Monday, January 12, 2009

Why crisis pregnancy centers shouldn’t have pro-choice counselors?

The above could have been an alternative title to the post “Why I stopped by being a pro-life counselor” at a blog entitled Keep Calm and Carry On.

When I first started reading the post, I had assumed the writer (a woman named Allison) was a prolife individual who volunteered at a CPC and was turned off by some of the CPC’s practices. I quickly wondered what was going on as all of her complaints sounded very familiar to the type of complaints pro-choice individuals typically make about CPCs. Then there were quotes like the following which made me wonder if Allison had done any research at all into the abortion issue.
If an abortion is performed in the second trimester, it is almost always because the woman is pretty darn close to death.

The complaints about the CPC seemed to morph into complaints about people who are prolife (voting decisions are too based on abortion, pictures of aborted fetuses are bad, prolifers are obsessed with fetuses, etc.). Towards the end of the post, we’re let in on why Allison probably shouldn’t have been allowed to be a counselor at a CPC in the first place.
I'm personally pro-life. I am politically and legally pro-choice. I'm not going to discuss this position at length right now, but I will at some point. In a nutshell: government does not belong in my bedroom or doctor's office.
I take this to mean something like “I wouldn’t have an abortion if I became pregnant but I think abortion should be legal.” When someone holds this position, they are not “personally prolife.”

They are pro-choice. That’s the pro-choice position. If you think abortion should be generally legal then you’re pro-choice regardless of what you would do if you became pregnant and regardless of whether you think abortion is right or wrong (I’m still waiting for a response to why Allison believes “abortion is wrong”).

Now why would someone who’s pro-choice and who pretty much disagrees with the basic tenets of the prolife movement volunteer at a CPC?

When I asked her in the comments why she (someone who’s pro-choice) volunteered at a CPC (since her explanation in the post was vague), she responded by saying,
I volunteered precisely because I am pro-choice. I did not feel the other choices - raising a child, adoption - were emphasized enough.

She says this even though in her post she was very positive about counseling at abortion clinics. She wrote (my emphasis),
I've sat in on pregnancy crisis counseling sessions at Planned Parenthood and private clinics. These places did a phenomenal job of providing a balanced and objective overview of abortion. They discussed all choices: abortion, raising a child, open adoption, closed adoption. They discussed regret.....

I've witnessed the abortion process more than once. I never saw or heard anything other than kindness from the staff. Before the procedure starts, the woman sits down with a counselor who takes the time to explain all choices in plain English. And if she changes her mind last minute, she hops down from the table and is sent away with stacks of adoption, healthy pregnancy, and WIC pamphlets.
What’s truly odd is Allison says the CPC she volunteered knew her pro-choice views! I don’t think Allison is lying (I don’t know why she would) but I struggle to imagine why a CPC would allow someone who is pro-choice to counsel women in crisis pregnancies. That’s a little like Planned Parenthood hiring a prolifer. It’s a union where more than a few feathers are going to be ruffled and which is unlikely to end as cordially as Allison’s stint as a counselor.

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