Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) have the right to provide women with the information they see fit, without being criticized and deemed “fake clinics” for doing so. In an academic environment like UMW, students should be allowed access to information from each side of the abortion debate. To silence the voices of those on campus that support CPCs and that don’t agree with the abortion agenda would be nothing less than censorship.
In a statement from 2003, Louise Brinton, the National Cancer Institute’s chief of the hormonal and reproductive epidemiology branch, denied the existence of an abortion-breast cancer link. Yet Brinton conducted a study with Jessica Dolle in 2009 that found that abortion caused a 40% increase in the risk of developing breast cancer.
The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention and, along with other studies, confirms that abortion is a notable risk factor. Additional peer-reviewed studies were conducted in Turkey and China that also marked an increased risk of breast cancer among women who had abortions. For VOX to claim that the information CPCs distribute on the abortion-breast cancer link is false ignores emerging research in the medical field.
Another misconception promoted in the recent articles regarding CPCs is the idea that all CPCs are religiously based. Birthright, the second CPC in Fredericksburg, is not a religiously or politically affiliated organization. Their sole purpose is to support women in crisis pregnancy situations and help them to understand that there are alternative options to abortion. They provide the women who come to them with emotional support, but also give them material support through diapers, clothing and other baby items.
Students for Life recently conducted a diaper drive for Birthright that raised over 3,000 diapers for local mothers in need. Crisis pregnancy centers help direct women to places where they can obtain the material goods they need, and are an invaluable asset to struggling pregnant women.
Similarly, tens of thousands of women travel to abortion recovery retreats every year to deal with the consequences of having an abortion. Programs like Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More assist women daily who regret having an abortion and exhibit signs of post-abortion syndrome. Though the American Pregnancy Association may not be willing to acknowledge that women are struggling with the effects of abortion, the prevalence of these retreats signify that it is an issue.
The fliers that Students for Life posted on campus for Bethany and Birthright crisis pregnancy centers clearly denote the services they provide and their affiliations. Nowhere on the fliers do they claim to be abortion clinics so they can trick innocent women into keeping their child to “further their pro-life agenda.”
The only medical services provided are pregnancy tests or an ultrasound, for which they are licensed and meet federal guidelines. Both define themselves as “life affirming agencies.” VOX does not have to agree with CPCs policies or beliefs and can voice their opinions on the matter, but CPCs have a right to exist and advertise.
Melissa Evich is a junior.