The NY Times delivers a takes a blast at pregnancy centers, which offer an alternative to the Times vision of abortions for all. Sadly, they can't (or don't want to) quote a single prominent liberal in favor of this implementation of "safe, legal and rare":
Pregnancy Centers Gain Influence in Anti-Abortion Arena
By PAM BELLUCK
WACO, Tex. — With free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, along with diapers, parenting classes and even temporary housing, pregnancy centers are playing an increasingly influential role in the anti-abortion movement. While most attention has focused on scores of new state laws restricting abortion, the centers have been growing in numbers and gaining state financing and support.
Largely run by conservative Christians, the centers say they offer what Roland Warren, head of Care Net, one of the largest pregnancy center organizations, described as “a compassionate approach to this issue.”
As they expand, they are adding on-call or on-site medical personnel and employing sophisticated strategies to attract women, including Internet search optimization and mobile units near Planned Parenthood clinics.
Internet search optimization? What's next, using Hollywood doctors in ads? Ooops.
The story is totally one-sided in its finding of flaws. For example:
Abortion rights advocates have long called some of their approaches deceptive or manipulative. Medical and other experts say some dispense scientifically flawed information, exaggerating abortion’s risks.
Jean Schroedel, a Claremont Graduate University politics professor, said that “there are some positive aspects” to centers, but that “things pregnant women are told at many of these centers, some of it is really factually suspect.”
I suspect that somewhere a pro-life advocate has criticized abortion providers for presenting slanted information. That suspicion is not addressed by the Times. However, if we flash back to an Emily Bazelon contribution to the Times from 2010, we learn that abortion providers are embattled victims of the pro-life movement who are fighting back heroically. A bit of flavor:
In many ways, the clinics were a rebel-sister success story. Instead of a sterile and expensive hospital operating room, patients could go to a low-cost clinic with pastel walls and sympathetic staff members. At a Planned Parenthood I visited recently in Rochester, while women were having abortions, they could look at photos of a Caribbean beach, taped above them on the ceiling.
And here is a Times classic:
Other claims include long-term psychological effects. The Care Net brochure says that “many women experience initial relief,” but that “women should be informed that abortion significantly increases risk for” clinical depression, suicidal thoughts and behavior, post-traumatic stress disorder and other problems. An American Psychological Association report found no increased risk from one abortion.
Do tell. The Guttmacher Institute, a credible pro-choice operation, summarized the APA as follows:
There is no credible evidence that abortion, in and of itself, causes subsequent mental health problems for most women, according to a major report released August 12, 2008, by a task force of the American Psychological Association (APA).
The task force draws no conclusions with respect to the mental health of teenagers following abortion, observing that the few studies on that subject suffered from methodological flaws such as small sample sizes, high attrition rates or exclusion of certain groups of teens in a way that could bias the results. It suggests that positive associations between multiple abortions and poorer mental health "may be linked to co-occurring risks that predispose a woman to both multiple unwanted pregnancies and mental health problems."
I can't guess how the Times missed the qualifications about teenagers and multiple abortions. They were careful enough to write "no increased risk from one abortion", but the mathematically-minded will note that having one abortion greatly increases the risk (in fact, it is a pre-condition) for having multiple abortions.
In the interest of fairness and balance the Times does include this in their final paragraph:
All Waco clients [at the pregnancy center] receive nonreligious “options counseling” from volunteers, staff or a licensed counselor who had an abortion.
Planned Parenthood’s building looks like the medical clinic it is. It distributes information on prenatal care and adoption, among other things, but does not offer emotional counseling. “We’re our patients’ medical provider,” said Katie Wolfe, the health educator, “not their emotional support.”
Amanda Hall met Care Net’s definition of “abortion-vulnerable.” Twenty-five, pregnant with her second child, her husband in jail, she was facing eviction.
Although uncomfortable about abortion, she checked “undecided,” saying, “I can’t support two kids.”
Care Net let her stay in a house Ms. McGregor owns, found her a job, negotiated debt payment plans, offered Bible study and other classes. She gave birth in March.
“Everybody here,” she said, was “like a different family.”
The Times covers this as though it is a bad thing. Well, I am sure they think it is.
MORE: Deception in the court room, from the pro-choice side.