Senate Budget to Increase Funding for so-called Crisis Pregnancy Centers


CONTACT: Suzanne Buckley, 919-972-eight486

Raleigh, NC — Months after launching their summer “sneak attack” on women’s reproductive rights, the Senate leadership is poised to pass a budget that would funnel an additional $50,000 to anti-choice “crisis pregnancy centers.” The Senate budget carves out $300,000 from the Maternal & Child Health Block Grant to fund the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship, an explicitly anti-choice organization that sustains more than half of North Carolina’s so-called crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs).  CPCs frequently manipulate and deceive women, often using propaganda to dissuade women from considering comprehensive birth-control options or legal abortion.

“Senator Berger’s priorities couldn’t be more out of touch.  Instead of increasing access to health care by expanding Medicaid and creating jobs for working families, Berger and the extreme majority are funneling 300,000 taxpayer dollars to groups that block women from making fully informed decisions about their own reproductive health,” said Suzanne Buckley, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina. “Regardless of how a person feels about legal abortion, we call all can agree that no one should ever be misled when seeking medical care and information,” she said.

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Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) are facilities that often pose as comprehensive health-care centers, but use manipulation and medically inaccurate information to block women from considering abortion—or even birth control—as an option.  NARAL Pro-Choice NC Foundation’s investigation of CPCs in North Carolina in 2011 investigation revealed that of the 60 member organizations of Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship:
  • 94 percent had no medical professionals on their staff.
  • 46 percent promoted abstinence over contraception as the preferred method of prevention
  • 26 percent engaged in deceptive advertising in phonebooks, websites, and college publications.
  • More than half claimed that abortion usually results in so-called “post-abortion stress.”

NARAL Pro-Choice NC will continue to advocate for policies that promote comprehensive, unbiased and non-directive reproductive-health information and work to end the deceptive tactics of CPCs who attempt to block women from making fully informed choices about their reproductive options. 

So You Want An Abortion In Chapel Hill

The following guest post by Alice Wilder is cross-posted with permission from the author.  The original post appeared on

Crisis Pregnancy Centers — not known for their subtlety.

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
Durham, NC

Raleigh, NC

Catholic Social Ministries
Raleigh, NC

Bethany Christian Services
Raleigh, NC

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. 

Legislative Lowdown: The Latest on Anti-Choice Legislation at the NCGA


This week, lawmakers in the General Assembly have pulled out all of the stops to try and damage the reproductive rights of women and teenagers in our state. Below you’ll find recap of four of the bills we’ve been working hard to defeat.

SB 132 passed committee Wednesday and was up for a vote in the Senate Thursday, it passed second reading, will likely have it’s final senate vote on Monday night:  SB 132 was the first anti-choice bill proposed by the NCGA this session. I wrote about it way back when here. This is a bill that would amend the Healthy Youth Act to require that young people be taught anti-choice propaganda in schools. Specifically, the bill would require that children be taught that abortion could lead to pre-term birth in subsequent pregnancies. This, in spite the fact that experts from the Center for Disease Control, The World Health Organization, and the American Medical Association have found no correlation between abortion care and pre-term deliveries. The original bill has been amended to reflect objections made by some of the Democratic Senators present. You can read about it here, but the main thing is that the bill will now require sex education curriculum to include abortion, among other potential “causes” of pre-term birth. This, in spite of the fact that no scientific study has established causation between abortion and pre-term birth later in life. To be clear, the amendment does nothing to change our opinion of this bill.

HB 693 was up for a vote in the House on Wednesday but was pulled from the calendar and referred back to the Judiciary Committee: I wrote on this blog Tuesday about HB 693, the parental consent bill. On Tuesday, that bill passed the Health and Human Services committee along party lines, 14 to 8. Not only did the bill pass, but in committee, it was amended, and it is now even more extreme. Now, the bill requires notarized written parental consent in order for a teen to seek out abortion care, or prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of STD/STIs, mental health, pregnancy, or substance abuse. It seems like a teenager might need to show up every month with notarized parental consent to refill her birth control. We know this is bad for our state. The research is very clear on this issue. And the extremists in the NCGA know that we know this too, that’s why they are rushing this bill through. According to APPCNC, teen pregnancy in North Carolina is at an all-time low, and between 2010 to 2011, teen pregnancy declined 12%. This decrease is attributed to increased use of contraception. This bill received a lot of backlash this week, which is a great sign, but we will  continue to work with our partners to raise the alarm about this bad bill.

HB 716 passed the house in a 79-40 vote on Tuesday. I’ve written here about 716 before, and there have been a couple of other stories that get at what is awful about this bill. The gist of it is this: Sex Selection bans like HB 716 claim to be about gender discrimination, but in fact, do nothing to alter the material realities of gender inequality. Moreover, HB 716 and other bills like it, erode doctor patient confidentiality, and take away a woman’s right to make her own personal health care decisions, without the threat of judgment or suspicion. The bill will be assigned to a Senate committee in the coming weeks.

HB 730 will be heard in the House Judiciary Committee at 10am next Wednesday. This news broke last night, just as it seemed we might be making some progress on HB 693. Drat! HB 730 is a Health Care refusal bill. It would vastly expand who can refuse to provide reproductive health care services and who qualifies as a “religious employer” for the purpose of refusing to cover health care services and benefits. In short, this is a bill that would allow your boss to decide s/he isn’t covering any birth control through your insurance plan. You can read the full text of bill here.

Stay tuned! Crossover is next Thursday. If a bill hasn’t passed in either the House or the Senate by Crossover (this year, May 16), it is effectively “dead” for the remainder of the session. You can bet the conservative majority doesn’t want any of the bills mentioned above to simply “die.” So they will act fast, and we will try our darndest to act faster 🙂

NC proves that M.D. is actually spelled R-E-P.

by Suba Narasimhan

So I made the mistake of actually sleeping eight hours last night.  I say it was a mistake because I wasn’t hyper-vigilant, and overnight the fine people at the North Carolina General Assembly approved another straightjacket of a bill, and tonight, it will reach the House Floor for a vote.

House Bill 693 (a.k.a. the WTF Are They Thinking Bill) is receiving much less coverage than the Sex-Selective Abortion Ban.  However, if it passes, it will amend the state’s current parental consent law extending restrictions to other services beyond abortion and have far-reaching implications on how doctors interact with their teenage patients.

This bill keeps minors from accessing services lawmakers see as potentially inappropriate.  HB 693 requires written and NOTARIZED (when was the last time any of us notarized anything?) permission for teens to access birth control, but also for sexually transmitted disease and HIV screening, mental health services, and substance abuse counseling, and prenatal care.

As a long-time resident and fervent lover of NC, I am livid over the Legislature’s attempts to curtail all forms of public health and frustrated by our State media’s lack of coverage about it.  Craig Jarvis at the N&O wrote a very short article on HB693 but it was trumped by adorable baby lemurs.  Dammit, we have priorities!  However, HuffPost and ThinkProgress picked up the slack.

I could fume about a million huge issues but let’s stick to two:

1) Not all minors live in environments that are safe where they can confide in adults: We cannot make legislation based on ideal families with ideal communication.

2) Stigmatizing minors who reach out for medical help and assuming they are engaging in risky behaviors is dangerous: We can’t blame teens when they do the right thing and access medical help.

This bill will change medical practice across NC.  More importantly, it keeps an already underserved population from accessing early intervention health services just because they either can’t or won’t confide in a parent or guardian. This is downright dangerous and goes against the tenets of public health and medicine.  It seems that REP Whitman seeks to remove the vital role of the physician to bridge the gaps in communication between patient and parent.  Yet again, NC proves that M.D. is actually spelled R-E-P.

Cheers NC!  Here’s to turning back time to 1960 – but at least it’s a good day to be a notary.

Suba Narasimhan was born in Michigan but raised in Eastern NC.  In 2010, she received her MPH in Maternal and Child Health from UNC.  She is a Family Planning Researcher who loves loves baby lemurs, reproductive justice, and a good strong cocktail.  She can be reached at