Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) are constantly in the crosshairs of the abortion industry. They are angry that PRCs take away clients who would otherwise use them for abortion. They lose lots of money to PRCs every year, and are vastly outnumbered. There are fewer than 800 abortion clinics in the United States, while PRCs number more than 3,000.
That’s a big reason we’ve been seeing a major media smear campaign against PRCs. What kind of people target nonprofit organizations that offer free medical care and other resources to women facing the desperation of a crisis pregnancy? For one, HBO’s John Oliver. This week, he did a hit piece on PRCs that got things terribly wrong.
One of the producers of Oliver’s show “Last Week Tonight” called me to discuss their upcoming segment on PRCs. After all, they were using my photo and audio from a speech I did on PRCs a few years ago. I’m happy to talk to liberal media, and we often have good conversations. I was on their side not that long ago.
Even in our conversation, however, it was obvious the show had based this particular segment on lies and misrepresentations. Exactly zero of what I told the producer made it into the piece. This is what I made sure he knew, but “Last Week Tonight” pretended it had never heard.
1. No Social Service Is Perfect
In any business, there are facilities that excel at what they do and others that need improvement and further training. Many PRCs are excellent at helping women find the resources they need and the doctors to serve them. Others need a bit more training on those aspects.
2. Isolated Incidents Aren’t a Fair Basis for Broad Accusations
It is incredibly unfair that the press zeros in on one PRC incident that makes them look bad and proceeds to paint all PRCs as replicas of that one place while declaring that every incident of an abortion facility skirting around the law, committing Medicaid fraud, covering up statutory rape, etc., is merely an “isolated incident.” This is hypocritical at best, malicious at worst.
3. Pregnancy Care Centers Have Higher Standards Than Planned Parenthood Does
I worked at Planned Parenthood for eight years. I have helped more than 440 abortion industry workers, including seven abortion doctors, leave their jobs since 2012. Many of these have left Planned Parenthood.
So I know well that Planned Parenthood does not use licensed professionals to perform medical procedures, such as ultrasounds or lab tests on patients. It is not even a recommendation in their policies and procedures. However, it is a recommendation from both Heartbeat and Carenet, the two biggest PRC networks in the country, that medical professionals be the ones performing these procedures in pregnancy centers. Women wanting to research health and safety violations of an abortion clinic they’re considering can see www.checkmyclinic.org.
4. These Two Kinds of Organization Are Not Comparable
PRCs will never compete with the abortion industry and they have no reason to. More than half of Planned Parenthood’s revenue is tied to abortion, which PRCs will never provide. And the abortion industry will never provide what PRCs give to moms and babies: material assistance, professional counseling, true options counseling, grief counseling from past abortions, lactation support, parenting and childbirth classes, fertility care instruction, and so much more.
PRCs help women and their children. The abortion industry gives women nothing except the elimination of their children.
5. Putting Our Best Foot Forward Is Basic Marketing, Not Deception
Because of the negative media people like Oliver maliciously or ignorantly generate about PRCs, many women will never walk through the doors of a PRC, a place that is there to help them. That’s who PRCs need to reach. PRCs are not going to shy away from being pro-life and desiring to help moms and save their babies, and yes, aside from lying and manipulation, they are going to do whatever it takes to get that woman in the door, because the life of her child is depending on it.
6. It’s the Abortion Industry That’s Coercive
The abortion industry states that pro-lifers are “coercive.” As a person who worked in the abortion industry for eight years, I can say unequivocally that the most manipulation I have ever witnessed was inside the walls of the abortion clinic.
In fact, with 64 percent of women feeling forced or coerced into having abortions, you would think that Planned Parenthood would be taking every step possible to ensure that coercion, or even trafficking, isn’t taking place in their centers. On the contrary, it is Planned Parenthood that has opposed every single anti-trafficking bill pro-life legislators propose.
Planned Parenthood also sponsored the Women’s March, which just tweeted that the closing of commerce site Backpage.com is a crisis for “sex workers.” Backpage is the worst facilitator of the sex trafficking of women and children in the modern age. It appears Planned Parenthood wants to protect abusers, not victims.
7. Real Assistance Is a Hand Up, Not a Hand Out
The goal in the pregnancy center movement is to empower women, not to create dependency. So while these centers do provide material assistance, the hope is that the assistance will be temporary. They are trying to offer a hand up, not a hand out.
8. The Licensing Talk Is a Head Fake
The abortion lobby will often talk about PRCs not being “licensed” to operate. But here is the reality: if pregnancy centers aren’t licensed, then neither are abortion clinics. Where licenses are required, pregnancy centers have them. Where licenses are not required, they don’t—and neither does Planned Parenthood.
Planned Parenthood supported Whole Women’s Health’s journey all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure they did not have to meet basic health and safety standards of their clinics. That case was about applying the same standards for similar medical facilities to abortion clinics, and Planned Parenthood vigorously opposed it.
The dishonesty of the media who are clearly in the pockets of the abortion industry is not surprising. None of these truths made into Oliver’s story, but that will not stop me from sharing them.