Waxman Exposes Pregnancy Crisis Centers

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Rep. Henry Waxman has released a new report on “pregnancy crisis centers,” which deceptively tout themselves as resource centers for pregnant women but end up giving false and misleading information about the “dangers” of abortion (a procedure which, at last count, is still safer than actually giving birth).

The report said that 20 of 23 federally funded centers contacted by staff investigators requesting information about an unintended pregnancy were told false or misleading information about the potential risks of an abortion

The pregnancy resource centers, which are often affiliated with antiabortion religious groups, have received about $30 million in federal money since 2001, according to the report, requested by Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.). The report concluded that the exaggerations “may be effective in frightening pregnant teenagers and women and discouraging abortion. But it denies the teenagers and women vital health information, prevents them from making an informed decision, and is not an accepted public health practice.”

Amanda Marcotte wrote a great article awhile back for Alternet about pregnancy crisis centers. A pregnant 17-year-old walked into one center under the mistaken impression that it was a Planned Parenthood. The center ended up calling the police, and then resorted to “staking out the girl’s house, phoning her father at work, and even talking to her classmates about her pregnancy, urging them to harass her” into not having an abortion. As a bonus, many states fund these places by slashing their family planning budgets.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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