Crisis pregnancy centers have become a significant target of furor in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. In addition to physical attacks on dozens of churches and centers across the U.S., there is also a concerted effort among some politicians to diminish these groups’ work.
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is among those leading the charge against pregnancy centers, calling them deceptive and imploring federal and state governments to take action against them.
“These are deceptive outfits that front for groups that are trying to harass or otherwise frighten people who are pregnant to keep them from seeking an abortion, and they do so under the cover of pretending to offer abortion services,” Warren said during a recent press conference.
She called on leaders to “move more aggressively” to protect women from these pro-life groups. Warren has proposed a bill that would fine these charities if they engage in “disinformation” surrounding abortion services, an effort she has vociferously promoted on Twitter.
“With Roe gone, it’s more important than ever to crack down on so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” that mislead and deceive patients seeking abortion care. My bill with @SenatorMenendez would stop these harmful practices,” Warren tweeted June 27.
The senator also sent a July 3 tweet, writing, “In Massachusetts, so-called crisis pregnancy centers outnumber legitimate abortion care providers 3 to 1. We need to crack down on the deceptive practices these centers use to prevent people from getting abortion care, and I’ve got a bill to do just that.”
Despite these narratives, Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International, a network of pro-life pregnancy resource centers with 3,000 affiliate locations across the globe, told CBN’s Faithwire many of the claims from Warren and other critics are predicated on lies and misinformation.
Godsey lamented recent attacks on pro-life pregnancy centers, noting that over 40 centers and churches have been defaced and damaged due to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe.
He also pointed out critics’ penchant for using the word “choice” while cracking down on pregnancy options with which they disagree. These assaults on pro-life centers, he said, hurt women.
“Ultimately, in those situations, women needing help is who gets hurt which … puts the lie to the whole pro-choice idea, right?” he said. “If the only choice you champion is abortion, then clearly you’re not championing choice.”
Godsey also sought to debunk some of the claims from Warren and others in the pro-choice movement. Among the criticisms against pro-life pregnancy centers is the idea that centers will lie to women or trick them simply to stop them from aborting.
“One of our kind of core values is that women should make an informed decision. What often happens is, she’s not even aware of what’s happening in her own body,” Godsey said. “She’s been told … lies … ‘Ah, it’s a clump of cells. It’s not really a human. It’s not a baby.'”
He said crisis pregnancy centers give women a chance to see ultrasounds and to fully understand the science of what is unfolding in their wombs. In the end, he said the claim these groups are being untruthful is a lie.
“[Pro-life centers] want her to be informed,” he said. “They also want her to be informed about what actually happens in an abortion.”
As for whether crisis pregnancy centers intentionally mislead women to assume they provide abortions so they can trick them into visiting and manipulate them into not aborting, Godsey said truth and ethical standards are what guide these groups.
In fact, he said Heartbeat International and other groups adhere to national standards.
“We talk explicitly about being honest and truthful in our communications and making sure that people understand what we do and what we don’t do,” he said. “The idea that they’re being tricked or intentionally manipulated to come to centers is a falsehood.”
Godsey also addressed another claim from pro-choice advocates: that crisis pregnancy centers don’t offer any medical care and have no medical personnel on staff.
“That’s probably the … easiest to debunk,” he said. “We count of all the pregnancy centers in the U.S., about 70% of them are providing medical services, and the way that that happens is they’re providing medical services through licensed medical physicians [and] healthcare workers.”
Godsey, who explained each clinic is different and serves different needs, said medical doctors and sonographers are on staff at many locations.
“Whether they’re paid, or they’re volunteer, they are bringing their profession and their skills to that woman to help her understand what exactly we’re dealing with,” he said.
Godsey concluded his interview with Faithwire by delivering a message directly to Warren, imploring her to join him and others in putting politics aside to help women.
“Step away from the politics,” he said. “Join us in trying to help women make sure that they have the choice that they want, not the choice that they feel pressured into.”
Watch the full interview for more.
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