If you haven’t heard of a pregnancy crisis center (or PCP), that doesn’t mean you haven’t seen one. That’s the whole point— you may have seen a pregnancy crisis center without even knowing it. And it’s what makes them so terrifying.
What is a PCP? Basically, it’s a pro-life center that attempts to dissuade women from having abortions. Now, there’s no problem with offering advice to women who aren’t sure what they want. Advice that is impartial and fact-checked is often welcome, whether it’s for or against having an abortion. But that’s not what these centers do. They deliberately place themselves near abortion clinics and women’s health centers, mimic the signage— even the font— and present themselves as a medical center. One pregnancy crisis center, the Hartford Women’s Center, is located feet from the Hartford GYN Center, a genuine abortion clinic. They present themselves a medical facilities and they deliberately trick young women into thinking that’s what they are.
“By opening a pregnancy resource center in a more visible and easily accessible location — directly in the path of women in search of help for an unplanned pregnancy — the representatives of the Hartford Women’s Center are hoping to provide women with more options, namely the option to keep their baby rather than choose abortion,” says a report in the Catholic Transcript website. “‘Sixty percent of women going in for an abortion [later] say they had no choice,’ said Leticia Velasquez, director of both St. Gerard’s Center for Life and the Hartford Women’s Center. ‘So we want to be there to give them a choice.’”
But a choice isn’t what they’re giving these women. They present them with incorrect information and use any tactic they can to scare-monger them into keeping the pregnancy. According to Broadly, they tell women “that abortions are extremely painful and perilous, that ending an unwanted pregnancy may result in permanent psychological damage, that an abortion might not even be necessary because miscarriage is so common. In some cases, staff will even lie about the fetus’ gestational age in order to push the pregnancy past the legal window for termination.” It’s totally terrifying.
Why is it so important to know about these centers? Well, in part, because they outnumber abortion clinics by over 4-1, with 3500 centers operating in the US versus around 800 abortion clinics. And more are popping up all the time. But you need know about them because they aren’t being open about who they are and what their agenda is. Being anti-abortion is fine. Giving a women religious or pro-life slanted advice is fine too, if that’s what she wants and that’s what she knows she is getting. Some women want to hear both sides. But pretending to provide impartial medical advice is beyond despicable. And they’re out there, so you need to know about them.