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The Truth About Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Over the past two weeks, members of the H*yas for Choice advocacy team called crisis pregnancy centers in our community to ask for resources and information on abortion services. Here, those who made the calls describe their experiences and HFC members debunk the myths.

Northwest Pregnancy Center: Unprotected sex

I called Northwest Pregnancy Center to ask about my options following unprotected sex. After disclosing that I’d had unprotected sex the night before, I was told that urine-based tests are most effective after 7-10 days since conception and encouraged to get tested in “a few days.” When I asked directly about abortion, I was told that they the center will provide “information” and “pamphlets and things like that,” but not referral. She said that, for example, abortions performed “within 6-14 weeks of conception” are done by “the procedure called suction curettage, so that’s the most common form of abortion.”

The truth is, taking a pregnancy test earlier than the recommended wait time increases the risk of missing pregnancy detection and, subsequently, of carrying on an unwanted pregnancy without knowing.

The truth is, the most common form of abortion early in a pregnancy is the medical abortion, which is done by a series of pills rather than by a surgical procedure. Medical abortions can be administered for pregnancies up to nine weeks, at which point health care providers generally will find an aspiration (here referred to as “suction curettage”) abortion more appropriate.

The truth is, crisis pregnancy centers often manipulate clients with falsified, upsetting images of fake abortion procedures in order to scare pregnant people away from the service. Even though our caller expressed having had unprotected sex only the night before, the CPC has an interest in discussing surgical abortion rather than medical abortion (the most appropriate form at this point in the pregnancy), because the fake information the center is likely to provide in the “pamphlets” it mentions is centered around images that misrepresent surgical abortion.