Join Samantha Bee in her Campaign Against Fake Abortion Clinics
On Monday night’s episode of Full Frontal, Samantha Bee took down Georgia’s recent crisis pregnancy center bill and exposed these clinics for what they really are: attempts to confuse and shame women out of terminating their unwanted pregnancies.
Georgia’s bill, which was sponsored by Republican state senator Renee Unterman, allows the state to subsidize crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) with grant money—even as the state’s right wing legislators fight to defund actual women’s health centers. Unterman described the bill as “A positive response to the controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood,” which Bee points out was completely based on lies. Notice a theme?
“Much like Renee Unterman, crisis pregnancy centers may look sweet and helpful,” Bee says, “but they’re really full of toxic bullshit.”
Crisis pregnancy centers are, essentially, fake women’s health clinics. They don’t provide abortion, and they rarely provide legitimate medical services beyond pregnancy tests and ultrasounds—and according to Vicki Saporta, a representative from the National Abortion Federation who appears in Bee’s skit, even these services are questionable, as CPCs often provide pregnant women with fake ultrasound results to make it seem like they’re farther along in their pregnancies than they actually are.
Crisis pregnancy centers often take out huge advertisements in newspapers, online, and even on billboards—which look nearly identical to advertisements for actual abortion clinics. Ever seen those “Pregnant? Scared? Alone?” ads? Those are for CPCs. Their purpose is to lure in pregnant women, who often think they’re going to be given adequate medical treatment or, at the very least, sound medical advice. Instead, CPCs usually offer a free pregnancy test with a side of lies.
Pregnancy testing is a fairly simple process: you pee on a stick (or in a cup), wait a few minutes, and find out whether or not there’s a fetus/bun in your uterus/oven. At CPCs, pregnancy testing can take hours.
While women anxiously await their results, a CPC representative will speak to them about all the horrible side-effects of abortion: infertility (rare), a perforated uterus (incredibly rare), breast cancer (unrelated), mental illness (also unrelated). As if that weren’t enough, CPC representatives are known to dissuade women from using contraception, too, using such claims as: birth control causes cancer, condoms are porous, and IUDs are fatal. The only good options, they say, are celibacy or following through with a pregnancy; there’s no in-between.
According to the pro-life website lifecall.org, there are 79 crisis pregnancy centers in the state of Georgia, five of which are located in Atlanta. Meanwhile, there are just eight abortion clinics in the entire state. The Planned Parenthood in Downtown Atlanta—which didn’t even offer abortions, but instead provided women with abortion referrals—is “temporarily closed,” according to the organization’s website.
That means there are nearly ten times as many crisis pregnancy centers than actual abortion clinics in the state of Georgia. The prevalence of CPCs can be confusing and distracting for women who are looking for legitimate abortion providers, especially given the time constraint they’re typically under.
Georgia state law dictates that minors who wish to receive an abortion must receive parental consent; women who seek out abortions after their second trimester must be able to prove their abortion is “medically necessary” and receive permission from three separate physicians; and “partial birth,” i.e., third-term abortion, is illegal unless the mother’s life is at risk. The penalty for unlawful abortions is imprisonment for up to ten years or a $5,000 fine, and the state only provides public funding for abortions in cases of life endangerment, rape, or incest.
Take a minute to let that sink in: the state of Georgia provides funding for fraudulent pro-life clinics that tell women birth control is basically another form of abortion that will give them cancer and make them depressed, but it rarely provides funding for actual abortions. Or for contraception and comprehensive sex education which, you know, would probably prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place.
Images via Daily Kos, Salon, The Blaze.
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