Saturday, March 5, 2011

A bit of good news for women's rights

With the Republican current war on women, things have been looking bleak for women's rights, especially reproductive rights. But, finally, a bit of good news from New York.
The City Council passed a bill on Wednesday seeking more transparency from crisis pregnancy centers that present themselves as medical clinics but that critics say offer little more than pregnancy tests and counseling intended to steer women away from abortions.

“The goal of this bill is to ensure that women are fully informed and not deceived,” the Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, said. “Women need to know, they have a right to know, whether they are consulting with a licensed medical provider.”
I see signs for these "pregnancy centers" all the time on the subway. The signs sometimes mention that there are alternatives to abortion,  but usually fail to disclose that the centers are anti-choice and Christian run. Their main tactic is to get young, poor, scared girls into their clinics and then convince them that abortion is evil. The centers do not refer patients to abortion providers, and they usually do not even provide condoms or birth control information.

Ariel Kaminer visited three centers while pregnant, and wrote of the experiences for the New York Times.
It’s my body, my choice, Ms. Marzulla told me, invoking the old abortion rights rallying cry with a new, antiabortion twist, “but someone else is involved, too.” Almost as an afterthought, she told me that Margaret Sanger, the hero of the reproductive rights movement, had ties to the Third Reich.

The pamphlet she gave me about the risks of abortion mentioned breast cancer, a link the National Cancer Institute has refuted, and something called post-abortion syndrome, for which the American Psychological Association, among others, says there is no evidence. As for the physical risks of pregnancy and childbirth? There was no pamphlet to discuss them.
The sole reason for these centers existence is not women's health, but the pushing of a political agenda. This bill will force them to disclose what they will and will not provide.

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