I received a new testimonial today from a woman in Oklahoma who visited a CPC in 2002. Like many women who visit CPCs, Terri was a young college student with little financial stability and no regular healthcare provider. Upon receiving news from a nurse at her college health center that she was pregnant, she went to a nearby place called Pregnancy Resource Center that regularly advertised in her college's weekly newspaper. (The place was also listed as a resource in a pamphlet given to her at the health center, but she told me in a discussion that followed her testimonial that it was removed from the resource list after a few more complaints came in.)
The way this particular CPC operated was like so: she took a pregnancy test and while awaiting the results was led into a room where a volunteer berated her with lectures about the immorality of sex before marriage and the mortal sin she would be committing if she had an abortion. A woman finally entered and told her she wasn't pregnant. After a month or so, Terri began gaining weight and continued to not have a period. A visit to a local ob/gyn informed her that she was, in fact, pregnant and that she was about 15 weeks along. She was able to obtain a safe abortion, but the procedure was far more costly and invasive due to the time wasted by the CPC's lies.
While this is one common method CPCs use to derail a woman's decision making, it's not the only one. In adding Terri's story to our website, I began re-reading the other stories. The third or forth read, it turns out, is no less gut-wrenching than the first, and it's always the same trend that emerges in each and every woman's account of what truly goes on inside a CPC. Agencies that claim to want to help women through a difficult time become the most imposing, most deceptive, and most dangerous threat to a woman's well-being.
And apparently we're the ones waging a "war" on them?? Well then I guess the war is on. It's certainly one that needs to be fought, a noble cause, except in this case I'm going to have to ask who fired the first shot...