Alternatives to Visiting a Crisis Pregnancy Center

| Reproaction

By: Shireen Shakouri

This blog post is the third in a series on Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs). For the previous two posts, please visit What Is a Crisis Pregnancy Center? How Do They Push Alternative Facts? and How Are Crisis Pregnancy Centers Robbing Taxpayers?.

Some CPCs claim to provide help to people in need beyond anti-abortion “counseling” and pregnancy options that only include carrying to term. [1] Our friends and co-conspirators involved in the #ExposeFakeClinics week of action had some thoughts about this assertion, so I’m just going to leave their clap back here.

It’s tough to find real life stories of CPCs helping women in need — trust me, I looked all over — unless you’re looking for anti-abortion puff pieces or testimonials on a CPC’s own website. However, all too common are accounts of women who visited a CPC and were lied to, harassed, and even stories of women who carry pregnancies to term because they were manipulated by CPC staff who promise to help, and then are ignored after she gives birth. [2-7]

Not to mention that the services CPCs purport to provide can be found elsewhere, and without the shaming, bias, and manipulation that is characteristic of crisis pregnancy center experiences. When opponents to abortion claim that CPCs and other facilities that don’t specialize in reproductive health would fill the gap in care left from defunding Planned Parenthood or closing independent abortion providers, they’re selling alternative facts: abortion is healthcare, and CPCs just don’t provide supplemental services equivalent to real health providers or social services coordinators. They’re biased against abortion, unregulated, and often not HIPPA-compliant or staffed with medical professionals. [7]

And if abortion isn’t the right choice for you right now, you are a single parent, or if you are no longer pregnant but in need of assistance raising a family or after a miscarriage? You still shouldn’t have to sit through the accusations, guilt trips, and lies peddled by CPCs just to get help.

Luckily, you don’t. Here are some other resources that will affirm your personal autonomy and trust your decision-making:

  • All Options (Formerly known as Backline) is a pro-choice resource that provides non-judgmental, free counseling on all the options available to someone in their pregnancy and after, including abortion, adoption, and parenting. Their toll-free talk line number is 1-888-493-0092 and it’s open Monday through Friday from 10-1 a.m., and Saturday through Sunday from 10 a.m. through 6 p.m. ET.
  • DomesticShelters.org is the first and largest online and mobile searchable directory of domestic violence programs and shelters in the U.S. and Canada, and a leading source of helpful tools and information for people experiencing and working to end domestic violence. They aim to make it faster and easier for victims of domestic violence and their friends/family, as well as program and shelter providers, to quickly find services and information best suited to their location, language, and needs.
  • LoveIsRespect.org engages, educates, and empowers young people to prevent and end abusive relationships. Their free and confidential services are available 24/7: Chat at www.loveisrespect.org; Text ‘loveis’ to 22522*; or make a toll-free call to 1-866-331-9474.
  • Parents without Partners provides single parents and their children with an opportunity for enhancing personal growth, self-confidence, and sensitivity towards others by offering an environment for support, friendship and the exchange of parenting techniques.
  • Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. Partnering with over 1,000 local sexual assault service providers nationally, RAINN carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. Their toll-free hotline is 1-800-656-HOPE and it’s open 24/7.
  • Single Mothers By Choice provides peer support and information to single women who are considering, or have chosen, single motherhood. Members connect with one another through local chapters all over the US, and in Canada, Europe, and beyond.
  • The National Diaper Bank Network raises awareness of diaper need, strengthens community-based diaper banks, and generates donations of dollars and diapers, so that all babies remain clean, dry and healthy.
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline staffs highly trained, experienced advocates to offer compassionate support, crisis intervention information, and referral services in more than 200 languages for DV survivors. Visit their website to find information about DV, safety planning, and local resources. Their toll free hotline is open 24/7 at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
  • The National Parent Helpline connects parents or caregivers of youth to local services and resources and counsels on problem-solving and personal empowerment for caregivers. Their hotline is 1-855- 4A PARENT (1-855-427-2736) and it’s open Monday through Friday from 10am-7pm PST.
  • The National Pro-Choice Adoption Collaborative is comprised of two non-profits: Open Adoption & Family Services and Friends in Adoption, which provides pro-choice, not religiously affiliated and non-discriminatory adoption information and counseling. Their toll-free hotlines are open 24/7 at 1-800-772-1115 (OAFS) or 1-800-982-3678 (FiA)
  • The Pushback is a space created is to push back against negative stereotypes of teen parenthood and affirm capable caregiving and success for young families.

I hope these resources can provide some help for anyone in need, and we can help loosen the grasp of crisis pregnancy centers on the “here to help” narrative. Fake clinics are not there to help – they exist first and foremost to dissuade women from having abortions.

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