Pentimento has a thoughtful and moving post up, spurred by an NY Times article reporting on CPCs versus Planned Parenthood vacilities in light of an upcoming New York City Council vote on whether or not to require pregnancy centers to disclose on all advertising what services they do (and do not) offer:
The bill was triggered by a recent study undertaken by NARAL, which aims to show that the pregnancy centers use deceptive advertising to lure young women in crisis and . . . not give them abortions. Chris Slattery, a member of my old parish in the Bronx and the director of Expectant Mother Care, which runs pregnancy centers in some of New York's poorest neighborhoods, believes that this proposed legislation is an attack on the work that the centers do, because, while technically it doesn't seem like a bad idea to require businesses to be specific about what they do and don't offer, in the case of the emergency pregnancy centers, this forced disclosure could very likely lead to loss of life. If an abortion-minded woman in a crisis pregnancy goes to an EMC center without knowing that abortion is not on the menu, it's easier for the staff to persuade her to change her mind. This, NARAL says, is a very bad thing indeed. The fact that a woman may be talked out of having an abortion apparently does grievous harm to her freedom of choice.
I was fascinated today to read this article in the New York Times, in which a pregnant newspaper reporter took herself on an investigative-journalistic tour of two crisis pregnancy centers and one Planned Parenthood clinic. She went first to one of Chris Slattery's centers, and was overwhelmed by what she freely calls the love with which she was welcomed. She also admits that Planned Parenthood was the only one of the three places that had "a financial stake" in the choice she made vis-à-vis her (in real life, non-crisis) pregnancy.
But most salient for me in this story were the reader comments -- or, I should say, one of the reader comments, which twisted my heart (most of the other comments were just what you might expect): [continue reading]