “The centers receive little oversight.”
As if abortion clinics don’t fight any regulation, any oversight, any requirements that they meet even minimal standards. Geez.
Let me finish with a great quote from Tracy Frank. It explains perfectly what organizations like The Hope Pregnancy Center are and why pro-abortionists despise them:
Less than 5% of the women who walk into the Hope Pregnancy Center ultimately choose to have an abortion, Frank said. Even if they do, they’re encouraged to return for services and counseling should they get pregnant again, she said. Some have.
“We hope they do choose life,” she said, “but we’re here for them if they don’t.”
Take a few minutes and read “Pregnancy centers spread in Texas as abortion clinics close.”