A report by Rep. Henry A. Waxman found that federally funded crisis pregnancy centers often mislead women about the risks of abortion. Investigators posing as 17-year-old girls contacted 23 centers for information about an unintended pregancy. Twenty of them gave them false information to the effect that abortion puts women at a greater risk of breast cancer, infertility and mental illness.
According to the report [pdf]:
- The centers provided false and misleading information about a link between abortion and breast cancer. There is a medical consensus that induced abortion does not cause an increased risk of breast cancer. Despite this consensus, eight centers told the caller that having an abortion would in fact increase her risk. One center said that Ã¢â‚¬Å“all abortion causes an increased risk of breast cancer in later years,” while another told the caller that an abortion would Ã¢â‚¬Å“affect the milk developing in her breastsÃ¢â‚¬Â and that the risk of breast cancer increased by as much as 80% following an abortion.
- The centers provided false and misleading information about the effect of abortion on future fertility. Abortions in the first trimester, using the most common abortion procedure, do not pose an increased risk of infertility. However, seven centers told the caller that having an abortion could hurt her chances of having children in the future. One center said that damage from abortion could lead to Ã¢â‚¬Å“many miscarriagesÃ¢â‚¬Â or to Ã¢â‚¬Å“permanent damageÃ¢â‚¬Â so Ã¢â‚¬Å“you wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be able to carry,Ã¢â‚¬Â telling the caller that this is Ã¢â‚¬Å“commonÃ¢â‚¬Â and happens Ã¢â‚¬Å“a lot.Ã¢â‚¬Â
- The centers provided false and misleading information about the mental health effects of abortion. Research shows that significant psychological stress after an abortion is no more common than after birth. However, thirteen centers told the caller that the psychological effects of abortion are severe, long-lasting, and common. One center said that the suicide rate in the year after an abortion Ã¢â‚¬Å“goes up by seven times.Ã¢â‚¬Â Another center said that post-abortion stress suffered by women having abortions is Ã¢â‚¬Å“much likeÃ¢â‚¬Â that seen in soldiers returning from Vietnam and Ã¢â‚¬Å“is something that anyone whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s had an abortion is sure to suffer from.Ã¢â‚¬Â
This dishonesty seems to be an ongoing thing with abortion opponents as shown by CareNet, an evangelical sponsor of such centers nationwide in this article:
Care Net, an umbrella group for evangelical pregnancy centers acrossthe country, instructs its affiliates to tell callers there is apossibility that abortion can lead to greater risk of breast cancer,according to Molly Ford, an official with the organization. She saidthere have been several studies that say it does, and several that sayit doesn’t.
“I know the report is wanting to say that it’s conclusive, but it isn’t,” Ford said.
And anti-abortionists wonder why some of us wouldn’t trust ‘em to be telling the truth if they said that grass is green. It would be one thing if they were just working off the known information, but they’re not. In all cases they are going against the conclusions of the professionals in those fields and appear to be relying on the general ignorance of the people to spread them.
For example, in February of 2003 the National Cancer Institute gathered over 100 of the world’s experts in pregancy and breast cancer. At the end of the conference it was concluded that having an abortion or a miscarriage does not increase the risk of breast cancer.
Why hasn’t CareNet (and other sponsors) instructed its affliates to report this finding by the professionals in the field if all they wish to do is inform women about the “true” risks of abortion?
There’s also the immorality of what they’re doing. They are intentionally giving women false and misleading information in order to stop women from making truely informed decisions.
The Atheist Ethicist has a post up about the morality at play in this situation. A quote:
This form of deception can be described as a form of tyranny.
A rather blunt, but truthful statement in my honest opinion. Imagine that you wanted to stop someone from doing something that you disapprove of – but there’s no facts to support your stance. What do you do?
You give the impression that something very bad is going to happen if they choose the path you disapprove of. And when it comes to abortion – these groups tell women that they’ll get breast cancer – if they don’t kill themselves in the midst of a major guilt-induced depression. If they’re lucky – they’ll just be unable to have children in the future.
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