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The Blue & Gray Press | February 26, 2018

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Letter to the Editor: Crisis Pregnancy Centers Don't Misinform Young Women About Pregnancy Choices They Face

Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) have the right to provide women with the information they see fit, without being criticized and deemed “fake clinics” for doing so.  In an academic environment like UMW, students should be allowed access to information from each side of the abortion debate.  To silence the voices of those on campus that support CPCs and that don’t agree with the abortion agenda would be nothing less than censorship.

In a statement from 2003, Louise Brinton, the National Cancer Institute’s chief of the hormonal and reproductive epidemiology branch, denied the existence of an abortion-breast cancer link.  Yet Brinton conducted a study with Jessica Dolle in 2009 that found that abortion caused a 40% increase in the risk of developing breast cancer.

The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention and, along with other studies, confirms that abortion is a notable risk factor.  Additional peer-reviewed studies were conducted in Turkey and China that also marked an increased risk of breast cancer among women who had abortions.  For VOX to claim that the information CPCs distribute on the abortion-breast cancer link is false ignores emerging research in the medical field.

Another misconception promoted in the recent articles regarding CPCs is the idea that all CPCs are religiously based.  Birthright, the second CPC in Fredericksburg, is not a religiously or politically affiliated organization.  Their sole purpose is to support women in crisis pregnancy situations and help them to understand that there are alternative options to abortion.  They provide the women who come to them with emotional support, but also give them material support through diapers, clothing and other baby items.

Students for Life recently conducted a diaper drive for Birthright that raised over 3,000 diapers for local mothers in need. Crisis pregnancy centers help direct women to places where they can obtain the material goods they need, and are an invaluable asset to struggling pregnant women.

Similarly, tens of thousands of women travel to abortion recovery retreats every year to deal with the consequences of having an abortion. Programs like Rachel’s Vineyard and Silent No More assist women daily who regret having an abortion and exhibit signs of post-abortion syndrome.  Though the American Pregnancy Association may not be willing to acknowledge that women are struggling with the effects of abortion, the prevalence of these retreats signify that it is an issue.

The fliers that Students for Life posted on campus for Bethany and Birthright crisis pregnancy centers clearly denote the services they provide and their affiliations.  Nowhere on the fliers do they claim to be abortion clinics so they can trick innocent women into keeping their child to “further their pro-life agenda.”

The only medical services provided are pregnancy tests or an ultrasound, for which they are licensed and meet federal guidelines.  Both define themselves as “life affirming agencies.”  VOX does not have to agree with CPCs policies or beliefs and can voice their opinions on the matter, but CPCs have a right to exist and advertise.

Melissa Evich is a junior.

Comments

  1. Keith Gatzke

    excellent article- thanks for voicing another viewpoint in the debate and for standing up for CPCs.

  2. John Dietrich

    This is a comforting article. I’m glad that the integrity of Crisis Pregnancy Centers are being defended with factual information and not spontaneous banter.

  3. Virginia

    Thank you for responding to the misconceptions about CPCs. I encourage everyone to do their own research about Crisis Pregnancy Centers, before they trust what people say. I also know that the staff of both centers, Birthright and Bethany, are very friendly and willing to talk to visitors about the services they offer. Stop by if you want to get more information.

    A final note for the editors: I’m sure that Melissa meant to say the American Psychological Association, because she was referring to a statement that VOX made about the APA. Could you please look into printing a correction? Thank you.

  4. Jessica Masulli

    Virginia,

    We can correct the APA in next week’s edition.

    -Jessica Masulli

  5. Jon

    It should be noted that this is NOT a VOX campaign. It never has been and it probably never will be. It is a NARAL campaign that is being promoted by one member of VOX, not the club as a whole. I can’t blame the author and the comments above for this misconception because past Bullet articles have failed to make this clear.

  6. Mary-Kathryn

    I found it a great irony that Vox-which claims to promote choice-would be so bent on denying women of this campus that very thing. Leave the fliers alone.

    Well done Melissa in your response–this attempt to stilfe a woman’s *full* right to choose needed to be addressed.

  7. Shannon

    These centers are not being defended with “factual information”- as Alexander correctly states, the study cited by this letter’s author did NOT establish a serious increase in risk, let alone a causal relationship.

    It is incredibly frustrating when people cite “facts” without actually bothering to read the study they’re talking about.

  8. Shannon

    The actual article abstract, by the way, can be found here:

    http://expertise.cos.com/cgi-bin/esearch?mode=show_abstract;pmid=8712194

    “These data support the hypothesis that there may be a small increase in the risk of breast cancer related to a history of induced abortion among young women of reproductive age. However, the data from this study and others do not permit a causal interpretation at this time.”

  9. Melissa

    Alexander, if you notice, in the following line after the citation you quote from the article I list where I found the information I stated. It was, in fact, published in a respected peer-reviewed journal. The study you cite, however, was published in 1996. I stated that this information was clearly negated by the study Brinton conducted in 2009. Please look into the information disseminated in this study, not the outdated study you cite.

    http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/18/4/1157.abstract?sid=b7355305-31e0-43a0-85bc-6093182a2e36

  10. Alexander

    Here is a link to the study itself.
    http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/18/4/1157.full.pdf+html?sid=3e5c301b-0216-4f5e-b8ac-487528a07c1a

    “The results of this study should be considered in light
    of several limitations. Our study population contained
    few non-Caucasians, and given that triple-negative
    breast cancer is more than twice as common among
    African-Americans, similar research is needed in a
    racially heterogeneous population to evaluate the
    generalizability of our results. Our ability to evaluate
    age-specific effects was constrained by the small
    number of triple-negative breast cancer cases ages 41 to
    45 years. ”

    The authors of the study state that Triple Negative breast cancer is not entirely understood, and that these finding should be interpreted in the appropriate context. Which, for the purposes of this study, Were mostly African American women who used oral contraceptives. This is one of the few studies of its kind and to generalize its results as something that would affect all women would simply misinform the public about a complex and little understood issue. This study only proves that more research (and funding) are necessary.

  11. Caitrin

    The recent controversy on campus in regards to the Crisis Pregnancy Centers and the Support without Shame! campaign is nothing new. As the Support without Shame group states this is a campaign by NARAL that is being promoted throughout the state. While on campus this is apparently only being promoted by one member of VOX the fact remains that NARAL and Planned Parenthood are closely linked. However this campaign brings to mind the fact that the Pro-Choice movement is brimming with discrepancies. Science has proven without a doubt that the embryo/fetus etc. is not just tissue but is in fact a growing human baby. That fetus will not develop in to anything else other than a human baby with human dignity. So what the Pro-Choice movement fails to remember, or rather chooses to forget, is that in a woman’s decision to abort they are removing the choice of the baby to be born and live as well as denying the father the choice of becoming a dad. A woman’s choice does not just affect her.

    Yes it can be unbelievably difficult to bring that baby to term but that is why CPC’s exist. Not all are religiously affiliated but all help a woman during her pregnancy and afterwards. They are able to provide a woman with financial assistance as well as counseling and physical items such as diapers and clothes etc.

    If a woman mistakenly calls a CPC requesting an abortion they will immediately tell her that they do not provide abortions. The claim that they force a woman to carry a baby to term is ludicrous. Do people think CPC’s lock a woman in a room for 9 months? No, of course not. Further if the pro-choice movement truly is about choices shouldn’t a woman who does not want to be pressured into an abortion be able to go to a place were her decision will be respected?

    Because the fact remains, Planned Parenthood is at the root all about abortions. They claim to be about choice as long as you choose abortion. Yes, not all Planned Parenthood facilities and advocates take this extreme stance but at the higher institutional level that is what is believed. Margaret Sanger was a proponent of eugenics plain and simple. Rates of abortion among minorities are much higher than for whites even with the fact that minorities are found in crisis pregnancy situations more frequently. Does this say something? Check this out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apLjGQnTVg8

    Why also are there so many epiphanies among Pro-Choice leaders. Recently a Planned Parenthood director resigned and there have been many cases of doctors suddenly changing heart and refusing to perform abortions. However the opposite is not true. You do not see the director of National Right to Life or other similar organizations switching sides. There must be some underlying reason. If you want to dispute the facts about increased cancer rates and risk of psychological stress based on the fact that not enough research has been done, fine. But there are too many coincidences going on here for there not to be a point.

    The last discrepancy I would like to point out is the fact that this campaign wants certain regulations put into place at the CPCs. However, last year in the VA General Assembly there was a bill to increase the standards of abortion clinics that failed to pass. This means that current regulations of facilities that perform abortions are the exact same standards that are required of veterinary clinics. Just something to think about…

  12. Ashleigh Buyers

    Umm…what she said. ha jk

    Too many women suffer and die from the terrible disease we know as Breast cancer.

    When an organization refuses to investigate a link to this terrible disease one must question their motives.

    Apparently they care more about their right to choose abortion rather then saving the lives of their loved one’s from breast cancer.

    Please don’t ignore the facts just because they are inconvenient

    and you shouldn’t “terminate” a life because you think it is either.

    Thank you Melissa for standing up for the CPCs who tell the truth when abortion clinics won’t.

  13. E

    Ashleigh,

    I certainly don’t think that women getting abortions in the cases of rape or incest has anything to do with the baby being an inconvenience.