The following guest post by Alice Wilder is cross-posted with permission from the author. The original post appeared on ThrillCityNC.com.
Crisis Pregnancy Centers — not known for their subtlety.
If you’re looking to access abortion care in North Carolina, there will be many people hoping to get in your way.
Yes, there are the folks in the North Carolina General Assembly, passing bills like SB 353. If the Department of Health and Human Services keeps all of the restrictions in SB 353, then there would be just one abortion clinic in the state.
But behind these highly publicized anti-abortion efforts is something a little more covert: Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs). Crisis Pregnancy Centers are ideologically based clinics that are dishonest to patients. According to a 2011 study by NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina Foundation (NPCNCF), 92 percent do not have medical professionals on staff.
There are reports from abortion rights organizations that condemn CPCs, and I wanted to test their data with a real call to a CPC’s crisis hotline.
I called telling the counselor that I had pregnancy symptoms but hadn’t taken a test. I said that I was leaning towards abortion because I wanted to stay in school. During our 20-minute phone call she took me in detail through parenting and “giving the child the gift of adoption.” She avoided the topic of abortion, and when I brought up she would only add that it wasn’t the only option. Her voice was gentle and calm as she pushed me away from abortion. At times it felt more like a debate than pregnancy counseling. Still, I couldn’t help but think that if I really was pregnant and panicking she’d seem trustworthy.
The bottom line is that there are groups of people coordinating to mislead Carolina students about their pregnancy options. In NARAL’s investigation of North Carolina CPCs investigators found that volunteers told patients that abortion leads to “post-abortion stress” and breast cancer — claims that have no basis in real science. They advertise in the materials that are given to all first-years. They’re targeting panicked college students who deserve nothing but complete honesty.
If you’re in Chapel Hill and thinking about abortion, call the Chapel Hill Health Center at 919.942.7762, or click here. The full NARAL Pro-Choice NC Foundation Investigation can be read online.
And just to make sure you don’t accidentally end up at a CPC, here’s a handy list of local CPC’s as listed by LifeCall, an anti-abortion website. Thanks, LifeCall!
Pregnancy Support Services
Chapel Hill, NC
Pregnancy Support Services
Catholic Social Ministries
Bethany Christian Services
LifeCare Pregnancy Center
Alice Wilder is a first-year at UNC-Chapel Hill from Charlotte, N.C. She has had her work published by the Spark blog and most recently wrote a thank-you note to Gov. Pat McCrory on Huffpost College.