crisis pregnancies


Although people realize Planned Parenthood is pro-abortion, many might not know what its motivation is and why it is so vehemently against abstinence education. For example, in 2007, despite abstinence-education funding from governors of both parties, then-Governor Tim Kaine, at Planned Parenthood's urging, abruptly ended Virginia's matching grant to the federal program for abstinence-centered education, thus disqualifying the commonwealth from federal funds. Why? Simple. Although Planned Parenthood obstensibly asserts that abstinence education isn't effective, its motivation likely lies closer to the fact that abstinence education costs it government grants because it teaches "comprehensive sex education" in many states. This form of "education" encourages sexual activity by blurring the lines of responsible behavior and the lack of consequences of irresponsible behavior (because, you know, you can always use "protection").

But the big motivation is that abstinence education works, and a decrease in crisis and teen pregnancies, which "comprehensive education" helps foster, means less abortion business for Planned Parenthood. Recent studies have shown that abstinence-centered education, particularly programs in Virginia, have been successful in preventing teen pregnancy and delaying sexual activity. Additionally, polling indicates that parents want their children to be taught abstinence.

So the deck is stacked against Planned Parenthood. That's why it ferociously fights to protect and advance abortion, uses tactics subtle and loud, and why it is particularly disturbed by Governor Bob McDonnell's decision this week to apply for federal abstinence education funding and to provide a state matching grant as well to school districts who decide to teach it.

Of course, the irony that Planned Parenthood won't acknowledge is that the federal funds come from President Barack Obama's budget and, most shocking, unlike former President George W. Bush's administration, does not require a state matching grant to qualify for the federal funds. This, undoubtedly, has added to Planned Parenthood'$ frustration and vitriol this week. However, it ha$n't added to it$ motivation. That'$ alway$ been there and will continue to be.

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.

Choose Life License Plates Go On Sale Tomorrow!

As mentioned in the News Stand today, bills passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Tim Kaine earlier this year now are in effect. Many generate headlines, some well out of proportion to their importance. Others are given little attention despite their worthiness. That's the media, after all, especially during the slowwww weeks of summer. However, there are three new, significant, pro-family laws we take pride in bringing to the public's attention, all of which The Family Foundation diligently supported during the General Assembly. The most visible of the three (see recap), and the one that received the most attention in the legislature (see Senate debate video), is the Choose Life license plates law. Techincally, it's a law. But, really, it's a great and much needed tool.

It allows for a portion of the proceeds of the sale of these new specialty plates to be distributed to pregnancy resource centers — and they go on sale tomorrow! The pre-sale of the Choose Life plates are by far the most popular of the six new plates created this past General Assembly.

Click here for the Choose Life Virginia Web site for more information. Click here for the DMV site where you can order your plates.

Once 1,000 Choose Life license plate registrations are received, $15 of the $25-plate-fees will be given to qualifying pregnancy resource centers, which offer medical, spiritual and physical support to women and families in crisis pregnancies. This funding is a way to provide tangible support for the mothers and fathers facing unplanned pregnancies.

The Choose Life license plates are a common sense, practical, problem-solving tool to help deal with society's most devastating problem. It should serve as an opportunity for those who support "choice" to find common ground in supporting women who choose to have their babies.