For the past couple of months, I have been updating the list of almost 100 Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs) displayed on the TRTL website. While each place differs slightly in its approach and services, we have only two requirements for centers to be placed on our website: they must be located in Texas and be 100% Pro-Life. During this process, I have called dozens of CPCs. Without exception, every person I spoke with was professional, polite, and more than willing to verify their information or put me in contact with someone who could. I spoke with 80-year old grandmothers, college students volunteering their time at a center, and everyone in between.
So I find it very ironic and hard to believe that Crisis Pregnancy Centers are under attack by groups like Planned Parenthood and CPCWatch.org. Their claim is that these centers do not give out accurate information about all of the options (i.e. abortion) and pressure women to give their babies up for adoption or keep them. While none of the centers we have on our website perform abortions or refer to abortion clinics, they do give out all of the information about the different forms of abortions, the importance of knowing how far along the pregnancy is to determine the procedure that is necessary, and the possible aftermath of abortion. Most of the centers that have websites of their own include complete and detailed abortion information on their website. These places do not try to hide the information from women; they are putting it right out there. In addition, a simple Google search will reveal abortion clinics to those women who have made that sad decision.
CPCs have also been by attacked for giving out baby items to pregnant women. Perhaps they are referring to the programs in place in many CPCs where the woman must attend classes to rack up points (often known as “Earn While You Learn”). These points can be spent on various practical baby items, such as diapers, cribs, clothing, and more. CPCs are trying to educate women on basic life skills like cooking, how to parent, and how to get their lives back on track. They also offer religious classes on topics such as chastity or forming a closer relationship with God. Most CPCs operate on shoestring budgets supported by volunteers and several places I spoke with only recently have had the opportunity to hire permanent, paid workers. Baby articles are expensive and babies go through a great deal of items. CPCs receive most, it not all, of the baby items they give to mothers through generous donors. By requiring women to attend classes, CPCs are trying to help women break the cycle they are in and ensure they do not abuse the generosity of the center.
Maybe the attacks have to do with the money abortion mills lose if women chose life over abortion. Maybe they truly feel they are the better option for women, or they need to demonize the opposition to justify their own activities. The one thing I do know is that Crisis Pregnancy Centers exist to help women, not to judge them or pressure them.