3 Common Myths About Pregnancy Resource Centers

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There are approximately 2,300 pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) throughout the United States.1 These centers’ services vary in scope, but are all similar in that they serve women experiencing unplanned pregnancies and do not advocate for abortion. As is bound to happen, misconceptions have risen over the years about PRCs. It is easy for many to believe these myths due to a lack of knowledge or experience with such organizations.

One of the things most important to us at Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center is providing women and men with accurate information so they can be fully informed before making a decision about their pregnancy. We want the same thing to be true of supporters and also those who may not be sure if they want to support us. So, here are 3 of the most common myths about pregnancy resource centers and our response to each concern.

Myth #1: PRCs don’t really care about women, they just want to stop women from having abortions at any cost. 

At GPCC, we believe that life is valuable at all stages—so yes, this includes the unborn. But it also includes the women and men who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. We don’t exist to just provide women with a pregnancy test and send them on their way. Our desire is to walk alongside women and men before, during, and after their pregnancy. And lest you assume that the above is all just lip service, consider the ways that we provide support to our clients: pregnancy tests, ultrasound, parenting and relationship classes, material support, peer advocacy, ongoing mentorship, abortion recovery, and assistance with additional community resources, just to name a few.

Our goal is to empower women and men to make life-affirming choices—so by definition, we will not ever advocate for abortion. We believe that abortion is never the best option for either the unborn or the parents, and we are committed to caring for women and men by offering practical support and alternatives to the perceived need for abortion.

Myth #2: PRCs masquerade as healthcare clinics and are run by staff and volunteers who pretend to be medical professionals and counselors.

GPCC does not and has never claimed to be a healthcare clinic. In fact, both our website and client consent forms state exactly the opposite. We do offer a medical service, which is our limited ultrasounds. These ultrasounds are performed by paid staff who are registered diagnostic medical sonographers (RDMS). Every ultrasound scan we perform is reviewed and signed-off on by rotating medical directors who are practicing OB GYNs here in Greensboro. We also do not claim to be licensed counselors, which is specifically outlined in paperwork provided for clients. Volunteers who meet with clients are called peer advocates and go through extensive training before meeting with clients one-on-one. We regularly provide community referrals to clients who are interested in seeking help from a licensed counselor.

In the future, however, Phase 3 of our strategic plan is to become a medical clinic with more medical professionals on staff, expanding our scope of care to things like prenatal care, comprehensive STD testing and treatment, and women’s health care. Before we get there, though, we will never pretend to be something we’re not.

Myth #3: PRCs lie to women in order to prevent abortions.

Our integrity is very important to us at GPCC, and so we refuse to offer women and men who seek our services anything other than the truth. Unfortunately, the truth is not always comfortable or welcome and so can often be met with resistance—and this resistance sometimes manifests itself in rumors or myths that we are “lying to clients.”

All of the written resources we provide to clients with information regarding pregnancy, fetal development, abortion, and alternatives to abortion come from reputable, verifiable sources that have put an incredible amount of time into documenting accurate information on each of these subjects. We will not provide any clients with information that has not been properly researched and cited.

Some of the most common “lies” that PRCs are accused of telling clients are that abortion will lead to breast cancer, will lead to post abortion stress syndrome, and that birth control is abortifacient. To briefly address these “lies,” it is worth saying that these statements are in fact not true: that abortion will result in breast cancer, or that abortion will cause psychological issues, or that birth control is always abortifacient.

However, it would be accurate to say that some studies have made links between abortion and decreased protection against breast cancer23; that those who have experienced abortion are at risk of dealing with depression or anxiety45; and that the birth control pill could possibly function as an abortifacient.67

Think about it this way: if you were planning to have a surgical procedure done by a doctor, you would expect to be told about all the risks associated with the surgery. In fact, it would not be good practice for a medical professional to omit this information. You, as the patient, deserve to be fully informed about the surgery itself, the possible complications, and what to expect following surgery.

While we at GPCC don’t believe that abortion falls under the same category as a routine surgery, we believe the same basic patient rights apply: that women deserve to know what will and what could happen as a result of an abortion. And because we know that people are not one dimensional, we desire to approach this issue wholistically and address the physical, psychological, and spiritual implications of an abortion.

Truth in Love

Sharing truth in love is of utmost importance to us at the Care Center. If you’re still unsure how you feel about us or pregnancy resource centers in general, feel free to give us a call or stop by our office. We’d love the chance to talk with you about the services we offer and our motivation for serving women and men in the city of Greensboro.

 

 

Mary Holloman is the Communications Assistant at GPCC. When she’s not at the Care Center she’s probably chasing her 18 month old or doing monkey impressions to make him laugh. 

 

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  1. http://www.aaplog.org/pregnancy-resource-centers/
  2. National Cancer Institute (2011, May 10). Reproductive History and Breast Cancer Risk – National Cancer Institute. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/reproductive-history.
  3. Brind, J. (2005). Induced abortion as an independent risk factor for breast cancer: A critical review of recent studies based on prospective data. J Am Phys Surg. Winter; 10(4).
  4. Fergusson, D.M., Horwood, J., Ridder, E.M. (2006). Abortion in young women and subsequent mental health. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 47, 16-24
  5. Mota, N.P., Burnett, M., & Sareen, J. (2010). Associations Between Abortion, Mental Disorders, and Suicidal Behaviour in a Nationally Representative Sample. Can J Psychiatry, 55(4), 239-47.
  6. Keith L. Moore and T.V.N. Persaud. The Developing Human: Clinically Oriented Embryology, 6th Edition (Philadelphia, PA: Saunders, 1998), pp 2-3
  7. Birth Control Pills. (n.d.). Retrieved July 28, 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/birth-control-pills#1
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