Heartbeat International

NARAL, General Assembly Allies Attack Apolitical Pregnancy Resource Centers

Today, NARAL ProChoice Virginia Foundation held a press conference to announce legislation  that seeks to remove the funding stream available to pregnancy resource centers from the purchase of "Choose Life" license plates. The bills are SB 188, patroned by Senator Ralph Northam (D-6, Norfolk) and HB 452, patroned by Delegate Charniele Herring(D-46, Alexandria). These harmful bills seek to require new state regulations on all PRCs, including the following stipulations:

» Placement of a sign on the outside of the center stating, "that it does not perform or refer women for abortions, that it does not provide or refer women for contraception, and that the facility is not required to maintain medical confidentiality or medical records in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)."

» Collection by the state of all materials distributed at the center.

» Signature by a center’s board member stating that they comply with "all aspects of Heartbeat International, Inc.'s 'Commitment of Care' and that the center provides only factually and medically accurate information about pregnancy, contraception, and abortion to a person seeking counseling, information, or assistance from the center."

» Violation of these accuracy policies by any employee or even a volunteer is subject to a civil penalty.

In announcing the legislation, NARAL released a year-long study "revealing the misinformation and deception" of these centers. Among the study’s claims:

» PRCs rely on deceptive advertising. The example given is of "highly visible" billboards on "well traveled roads" with text such as, "Pregnant? Scared? Need Help? Call us!" Apparently these signs "incite a potential client to call" because they misconstrue it to be a so-called "comprehensive reproductive health care clinic." In case you are wondering, this deceptive advertising of centers can also be found in the yellow pages when you find these centers under "Abortion Alternatives."

» Evasive Phone Conversations: The report claims that "If a young woman facing an unintended pregnancy did not know to ask, she would not be told the limits of the crisis pregnancy center's services."

» Appearance as Medical Clinics: According to the report, "The center looked like a small doctor’s office. There was a waiting room . . . an office with a glass check-in window. In the bathroom, there was a place to put my urine sample in the wall like at my doctor’s office. ... The ultrasound room looked like a room at my gynecologist’s office."

» Lacks Confidentiality: PRCs are not required by law to abide by federal standards of confidentiality (HIPAA) but, in fact, they do so voluntarily. This report calls out the fact that some centers provide literature that plainly states that if you are a minor, "the center may give certain information to parents or guardians." Imagine that! Including parents in the decision. I thought that was actually the law of Virginia!

» Medically Inaccurate Information: During today’s press conference, Senator Northam (a medical doctor) highlighted the fact that centers were found to mention a link between abortion and breast cancer that does not exist. This is an area of serious medical debate. Just last year a study was published in a prestigious, peer reviewed medical journal containing an admission from U.S. National Cancer Institute researcher Louise Brinton and her colleagues that in fact abortion raises breast cancer risk by 40 percent. Dr. Northam is not apparently keeping up with the medical literature.

»The study also states that, "CPCs use the ploy of a medical ultrasound to show a woman a fetus and execute an emotional appeal, despite it being an unnecessary medical procedure."

As I told the media today in response to NARAL's fallacious claims, Virginia’s lucrative abortion industry is watching women make a different choice than they want them to make and it’s eating into their profits. This new legislation is nothing more than an attempt to scare women from making a choice different than abortion. PRCs have assisted thousands of women in Virginia through crisis pregnancies and not a single woman has ever died. Virginia’s abortion centers cannot say the same.

The Family Foundation will be the guardian of these centers, which faithfully try to serve women in need. But we need your help. In a few short days, I will provide another update on this legislation as it moves into committee. But we need you to contact your legislators and tell them about the wonderful work PRCs do.

We also need you to do something else. Please show your support of these pregnancy resource centers as they face an unwarranted battle in the political arena. Please consider doing one of the following two things: Purchase a Choose Life Plate, $15 of which will fund these centers or call the PRC near you and thank them for their service. If you are able, consider financially supporting them. You can imagine, due to the high costs of operating The Family Foundation, I rarely make appeals on behalf of other organizations, but the work they do is tireless. While the political battle is critical, the front lines cannot be under-resourced.

Finally, if you have been helped by a PRC or you know of someone who benefited from their work, would you consider joining The Family Foundation in defeating this legislation? Would you testify or at least meet with a legislator? If so, please contact our office immediately at 804-343-0010.

NARAL-Virginia Attacks Pregnancy Resource Centers

On September 24, Family Foundation of Virginia President Victoria Cobb e-mailed an alert to our thousands of grassroots activists informing them of the harsh measures Planned Parenthood and NARAL-Virginia have undertaken to weaken Pregnancy Resource Centers — clinics that offer choices to pregnant women other than abortion. (Right, I know you got the irony there.)

Below is the alert, but what I haven't had time to report was the hysterical response from NARAL and PP. Within a few hours of sending the e-mail, NARAL was up with this out-of-breath-huff (click here or not). I noticed it when I saw a pingback to the blog (NARAL linked to one of our posts, here). It accused us of "fundraising" at their expense. We did ask for money, but asked that people give it to the PRCs! These helping-hand, non-political clinics, which threaten no one and try to foster life, apparently send shivers up the spine of pro-abortion, uhhh, "pro-choice" radicals.

NARAL's response was headlined, “Family Foundation using us as a fundraising tool,” with the words, “Read this solicitation. Get angry. And get involved in the upcoming election cycle!”

What exactly is in the alert that would make someone angry? Perhaps the part about women choosingan alternative to abortion? Or the fact that PRCs take paying clients away from Planned Parenthood? No one's been able to tell us, but it reveals a bit of the pro-abortion movement’s mentality. Here's the text of the alert:

Information Alert: Pro-abortion advocates attack pregnancy centers

It should come as no surprise that Planned Parenthood and NARAL-Virginia are attacking Pregnancy Resource Centers in Virginia. The fact that women now have a real choice of where to go when they face a crisis pregnancy must send shivers down the spine of the pro-abortion movement. Imagine women hearing that there are better alternatives to abortion in a warm, non-judgmental, and safe medical environment.

That, my friends, is Planned Parenthood and NARAL’s worst nightmare.

So before the paint was dry on the first "Choose Life" license plates that were made available this year, with revenue going to PRCs, our "choice" advocates immediately sought to eliminate that choice. Pro-abortion special interests set up an online petition to urge the General Assembly to cut off the funding stream from the license plates to PRCs. This is part of an overarching national strategy to shut down PRCs, ensuring that women have no place to go but abortion centers. In other states they’ve gone so far as to push legislation to simply outlaw PRCs!

Unfortunately, too few people understand the incredible role that PRCs are playing in the lives of women across America, and many fall for the lies of the abortion movement. The fact is, that PRCs are far safer and more woman-friendly than any abortion center.

According to a recent report entitled "A Passion to Serve, A Vision for Life," there are approximately 2,300 PRCs serving women in the United States, with most regulated by one of three organizations — Care Net, Heartbeat International and the National Institutes of Family and Life Advocates. The report states, "Every day in the United States PRCs assist an average of 5,500 Americans, female and male, young and old, with sexuality-and-pregnancy related concerns." Services include assisting women, counseling couples, providing goods and services, and offering free and confidential pregnancy care. Approximately 660 of these facilities are medical clinics, offering pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and more.

The medical clinics meet local, state and federal guidelines and where ultrasounds are offered they follow the strict guidelines issued by the American Institute in Ultrasound Medicine, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American College of Radiology.

Most interesting is the fact that the annual income at these clinics is estimated at $200 million, with less than ten percent of that coming from government sources. Compare that to the $350 million in taxpayer subsidies that Planned Parenthood clinics received last year alone; that translates to more than one-third of their billion-dollar income.

The Family Foundation will fight with all of our energy and resources to protect the incredible services being provided by PRCs. From ensuring that the revenue from Choose Life plates continues going to these well-regulated and effective organizations, to educating Virginians on their positive impact, to exposing the lies of Planned Parenthood and NARAL, we won’t stop.

But we can all help in other ways as well. Purchase a Choose Life license plate. Click here to visit the DMV Web site where you can order your personal Choose Life license plate. Once 1,000 Choose Life license plate registrations are received, $15 of the $25 plate fees will be given to Virginia’s qualifying Pregnancy Resource Centers.

Additionally, find the PRC in your community and volunteer your time and treasure to them. They are on the frontlines, giving women in crisis a positive alternative to the detestation of abortion. They need your help.

24,000 Signed Up For Tonight's Pro-Life Webcast, More Welcome!

As of earlier today, 24,000 people have registered for the pro-life Webcast we mentioned Tuesday (see here). Of course, more are welcome. It begins at 9:00 p.m. and will last for about 70 minutes. Click on the above link for more details or visit stoptheabortionmandate.com (click here). Below is a list of featured speakers, an all-star line-up of individuals and organizations who and which do non-stop work in the defense of innocent, unborn life. Participating in an event with them is sure to be a very highly educational and motivating experience, and very much worth your time. One person we are particularly happy to see participate is Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life. She is particularly helpful to us during the General Assembly in lobbying for pro-life legislation.

CONGRESSMAN CHRIS SMITH, U.S. House of Representatives MARJORIE DANNENFELSER, Susan B. Anthony List FR. FRANK PAVONE, Priests for Life CONGRESSMAN JOE PITTS, U.S. House of Representatives KRISTAN HAWKINS, Students for Life of America DOUGLAS JOHNSON, National Right to Life Committee DR. JAMES DOBSON, Focus on the Family DR. CHARMAINE YOEST, Americans United for Life TOM MINNERY, Focus on the Family KRISTEN DAY, Democrats for Life PEGGY HARTSHORN, Heartbeat International DR. RICHARD LAND, Southern Baptist Convention ERLC MELINDA DELAHOYDE, Care Net DAY GARDNER, National Black Pro-Life Union CARMEN PATE, Point of View Radio Show DAVID BEREIT, 40 Days for Life (moderator)