BY OLIVIA KRENZ | Guest Contributor | I’m nineteen, a female freshman in college and seemingly the perfect victim to walk into a Crisis Pregnancy Center. To clarify, I’m not, nor have I ever been pregnant, but with a small vial filled with a pregnant woman’s urine, I make a convincing case.
It was hard to miss the blatantly pink Women’s Care Center billboard on the side of the building. The sign on the door read, “Please ring bell to be let in.” We waited patiently as a young woman, who appeared to be in her late twenties, approached the door. She greeted me, but not Alden, the man posing as the father.
Soft country music played in the waiting room that resembled a suburban daycare. She told us to take a seat and we would be helped momentarily. The paintings on the wall had a religious theme, especially the one behind us with the small yellow cross. The young woman emerged from one of the back rooms and introduced herself. With a warm smile directed only towards me, the counselor told me to follow her. It wasn’t until I requested that Alden join us that she acknowledged him. I couldn’t help but wonder if this was that familiar tactic: divide and conquer.
Most Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) are government funded and advertised as sanctuaries for possibly pregnant women looking for answers and guidance. Like Planned Parenthood, it’s for anyone seeking help or information for a pregnancy. However, the two organizations have contrasting methods and missions. Unlike Planned Parenthood, CPCs don’t offer pregnancy and STI testing, a variety of contraceptives, abortions, breast exams and unbiased, medically certified information. Lacking medically certified staff and licenses, they are prohibited by law to give medical advice.
People frequently mistake CPCs for abortion clinics due to purposeful misrepresentation that intentionally misleads both walk-ins and people with appointments. CPCs are placed near abortion-friendly medical centers, and choose names similar to abortion clinics. In Duluth, The Women’s Health Center provides abortions and is located 150 feet away from The Women’s Care Center. When a pregnant woman mistakes a CPC for an actual medical facility, they have an opportunity to stall her so her appointment is missed or she ultimately changes her mind.
CPCs are notorious for lacking transparent information, especially on the subject of abortion. Although the counselor didn’t know of a “study that’s proven it,” she informed us of the theory that abortions cause breast cancer. Her theory claims that when a woman becomes pregnant, her body works very hard to produce new cells that conjugate in the breasts, and in the occurrence of an abortion the excess cells created begin to mutate into cancer. The counselor then explained the abortion procedure with graphic language, models of fetuses in the womb, and a somber tone. I told the counselor I was leaning towards abortion, and even though The Women’s Care Center promises to support women and their choices, she would not refer me to an abortion clinic.
Minnesota is one of eleven states that directly funds CPCs. Currently, combined with six other states, there is a collective seventeen million dollars raised. CPCs offer respectable services; however, their lack of transparent information and medically certified staffing should not be awarded seventeen million dollars in funding. This is a war against women, as those seeking help and support for pregnancy should be receiving the utmost qualified assistance, something for which CPCs fall short.