There's a bill before the Washington State Senate right now to regulate "crisis pregnancy centers." (News link. That should be "chord," dammit.)
SB 6452 would require centers to:
-Provide reproductive health information that is "medically and scientifically accurate."
-Communicate immediately that they do not provide medical care for pregnant women, abortion or comprehensive birth control services or referrals for such services.
-Allow clients to self-administer pregnancy tests and provide test results in writing to clients as soon as they are known.
-Keep all health information private, unless otherwise authorized, and make a client's records available to her promptly, but no later than 15 working days after receiving a request.
It amazes me that anyone could have any reaction other than "holy shit, they aren't doing these things now?!" Because it's not shutting the centers down. It's just making them operate in a sort of remotely honest manner. The stipulations about self-administered pregnancy tests and results in writing--that's because there have been cases where CPCs have told women they weren't pregnant when they were, so they'd be too far along to abort when they realized they'd been duped. And the others are just basic, bottom-of-the-barrel expectations for anything resembling a healthcare facility.
The problem, of course, is that no one's reading or voting on the content of the bill; it's just yet another referendum on "would you rather kill babies or oppress women?", and senators are most likely going to vote along those lines rather than the very modest stipulations actually made. I've gotta admit, the wording is crafty though; do you really want to be seen opposing accurate information?
Despite the assumptions people tend to make of Seattle sex/feminism bloggers, I'm not 100% pro-choice. I'm mostly, I think abortion needs to be legal, but it actually makes me very uncomfortable. I have no sympathy for zygotes and embryos, but once they start getting to the cute phase (i.e., the having a nervous system phase) I'm... undecided. I can understand why it might be necessary but I don't like it. I believe most abortions are performed before the really cute phase though, which I'm more comfortable with. It's not potential that bothers me, I think arguments about potential are specious because obviously not every potential human can exist. I'm only concerned about the fetus's capability for awareness and suffering--which I believe is not much during the first trimester.
But I am absolutely 100% definitely convinced that the people who run crisis pregnancy centers are worthless sacks of shit. These centers seem to have no problem lying to and manipulating women. Never mind abortion, they're telling women not to use condoms. That's fucking insane. Condoms not only save lives, they prevent abortions! I hate to ascribe "they must just be evil" to political opponents, I can see some justification for trying to discourage abortion, but telling sexually active adults not to use condoms is fucking evil. And trying to persuade someone not to have an abortion is one thing (and still problematic if you're advertising as a medical or social services center), but tricking them into it... worthless sack of shit.
I assume this bill will pass. I mean, I really hope so. It seems awfully modest to just request that the sacks of shit restrict themselves to only pressuring and browbeating (mostly young and poor) women, instead of outright lying to them.
I'm almost curious enough now to make a field trip to a CPC just to see what happens. Of course I'd test not pregnant (boy, wouldn't that be a hell of a way to find out), but I wonder if they'd get on the condom thing with me and what they'd say. Might be educational.