Get Into It: NARAL and FMF’s CPC Week of Action is Coming Up!

By Carmen Rios
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Crisis Pregnancy Centers, or CPCs, lie to and deceive women in order to dissuade them from making health decisions in their best interest. We’ve been working to expose these fake clinics for years, alongside efforts to support real clinics which provide comprehensive and compassionate care. As of late, CPCs have been experiencing success as legislative attacks on women’s health leave communities across the nation without real abortion and preventitive care resources. That’s why NARAL and the Feminist Majority Foundation are joining forces for a CPC Week of Action from November 11 to 15, 2013.

via Ann Harkness
via Ann Harkness

Over the summer, we published a first-hand account that exemplifies some of the awful experiences women have inside CPCs, which are often religiously funded and motivated and have been caught telling folks medically inaccurate information over and over again:

The woman handed me pamphlets to “educate” myself about different services and options the center offered before she met with my friend in another room. “It’s not that simple,” the pamphlets told me. The pamphlet was about abortion. “It’s a life changing event with significant physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences.” It said that women faced regret as well as other risks by having abortions – and listed consequences ranging from breast cancer to death. That didn’t sound right. (Abortion is safer than taking an injection of penicillin and can be completed in under five minutes. Also, a study has shown the first emotion felt after an abortion is commonly relief.)

My friend burst back into the room and mouthed, negative, let’s go. The whole discussion with the volunteer had set her off. Not only had the volunteer called abortion “the A word,” but she continuously told her about the office’s Abortion Recovery and Counseling services. This place seemed to distribute shame to all its visitors. Who knew it was this hard to take a pregnancy test?

My friend left with a few final words of information from the volunteer: “God makes babies.”

Women facing an unintended pregnancy deserve honest information – not lies meant to scare and shame them. Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) deceive and scare women from even considering abortion as the core of their business strategy. Groups like Option Line target young women and women of color through deceptive advertising and evasive answers on the phone to lure them to local CPCs. NARAL Pro-Choice America, the FMF, and our allies will expose CPCs and powerful, national anti-choice organizations for lying to women. Our goals are to hold a nationally coordinated week of action to raise awareness about CPCs, primarily in youth communities and communities of color and helping young activists expose CPCs in their community. 

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All week, the activities will be social-media driven and super exciting! Stay tuned by following the #CallOutCPCs hashtag on Twitter and following us @feministcampus. Here’s a sneak-peek:

+ We’ll be encouraging folks to file Yelp! reviews for their local CPCs and make it clear to potential patients that women will not be offered comprehensive care there.
+ We’ll be running a Tumblr campaign a la Project Unbreakable in which students stand in front of their community CPCs holding up signs that have quotes from brochures or CPC workers on them.
+ We’re soliciting blog posts for the Feminist Campus blog! We’d love to hear about personal experiences at CPCs or how your group took successful action against one.

If you’re super eager to get involved, email [email protected] – but otherwise, get in touch with us on Twitter to stay posted.

By Carmen Rios

Carmen splits her time disparately between feminist rabble-rousing, writing, public speaking, and flower-picking. She is currently Communications Coordinator at the Feminist Majority Foundation, the Straddleverse and Feminism Editor at Autostraddle, and a writer with FORCE. Carmen is a SPARK alum and former Managing Editor of THE LINE Campaign blog. She's part of an oncoming anthology about girls' activism.

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