This weekend marked the 39th anniversary of the monumental Roe v. Wade decision, which liberalized abortion access nationwide and established many of the principles that lie at the center of today’s most heated debates. To commemorate this occasion, pro-choice individuals and organizations around the nation participated in “Blog for Choice Day” on January 22nd, sharing their answers to the question, “What will you do to elect pro-choice candidates?” We at NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina would like to applaud the hundreds of bloggers who spoke up to support a woman’s right to choose and would like to add our voice to this conversation.
This past October, we released a report exposing the alarming prevalence and impact of Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs). CPCs are clinics run by anti-choice organizations that often provide incorrect or misleading information and falsely advertise as medical facilities despite their lack of medically licensed personnel. Women who enter these clinics seeking abortions and unbiased information are subjected to such a degree of anti-choice pressure that those who decide not to have the abortions cannot be said to have truly exercised “choice.” We identified 122 CPCs in the state of North Carolina alone and were moved to action by the apparent lack of awareness about these centers.
We are currently in the process of recruiting campus representatives to serve the pro-choice movement on college campuses across the state, with the intention that these representatives will raise awareness about CPCs and spread the results of our investigation. The work and deception of CPCs provide a clear illustration of the extent to which women’s freedom is degraded when their choice is restricted, and we believe that educating young voters about this issue will garner a stronger understanding of the need to protect female choice. It is our hope that, in the course of this CPC consciousness-raising, campus representatives will introduce the NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina cause to young voters and to stimulate stronger pro-choice movements in the university setting.
Since our report was released, NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota undertaken and published its own investigation of the status and prevalence of CPCs. We hope, in the face of the 2012 elections, that folks across the state and country will join our efforts to generate awareness of CPCs as both a means to end this injustice and a platform to promote a greater understanding of the pro-choice position.