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In Maryland, Free Speech Protects the Right of Crisis Pregnancy Centers to Lie to Women: An Analysis of the Baltimore CPC Case

Written by Imani Gandy for RH Reality Check. This diary is cross-posted; commenters wishing to engage directly with the author should do so at the original post. In the wake of the more than 1100 bills that have been rammed through state legislatures across the country, and as state legislators try to legislate women's bodies while at the same time preventing them from calling a vagina "a vagina," one important front in the "war on women" has gotten very little media attention -- the scourge of crisis pregnancy centers (CPC). In clinics nationwide, young women — mostly poor women — are lured into so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" which falsely advertise themselves as health clinics, but which are anything but. These crisis pregnancy centers are often set up and run by Catholic churches, which, for obvious reasons, doesn't bode well for any woman seeking information about contraception or terminating a pregnancy. Instead of offering counseling about a woman's choices, these CPCs steer women towards a right-wing, anti-choice agenda, using Jesus and guilt as weapons. Some of the more pernicious CPCs manipulate women using tactics that include scheduling appointments weeks after they are requested, such that women who finally visit a CPC and realize that the center does not provide abortion services may be too far along in their pregnancy to terminate. These despicable tactics are calculated to force women into carrying pregnancies to term even if those women have already decided that they want to get an abortion, and visit a crisis center believing that abortions are available at that particular center. These tactics also deprive women of the freedom to make a choice for themselves without having a self-righteous third party take credit for a difficult choice that they made on their own. Continue reading....
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