By Jennie Sekanics
As a woman and feminist alike, I undoubtedly identify as pro-choice when it comes to the issue of abortion. Even though my identification with feminism may signify a no-brainer when it comes to abortion and reproductive rights, I would like to hope that women, as simply women, would identify as pro-choice or at least support other women in their own respective opinions. But this isn’t always the case now, is it?
Perhaps in reaction to the seemingly liberal stance (I guess…?), Obama has taken on women’s sexual reproduction rights, such as mandating certain insurance’s coverage of birth control under Obamacare (although insurances affiliated with religious organizations have the option to deny this regulation), staunchly pro-life conservatives have created certain strategies to eliminate pro-choice support.
Yet, the directions they are taking to accomplish this abolition are perhaps more disturbing than the horror pro-life activists so commonly associate with abortion.
Crisis Pregnancy Centers, usually posing as abortion clinics or women’s health centers, have proliferated throughout the United States, especially in the more Southern regions. These sites claim to offer counseling, medical advice as well as information about different forms of birth control and methods to attain such contraception. But, the irony of it all is that the center’s main objective is to do just the opposite.
The female pro-life activists willingly manipulate the woman’s perspective on her chosen method of birth control, evoke guilt on her behalf for merely holding that perspective, and ultimately, attempt to dissuade the woman from taking healthy measures to prevent her pregnancy, also known as exerting her own reproductive rights. Through a series of questions, beginning with the medica l— “When was your last period?,” and ending with the downright invasive — “What are the religious beliefs of your parents? Does your father know you’re doing this? Doesn’t he want a grandchild?,” pro-life activists posing as experienced medical informants knowingly utilize their counseling façade to manipulate the prospective patient.
These activists aren’t simply pro-life — they are anti-choice and knowingly mislead, misinform and deceive women on a daily basis.
Although these current extreme pro-life/anti-choice tactics aren’t necessarily unfamiliar or unheard of, there is something extremely disturbing in mere fact that there are women diligently working to severely manipulate and demean other women. These women not only work to simply establish the wrongness that exists within taking preventive pregnancy measures and abortion procedures, but to deliberately insinuate that women are not capable of making their own decisions unless, of course, they mirror the opinions of a central male figure within their life.
The issue of abortion loses its potency in light of the abhorrent measures taken by these pro-life activists. It becomes a question of whether or not one grants respect to another woman’s opinion and conscientious reasoning that led to the finality of her decision regarding her own body and life.
These CPCs are up and running. There are at least 2,000 in the United States.