Caught On Tape: Virginia ‘Crisis Pregnancy Centers’ Lie To Women About Abortion And Contraception (AUDIO)

The Crisis Pregnancy Center employee berated the woman for being unmarried and having sex, ultimately bringing up religious doctrine in the discussion. Image @ Bebinn.Tumblr

The Crisis Pregnancy Center employee berated the woman for being unmarried and having sex, ultimately bringing up religious doctrine in the discussion. Image @ Bebinn.Tumblr

What are “crisis pregnancy centers”? Simply put, they are Christian right-wing operated facilities designed with the expressed purpose of stopping women from choosing an abortion or having safe sex by any means necessary. Most of the staffers who ‘volunteer’ at these centers are not medically trained professionals and, more often than not, they will berate, lecture, and lie to the women they talk to in their effort to achieve their goals.

Conservatives in states across the country have made every effort to shift funding to these centers, while stripping funding from actual professional health facilities such as Planned Parenthood and rape crisis centers. The CPCs have become more numerous over the years as anti-choice fanatics get more desperate to prevent women from exercising their right to make their own reproductive decisions. So desperate, in fact, they actively spread false information and pepper the women they ‘help’ with religious-laced rhetoric to frighten them into carrying pregnancies to term or not using protection during sex.

Such is the case with 71 percent of the crisis pregnancy centers in the state of Virginia, as new audio recordings from an undercover investigation into the CPCs reveal. ThinkProgress reports that NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia initiated an undercover investigation of many of the CPCs in the state and caught some shocking audio of what CPC staffers are telling women about abortion, birth control, condoms, and their health in general.

One woman with an audio recording device walked into a CPC in Virginia and sat down with an employee to discuss her health and the various options available to her. First, the employee attempted to assure the woman that the organization only deals in truth and is more trustworthy than an abortion clinic where real doctors work.

“I’m not lying to you, sweetie, the employee claimed. “Why would I lie to you? I’m not asking you to give me anything here. We’re a pregnancy health and education center.”

And what an education. Over the course of the conversation, the CPC employee repeatedly told lie after lie on a range of sexual health issues before finally bringing God and religion into the discussion.

According to ThinkProgress:

For several minutes, a CPC employee told horror stories about the dangers of being on birth control, saying she typically tries to talk women out of using it. She likened birth control to “tremendous dosages of steroids,” and belittled her patient for opting to flood her body with artificial hormones. “You really want that stuff inside of you? You have a brain, think and choose here,” she said. “Any of that stuff is just not good for you.”

The info given by the CPC employee is highly misleading. While it’s true that birth control pills do contain steroids like progesterone, women aren’t exactly “flooding” their bodies with them. The fact is, most medicines contain ingredients that are artificial. And, like every other medicine, the ingredients do not linger in the body for very long and are eventually flushed out.

The CPC employee then continued to give misleading information to the woman, telling her that birth control causes breast cancer if it is used for years and that it contains harmful carcinogens that could accidentally abort a pregnancy “because the uterus cannot sustain that pregnancy because the lining has been so altered by those steroids, the artificial hormones.”

Once again, this is incredibly misleading. According to the Mayo Clinic:

“If you continued taking your birth control pill because you didn’t realize you were pregnant, don’t be alarmed. Despite years of this accident happening, there’s very little evidence that exposure to the hormones in birth control pills causes birth defects.”

In other words, birth control won’t hurt the fetus if you continue using it while not knowing that you’re pregnant. Planned Parenthood concurs:

There is no limit to how long a woman can take the pill. Millions of women around the world have taken the pill since the FDA approved it in 1960. It has been the most scrupulously tested medication of our time. Countless women take the pill from adolescence through perimenopause. Many stopped taking the pill only when they wanted to become pregnant and started taking it again after giving birth. Women not only rely on it for contraception but for menstrual regularity and other benefits. These benefits include:

•less menstrual flow and cramping
•less infection of the fallopian tubes (pelvic inflammatory disease), which often leads to infertility
•fewer ectopic pregnancies (those in a fallopian tube)
•fewer noncancerous breast growths
•fewer ovarian cysts
•reduced risk of cancer of the lining of the uterus and of the ovaries
•less iron-deficiency anemia that results from heavy menses
•less acne
•fewer premenstrual symptoms, as well as related headaches and depression
•protection against osteoporosis — loss of bone mass
•less excess body hair
•less vaginal dryness and painful intercourse associated with menopause

The fact is that over the long term, use of the pill has offered many health benefits to millions of women worldwide.

The CPC cancer claims are also suspect. Once again, the Mayo Clinic explains:

Scientific evidence suggests using birth control pills for longer periods of time increases your risk of some cancers, such as cervical cancer and liver cancer, but it also decreases your risk of other types of cancer, including ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. The effect of birth control pills on breast cancer risk isn’t quite clear. While some studies have shown a link between pill use and breast cancer, more-recent studies do not show an increased risk of breast cancer with the pill. If you’re concerned about your risk of breast cancer, talk with your health care provider about whether the pill is the right contraceptive for you.

So the jury is still out on whether birth control can indeed be linked to breast cancer. And even if it were, birth control would join the many things that have been linked to cancer over the last few decades such as the sun, cell phones, cigarettes, red meat, oil, etc… the list could literally go on.

Birth control is one of the safest medications in the world today but, like many other products, has its share of potential side-effects. In fact, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, doctors are more concerned about potential blood clots even though that risk is extremely low. Apparently pregnancy itself poses a much high risk of blood clots than does the pill.

ThinkProgress also reports that:

The CPC employee falsely asserted that condoms and birth control pills are about equally effective at preventing pregnancy, and claimed that using condoms doesn’t actually prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted infections. “They’re naturally porous — there’s always a chance of them breaking, a chance of spillage,” she said. “The only safe sex is no sex.”

Again, very misleading. According to Open Salon:

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that, using electron scanning microscopy, there are no pores visible on condoms, whereas HIV can be visualized this way, meaning that there are no HIV size pores for the particles to pass through. Also, HIV is an intracellular virus, not a free-floating particle. The cells it has infected have to pass through the pores, and condoms are made to stop these very cells!

The fact is, using condoms significantly cuts the risk of sexually-transmitted diseases and pregnancy far more than not using a condom at all.

After all of that misinformation, the CPC employee began to berate the woman for saying that she was unmarried and having sex, ultimately bringing up religious doctrine in the discussion.

“If you’re not married, why are you having sex? That’s why you feel like you have to put these hormones in your body — the more you have sex, the more chance you have of getting pregnant… Confined to a marriage, of course, sex is expected — you believe in God, that’s the whole plan of God.”

To listen to the audio, click HERE.

The “God” part of the conversation makes it absolutely clear that these CPCs are religiously motivated, nothing more than right-wing anti-choice facilities whose mission is to misinform and confuse vulnerable women in an effort to force them to make the decisions the CPC staffers want them to make. It’s the equivalent of a pastor or religious parent scaring kids into not having sex by telling them complete falsehoods. Real health care facilities give women accurate information so that women can feel comfortable making a decision one way or another. CPCs exist only to pressure women into making one decision, even if they have to lie to and scare women to do it.