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The Anti-Choice Plan to Lure Women to Christian Pregnancy Centers

Many crisis pregnancy centers are converting into limited-service medical clinics. With Planned Parenthood under attack, will they be more of a draw for women?

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Wisconsin's Hope Pregnancy Center provides a guide to "Your Sex Life," that undermines the effectiveness of condoms in preventing pregnancy ("Do you put your trust in a flimsy bit of latex? Sex can be unsafe, even with a condom..."). They also assure the devirginized that there's hope ... in virginity number 2: "Secondary virginity is all about second chances. You have one right now. Make a commitment today that you will not have sex again until your wedding night. Stand by your new decision without wavering. Call us, we want to help you stand firm."

Indiana's East Pregnancy Center, a crisis medical clinic that's part of Life Centers Ministry, describe their mission thusly: "At the heart of our life-saving mission is our passion to proclaim biblical truth that results in changed lives to the glory of God. We believe the love and salvation found in Jesus Christ is the hope for those facing unplanned pregnancies." To that end, Life Centers say all of their staff and volunteers adhere to a list of "truths," including, "We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible authoritative Word of God" and "We believe that for the salvation of the lost and sinful man, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential, and that this salvation is received through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and not as a result of good works."

Despite their religious overtones, CPCs continue to draw public money, mostly from various shadowy corners of state budgets.

But that's not the only boost they're getting from states. Recently South Dakota legislators passed a bill that would have forced women not only to wait 72 hours before getting an abortion, but to pay a visit to an anti-abortion CPC as well.

A judge put a temporary moratorium on the law, but Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, who argued against the law in court, told AlterNet (before the injunction) that these types of laws tend to mushroom throughout the country once conservative legislators in one state give them a try.

Meanwhile, bright lights of the Republican Party, like John Ensign and Michele Bachmann, have pushed for increased funding for CPCs, even while their party guts funding to Planned Parenthood clinics.

So as one arm of the anti-choice movement tries to eviscerate the nationwide women's health services delivered by Planned Parenthood for decades, another is helping boost a version that offers severely limited services stacked with an anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-sex, aggressively Christian worldview.

Tana Ganeva is an AlterNet editor. Follow her on Twitter. You can email her at

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