I just spent the last twenty minutes digging through the website of a “pregnancy and family resource center” located here in the Twin Cities. The organization that I was reading about looks like they have a pretty decent program, focusing on providing prenatal care, helping with getting medical insurance, providing physical resources (cribs, clothes, diapers, food, etc.), support groups, referrals to mental health programs and housing programs, and life skills and job skills training. Because you know where this is going, dear reader, there was of course the conspicuous lack of “abortion” or “pregnancy termination” referral in the many services that the group offers. I finally found the language I was looking for in one of the testimonial videos in which they advertise that they offer prayer and talk about “women in crisis.”
On the one hand, a center like this looks damned fine. They claim to accept all comers and appear to care about families both before and after the client gives birth. They seem like real. nice. people. For the right person – someone who has decided to have a baby and needs the offered services – this might be an excellent resource.
But make no mistake, they are a crisis pregnancy center. CPCs are different from legit family planning groups that your run-of-the-mill medical professional or pro-choice counselor might recommend. The give away is that CPCs view unplanned pregnancies as crises. They can’t help it; if termination is not an option, unplanned pregnancy can most definitely be a crisis.
CPCs assume that a pregnancy is a done deal and they are attempting to solve a problem that doesn’t (have to) exist: “Okay, you’re pregnant. That means you’re having a baby. How can we help you deal with this?” And some CPCs really do seem to care about the person they claim to want to help, but they are starting at a fundamentally biased place in the reproductive health care spectrum: abortion is off the table.
As we who value a person’s right to the full spectrum of reproductive options know, pregnancy doesn’t have to result in a baby. Pregnancy doesn’t have to be a crisis. Not that abortion is exactly easily accessible these days, but that’s a different hurdle altogether.
Also, among the things that this lovely-seeming CPC doesn’t offer is pregnancy prevention counseling or resources. So they again reveal that their primary care is for the fetuses inside of the people who come to them for help.