The Reproductive FACT Act Undermines Crisis Pregnancy Centers

The California Reproductive FACT Act is not all that interested in facts or reproduction. Purportedly, crisis pregnancy centers across the nation have been “misleading” women, so this legislation forces Crisis Pregnancy Centers to post this sign:

California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [insert the telephone number].

The Reproductive FACT Act is sort of like that disclaimer on your vitamins. You know, the one that says: “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.” In other words: “This product does not lobby the federal government like Big Pharma does. Go to your doctor for more expensive complications to your current malady.”

In many ways, crisis pregnancy centers don’t purport to offer “official” women’s healthcare. Most of them are very straightforward about why they exist: to encourage women not to have abortions. One must wonder why the state of California cares so much about this. Why would they have a vested interest in promoting abortion?

Of course, few people are willing to say that they are promoting abortion. Proponents of the Reproductive FACT Act contest instead that crisis pregnancy center don’t really offer “adequate” medical care, that they are not medically certified, or that they are not qualified to give “medical advice.” That may be true in some cases, but one wonders why that matters. Crisis pregnancy centers generally intend to keep people from going through a “medical” procedure. And I haven’t ever heard of anyone dying from a “botched ultrasound.”

Imagine if I set up next to a plastic surgery center with information on why no one should have cosmetic plastic surgery. Would I have to be certified in rhinoplasty to tell people that God had a plan for their noses? No.

Abortion centers have a major financial incentive to shut down crisis pregnancy centers. But crisis pregnancy centers have no financial incentive in keeping women from having abortions. In fact, it costs them more money if a woman doesn’t have an abortion. They have a moral motivation though.

And that moral motivation is being held against them. Proponents of the Reproductive FACT Act say that CPCs are actually “misleading women” because of their moral motivation. Just check out these statements in Salon:

Because so many women around the nation have been misled by CPCs, and because there is evidence that women who in fact need to terminate do not get vital health care or information, some localities have tried to correct for the misinformation.

Misled into what? Keeping their babies? Horror of horrors. And who exactly needs to terminate their pregnancies? The cases where abortion is recommended to protect the life of a mother are rare in the first place. And the vast majority of pro-life organizations say that abortion is allowable when the woman’s life is threatened (My wife and I actually don’t agree with this for ourselves, but I have a very hard time telling someone else they should be willing to die for an ideal.) But all that aside, I highly doubt there are numerous cases where CPCs actually convinced a woman not to have an abortion who then subsequently died from pregnancy or delivery complications. I would at least want to see this so-called “evidence” Salon claims to have. On the other hand, there are plenty of cases where women died from complications after an abortion. Yes, that includes legal abortions. I guess that doesn’t matter.

Crisis pregnancy centers should not have to advertise for abortion centers any more than AA should have to advertise for local liquor stores. They exist to fight against something they believe is wrong. Since when did that become deplorable?