Wed, 01 Apr 2009 05:00:50 +0000 – By Kirsten PowersFOX News Analyst
The organization NARAL Pro Choice America blasted Virginia's Governor Tim Kaine -- the chairman of the Democratic National Committee -- on Tuesday for signing a bill that, NARAL says, includes state funding for crisis pregnancy centers. Essentially, if someone buys a "Choose Life" license plate, some of the proceeds would go to crisis centers.
As a life-long feminist, I find this approach by so-called women's rights groups perplexing and more than a little insulting to women.
What really seems to enrage NARAL and Planned Parenthood is when crisis pregnancy centers use ultra-sound devices, or other methods, to show women pictures of their fetuses. To say that this is a "scare tactic" would be like saying it is a "scare tactic" to show a man a picture of clogged arteries to try to get him to understand his health situation. Yes, it may scare him in a certain direction -- or not -- but it's an informed decision.
If a woman is seven weeks pregnant and someone shows her this picture, what is wrong with that? How is that "scary"?
Women are not delicate little flowers who can't handle information, despite what NARAL Pro Choice and Planned Parenthood tell us. They should have the option of having all the information presented to them before an abortion so they understand what they are doing.
I don't think they should be forced to look at an ultrasound, but one should be offered.
Abortion-rights activists sneer about anti-abortion advocates ignoring science. But the reality is that science is not on the side of NARAL or their ilk, and they know that. That's why they don't want women looking at ultrasounds or hearing that what they call a "little clump of cells" has a heartbeat at 3 weeks. (I learned that at the "Bodies" exhibit).
It was learning about that current science on fetal development that first shook my strong pro-choice beliefs. (I'm now where most Americans are: not advocating overturning Roe v. Wade, but in favor of limitations on abortion).
A few years ago, I was curious about crisis pregnancy centers (to be honest I had totally bought the negative propaganda about them) so I signed up for the counselor training at one in Manhattan.
I was ready to be outraged by their manipulation but in fact all they did was present information about the development of the fetus and advice on how to counsel women seeking abortion, with most of their focus on how to be loving to women seeking counseling after having an abortion.
Another key focus was on how to help women get health insurance if they wanted to keep the baby and finding parents to adopt the child if they wanted that option.
I don't doubt that some of the crisis pregnancy centers are deceitful and engage in harmful practices. Such places should be shut down. But as a person who cares about women's rights, I would be enormously pleased if the people who claim to be "pro-choice" would embrace a wider array of choices for women dealing with unwanted pregnancies, rather than trying to bully any organization offering abortion alternatives out of existence.