Why is Planned Parenthood indispensable?

Because regardless of your views on elective abortion, Planned Parenthood is honest about its range of services and disseminates credible, unbiased medical information. That may seem to be setting the bar pretty low, but consider the alternative, which most of the current crop of U.S. Representatives would undoubtedly favor if it came down to a choice.

[F]or women unwilling to become young mothers—nervous women who are lured into [limited service pregnancy centers] for their advertised free pregnancy tests—visiting these centers can be traumatic. On their websites, brochures, and business signs, many advertise themselves as medical clinics, not Christian pregnancy centers. “Medical Clinic,” read many of their business signs, followed by “Free Pregnancy and STI Testing.”

But none of these centers are medical clinics—they’re not medically licensed with the state. They’re largely staffed by volunteers, not nurses or doctors, and their services are far from comprehensive. Some of the centers offer sexually transmitted infection testing or ultrasounds (no diagnostic analysis, just moody pictures of your insides) but no other medical care. None of them provide information about or access to birth control or condoms (just abstinence and Jesus). When you visit their websites or call to make an appointment, it’s rarely made clear that these are Christian organizations. Based on anecdotal evidence, only occasionally do they voluntarily disclose before appointments that they’re opposed to abortion and won’t refer women to providers who offer those services…

The video informs me that if I have an abortion, my chances of dying within the year are four times greater than if I chose to keep the pregnancy. If I make it through that year alive, according to the video, my risk of getting breast cancer is likely to “increase by 50 percent.” If, down the road, I do decide to have children, I might not be able to bond with them. I could also suffer for years from post-abortion syndrome (a condition dismissed by the American Psychological Association) that may lead me to contemplate suicide.

Then a woman on the video recounts her experience of getting an abortion after being forcibly raped. She says it was easier to forgive her rapist than to forgive herself for getting an abortion because “I did that to myself.” The not-so-subtle subtext of the video: Have the baby. Keep it, put it up for adoption, give it to a pack of wolves to raise—anything is better than having an abortion

Only half of the six pregnancy centers Megan and I visit during our weeklong pregnancy test spree disclose over the phone that they don’t perform or refer for abortions. None mention that they’re Christian-run clinics. “We do not discriminate, judge, or lecture,” says a woman with Whatcom County Pregnancy Clinic, a crisis pregnancy center in Bellingham, when I pointedly ask if the organization is Christian and if they refer for abortions. She dodges the referral question, saying only, “Come in and take a free test. It’ll only take a minute and then we can discuss your options.”

Christ is waiting in the waiting rooms—Bibles, crosses, and Reader’s Digests everywhere. But by the time women are in those waiting rooms, most have already committed to an appointment, which is the goal.

At every center, Megan and I are faithfully given false information about abortions that is presented as fact. Their statistics come from debunked medical studies, the conservative Medical Institute, and Focus on the Family.

What kind of conditioning can so thoroughly trash anyone’s moral compass that she thinks that preying on fearful young women with lies and scaremongering is okay, but abortion is sinful? There’s only one kind I know of, but it’s unfortunately as popular and timeless as misbegotten fads get.

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