Six Pregnancy Tests in One Week

I visited Christian pregnancy centers that lure women in with false promises of medical care. Here's what they told me about abortions, breast cancer, shame, and death.


Great article! I had no idea that the christian-run "medical centers" weren't licensed and therefore don't have to follow HIPPA laws. That's quite scary actually!
Fine article. I, also, didn't know that they weren't licensed and didn't have to follow HIPPA law.

Our eldest visited one of these with the youth group she used to be a member of last June. I think she was shown the same video. A smart, abstinent by choice, 15 year old was smart enough to register bullshit, but a scared woman would not necessarily be able to. And, she quit the group over the experience. Which is fine with her pro-choice and birth control advocating parents.
Great article. Thanks for the info.
Appalling. Thank you for covering this.
Thanks so much for showing the scam these "christians" are running. It makes me sad that women are bullied into making a choice that might not be best for them out of fear. I support Planned Parenthood and am grateful for all the work they do.
I hope The Stranger plans on giving this issue the same sort of coverage they've given tainted cocaine. It's a more local issue and media pressure could really help.
Great article, Cienna! This is just another example how some Christians have become like Amway. They are both very coy about their true agenda (how many people have been invited to a party or meeting to discuss 'an exciting business opportunity', and it isn't until hours in you realize this is an Amway presentation?).

Why do Christians think they have to be so deceptive and sneaky? Do they think it's OK as long as it's in Jeebus' name? I'm a guy, so I've not needed pregnancy tests, but I vividly remember an evening when I was studying at the cafeteria at SPU (I wasn't a student there; I was living on a old boat at a nearby marina & going to the UW). I kept noticing a pretty coed giving me the eye, and was really excited when she came over and started talking to me. After some pleasant conversation, she said she had to leave to meet some friends at a party, and invited me to go with her! Imagine my surprise when the 'party' turned out to be a student's Bible Study group (FUCK!!!). My new 'friend' introduced me to the group, and then handed me off to another girl (fat & plain), and sat with another guy (her boyfriend?). I made an excuse to leave , and it was 'feets don't fail me now!

That was 30 years ago. Interesting how some things never change.
Wow, not under HIPPA Regs . . . meaning they can call you & harass you and tell other people they saw you there or what the test results were! OMG
Anti-abortionists like to say how women will always regret getting an abortion and they'll be depressed about it.

I know two women who have given up children for adoption (in both cases because they were young and naive and in denial too long and too far along to get abortions) and both of them were terribly, terribly depressed for years afterwards. One had an open adoption and the other had a closed one. Both are still pretty upset about their experiences. Both said they wished they had gotten abortions early so they wouldn't have to go through what they did.

The resolution of an unplanned pregnancy, no matter what the final choice is: keeping it, aborting it, or adopting it out, is almost always going to cause grief and sadness. There are plenty of women out there with kids who are depressed and wish they didn't have kids. Same with adoption. Same with abortion. For these "clinics" to lay on the extra helping of guilt and shame is revolting.
I think the reason that they resort to these tactics is that they believe they are preventing murder. If i thought i was going to prevent a murder i would have no problem lying, cajoling, misleading or even bullying somebody. I hope that most people feel that way. I don't believe abortion is murder so i don't have that moral dilemma, but i can certainly understand it.
Thank you for this brilliant article. I think all women should remember that the kind Christian ladies actually think we are murderers if we have had abortions and that their 'compassion' is strangely limited to a collection of cells that could not survive on it's own rather than the sentient being carrying those cells. Why these people don't spend their time helping the millions of living children who are dying from poverty and neglect is absolutely beyond me.
I wish women were like men, and explored their option rationally, instead of being duped, lured, or bamboozeled. It's understandable, after all they are the weaker sex.


If I was seeking medical care, and I do, I make an appointment to talk with the MD, too make sure that I can put up with them before I'll allow them access to my nether regions.

I have use free services in the Seattle area (hint; speak spanish and it is always gratis), and for the most part they render decent services.

For some reason I just feel better when I pay for the MD myself. It is expensive on a college syudent budget, but some will lower their fees if you are upfront with them.
@10 my husband is a vegetarian and believes that killing an animal for food is murder. He doesn't spend his life wrestling steaks from people's plates, he lives by his moral code and allows others, including his wife, to live by their own. He recognizes that he does not have the right to judge others or impose his beliefs on them. Why can't Christians do the same?
Thanks for putting yourselves through all this to let us know what it's like, Cienna and Megan. Please continue your work to keep the spotlight on this issue.
@Cienna, please don't use the term 'forcibly raped'. This is a tautology - all rape is forced by definition - and this is a very nasty invention by the anti-abortionists to try to erode womens rights over their own bodies.
One doesn't get to stand on the grounds of moral superiority/correctness if one has to lie about it.

One doesn't get to stand on the grounds of moral superiority/correctness if one has to lie about it.

Just repeating since I'm registered now.
All very interesting. I had an abortion at an Eastern Washington clinic when I was in college, which thanks to the personal beliefs of the "doctor" who performed it, was a horrible, painful, and degrading experience. I suffered incredible guilt and shame about it for years afterward, and now, decades later, still have issues.

No one should have to go through that, not even at the diagnosis/referral stage. Abortion is legal and it's a choice for individual woman - no one else's beliefs or religion need be involved.

I do need to point out though, that not all Christians are like the ones in the article, not all Christians are deceptive, and not all Christians are judgmental about abortion. I know, because I am one. So it would be awesome, just once in awhile, for the modifier of SOME Christians be used rather than making blanket statements about adherents to an entire religion.
@13 Exactly, izzie! Why can't christians (and most other religions) just live and let live (tolerance!) and not condemn and attack those that don't believe what they do!
Preying on people at their weakest, just like Jesus would have wanted! Can you imagine if these centers decided to target other health issues, maybe tell people lies about cancer, or get them to stop taking AIDS meds?

This is so horrific, thank you (and your intern) so much. You really brought something else to light that's important– the underlying fear so many women have that, no matter what precautions they take, they may be pregnant against their wishes. Hell, I know girls who worry about late periods when they're not even having sex, or who thought they were pregnant in high school when they hadn't even had penetrative sex. So when people treat abortion like a debate class topic, or a side issue, it shows how out of touch they are with half the world's population.

46 pregnancy centers in Washington state... and South Dakota's got a single place to go for a safe abortion. I hope the Stranger continues in this vein, and other cities' papers follow suit.
From the Whatcom County Pregnancy Clinic website: "As a medical office under HIPPA (sic) laws, all our services are confidential. In addition, there is no process to qualify to receive services at no charge."

I could find no info regarding HIPAA laws on the Care Net site, but did find this: "all Medical Services are provided by medical professionals."

I'm guessing that the actual nurses or health care professionals that work at these centers are bound by their licenses to practice HIPAA standards, but the "volunteers" or "staff" are not.
Hey, found this handy-dandy website that helps you actually search for your local anti-choice (not their words, obviously) limited services Pregnancy center. It was linked off of Care Net in Gig Harbor's site. If you search just for Washington state, you get a terrifyingly large # of centers.
Also, if you move the map around or search for a different state, you can see the anti-choice centers in other places (other states, Canada, the United Kingdom, etc.).
@4:I second TV Dinner! I, too, am appalled by unlicensed Christian "women's medical centers"! Thank you for printing this article.
I believe in the value of at least some pregnancy centers. I also believe in the diversity of options insofar that I agree with the author that these pregnancy centers (along with planned parenthood and all sexual clinics) ought to be forthcoming about their value sets and offered services. I realize that some (examples given) Christian organizations deceive intentionally, pretending to be "full-service" joints to lure in vulnerable women. However, what we tend to forget when we're fighting for choices is that there are people benefiting from religiously-oriented life and health advice. For some, a secular organization just isn't going to help them, not because there's something inherently wrong with secular values, but because the values of the individual affects how well they mesh with the kind of aid. I want different but equally well-intentioned sex clinics and centers tailored to differing value sets and I want them to advertise honestly, then the Catholic girls can find comfort in the counselling and adoption services a supportive pregnancy center, and the secular or doubtful girls can get acceptance and the comfort of options at Planned Parenthood, etc. Seems to me if we want to respect the autonomy of persons we have to respect the values of individuals, and have more understanding even for misguided religious priorities or dangerously relativistic neutralities. At any rate, it's good to look at centers and clinics individually, which is what this article did. Well done.
We really need to come up with a term for these deceptive no-choice bastards that we can use to completely replace "pro-life"
@21 The institution proper is bound (or not) by HIPAA's privacy rule. Outside of an institutional setting, Doctors/Nurses/etc are bound by their professional canons of ethics. So in the case of a non-licensed clinic with non-licensed personnel, you are fully SOL.
@25 What's good about this legislation is that it doesn't, in fact, make it harder for these places to operate - it just protects the client privacy and makes the CPCs disclose what they are about. These are not heavy burdens. They do provide *some* good things for *some* people.

I went to a Planned Pregnancy on the east side of the state and was treated similarly. It was very surprising and difficult to go to a "respected" abortion-allowed clinic that treated me so poorly.

After giving me my positive test result back, they asked what I would like to do. I said that I would like to get an abortion. The woman who was taking care of me then left the room and came back with "Keeping the baby" pamphlets and write-ups on the harms of abortions. She then told me to leave because I was taking too much time during my appointment.

I was later billed $87 for the pregnancy test and "counseling."
Planned Parenthood needs quality control too.
Great article!
@29 - Wow. I had a similar creepy experience at a Planned Parenthood, too. The one in White Center. I was only there to get birth control and I got a *very* bad and shaming Christian vibe from the Nurse Practicioner. I feel bad saying anything negative about PP because I so support the work that they do, however, I left wondering if this person actually did support PP's mission or not and if she was there trying to dissuade people from getting services she deemed inappropriate.
@10, @11/13--

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
--C. S. Lewis
Many Christians, like members of many belief systems, ethical-moral or otherwise, are afraid of living surrounded by people who do not agree with their viewpoints, because being confronted with others makes you realize that your own options are not the only possible ones and indirectly undermines your certitudes. This is not a privilege of Christians: I know vegetarians who avoid meat-eaters for similar reasons.

Basically, the less truly sure you are (consciously or unconsciously) of your moral system, the more vulnerable you are to the presence of others around you who do not share it. Conversely, the more truly sure you are that you have made the right choices, the easier it is for you to live with those who made other choices and not feel threatened by them.
@32 a brilliant and apt quote, thanks for sharing.
Aggressive atheist here. This story is indeed appalling... and this is the one and only case in which I sympathise with the Christian. The righteous, unilateral decision to end human life is unforgivable. They lied, yes, but they were defending the child your righteous abandonment had rendered helpless.
You would have to be a CRETIN to feel ZERO SHAME after having an abortion (that's a euphemisim for being irresponsible enough to have NO CONTROL over your own body...and then having a child chewed and sucked out of your body).

The clinic is only bringing to your attention what any sentient human WILL feel.

I guess you must be one of them "I KNOW!!" conversational kind of people...all information is known to you already.

Why is it people like getting information that jives with your lifestyle but loathes information that makes you squirm.

I guess that's why Sally Struthers was so effective.

Are any of you reading history?! Christians have been sticking thier noses into other peoples business ever since they were considered a cult{and became a cult classic}I expect lies spewed forth from sheep{that is what they call themselves...right?}since that is what they have been told. baa baa baa
@25 (gentle observer)...

People go to these clinics seeking medical advice. And if a patient wants further counseling or spiritual guidance, any full-service organization will gladly provide referrals for further counseling or the patient may go to the spiritual leader of their choice. But no.... there is NO place in a medical facility for non-secular counseling unless it is clearly provided as such. The bioethical principle of a patient's right to self-determination precludes the withholding of information that may help her/him make a decision, and no principled medical provider would do it.

Masquerading as a medical provider to provide a religiously-oriented and factually flawed information to people who are seeking medical advice is unconscionable. I don't know how these people sleep at night.
@36 (osage2112)...

Fuck you and your assumptions about my lack of control. I got pregnant with an IUD. I did everything within my control to prevent a pregnancy, but the world is an imperfect place and I got pregnant. I terminated for the same reason I got the IUD.... because I cannot raise a child in the manner I would like to right now.

I feel absolutely NO SHAME about any of my decisions: to have a sexual relationship with my long-term partner, to get an IUD, to terminate the pregnancy. They were all responsible, well-reasoned decisions.

You should be ashamed for making such incorrect assumptions about millions of women you don't know.
@35, 36

Look, these places don't actually say they're anti-abortion. They say they are there because they want to help women. I know - I've been told this by people who volunteer there. But their definition of "helping" includes gentle slut shaming and manufacturing fear around sex ("Did you know that condoms don't work? And that if you have too much sex you won't be able to properly pair-bond with your husband?" - they said this to me!) and proselytizing a very conservative reading of the Bible.

Moreover, these women think that eternal guilt and shame for an abortion is what a woman SHOULD feel. You hear testimony from women on that side who had abortions 10+ years ago and they STILL cry talking about it. What healthy adult doesn't come to terms with grief after a decade? I've known several people who suffered miscarriages or the deaths of older children, and they have somehow managed to be overall happy in their lives.

How is creating eternal abortion guilt helping women?
@10: First off, if they believe they're preventing "murder", they're just plain wrong, as murder is the illegal killing of another human being (and even then, only certain forms of illegal homicide), and abortion is not (entirely) illegal (for the time being :-/ ). Second, if they think it's unjustified homicide and that their reasons for thinking so are good ones, why should they need to lie? Good reasons should be convincing, no? Third, I disagree: I think multinational labor exploitation and USA imperialist invasions are unjustified and homicidal, but I don't feel the need to lie about them in order to make that case, because I have an actual, good case (with which another may disagree, certainly). "The Bible says abortion is wrong" is a) not a compelling case for anyone who doesn't already buy into the idea of which one is trying to convince hir, and b) not actually true.

@13, 19: Because a non-apologetics (literal, not attempting to to salvage a woefully-flawed text, portions of which are demonstrably false and other portions of which advocate behavior that is widely-reviled by "Christians", as uniform, historically-delocated, universally-applicable, unproblematic, and True) reading of the King James Bible (as well as many theological texts and nearly the entire history of organized Christianity) establishes Christianity as an evangelical religion, to the point that the Bible advocates murdering both non-believers and believers who don't follow certain prescriptions and proscriptions? I think a better question is why people who believe radically different things all identify under the label "Christian".

@15: Only if you're using a definition of "rape" that necessitates "force"; force is not the same as power (nor the exercise thereof). I would consider coerced sex (directly coerced or culturally-coerced) to be rape, even though it does not involve force, or sex with an unconscious or otherwise incapacitated person (assuming sie didn't put hirself in that state for the expressed purpose of the sexual encounter), or sex under unilaterally-altered conditions deviating from those under which consent was originally negotiated (e.g. sliding a penis into someone without discussion or warning; removing a condom or other protective barrier during a sexual encounter, without discussion or warning; etc.). My definition of "rape" is sex without (freely given) consent of all parties involved, and consent is not only subverted by force - coercion and deceit are at least two other methods.
Oh, I forgot to mention, nice article. :-)
@36 I suppose I am one proud cretin then. Also, I think I would rather be a cretin than an unfit, broke ass, (welfare queen, to the pro life conservative right) reluctant and resentful mother as a result my irrational fears of enraging some sky monster. Thank goodness I have an understanding of the natural world and self esteem enough to know how to make a rational decision that I am still fantastically happy with years later.
Also, this is a fantastic article, Cienna. I remember contacting one of these centers when I was a NARAL intern in high school and being told that "if you have been using condoms for a while and then don't your body goes into a state of shock and will think it is pregnant, but it isn't so you shouldn't take a morning after pill."
Cienna, try asking them some questions that will make them uncomfortable:
"If I kill my baby, will its soul go straight to Heaven?"
"If I keep my baby, is there a chance its soul will go to eternal Hell?"
What's a loving mother to do?
Hideous or wonderful, the fate of the unborn soul is that of 10% to 50+% of all human souls ever created (google 'spontaneous abortion rate').
"Does it matter to the baby whether it's killed by God or by an abortionist?"
"If abortion is so bad, why does God do it so often?"
If believers are going to foist their beliefs upon others, it is fair to ask them to defend those beliefs.

I guess if the shoe fits, but as I wrote 36, I knew there would be exceptions, and I didn't feel a need to cover the RAPE, INCEST, WHATEVER situation that can and do happen.

For these people, this is a matter of survival.

I didn't think these people needed absolution...there was NO fault on them.

For the others, there is a guild/shame/ability to never forget the abortion.

My wife and I CONSIDERED abortion, and I feel the guild just for thinking about it as an option.

So @36 addressed some concerns...not the gammut.
@39, you fall in the had to guilt there.

@43...don't know if you use abortion as a primary birthcontrol tool, anyone who does needs to feel the shame of being a dunce.

There are pleny of other ways to prevent pregnancy.

But if you do have an unwanted pregnancy...I FULLY support your choice to end it via abortion.

There is shame in life and ending a life flippantly is ONE OF THEM.
osage2112 (@46)

You said nothing of exceptions in @36, only shame. Women have abortions for as many reasons as there are abortions. A huge number of them don't lead to shame. Or regret.

I felt cramps. And relief.
@48 yes. i have unprotected sex constantly and just go get my bi-monthly abortion to take care of any consequences.
No one uses abortion as a primary birth control method, it's a surgical procedure for fucks sake. It belies a complete (possibly willful?) ignorance of a woman's capability for rational thought and decision making (oh we are all such dithering hens! thank goodness we have men to tell us what to do and approve of our actions!) to assume that someone would do that. I DID have an unwanted pregnancy and i DID end it via abortion and I don't want or need the approval of people like you before, during or after.
@#40 This is #35 here. You didn't address my concerns in the slightest. It is likely no one will. I only hope that some day soon we will rise out of our modern dark age and women will stop murdering their children by righteously making the unilateral decision to end the helpless victim's life. It is not your body. You can do whatever you want with your body. What millions of righteous women are incredulously ignorant of is the fact that the subject of lesser-developed child murder almost exclusively regards the victim as the party that will never see the light of day, not you! Again, atheist here.
It's not "unduly burdensome" to force abortion seeking women to get ultrasounds or 72 wait periods or false information decided upon by white, christian men in govt positions, but saying your business isn't a medical facility is?
I'm a little distraught that this was presented with an encompassing "all Christians are like this" narrative (and that this has continued in the comments), but thank you for enduring these wretched places and documenting your experiences. What a terrible system these places have set up for themselves.
@48 Why should they feel like a dunce? There is no abortion hierarchy. If a woman is raped, if the condom breaks, if she is acting foolishly - they are all equal. Women are in control of their own bodies and their choices are not dependent on your approval. Giving judgement and not trusting women with their own bodies makes you just another anti-choicer.
@48 Why should they feel like a dunce? There is no abortion hierarchy. If a woman is raped, if the condom breaks, if she is acting foolishly - they are all equal. Women are in control of their own bodies and their choices are not dependent on your approval. Giving judgement and not trusting women with their own autonomy makes you just another anti-choicer.
@36 And if they don't feel shame, what then? Are you going to force these "cretin" women to carry pregnancies against their will? What is the point of your shaming?
@53 I do sympathise with your frustration at being lumped in with other Christians but you have to see that the anti-choice Christians shout so loud that they drown out the other, more reasonable voices in your religion. Please can the tolerant, compassionate Christians make as much noise as possible on this, and other, issues. Unfortunately you need to convince us atheists that you exist and you care, because in America right now it's very hard to believe.
@41, fascinating and erudite argument, but does it not rest on force meaning physical force? I mean if you coerce or trick someone are you not still imposing or forcing your will upon them? And is this not just arguing semantics when the point is that if we allow a segregation of rape into forcible and non forcible we are doing a huge disservice to those women who we deem not to have been 'forcibly raped'? Surely you can see that this term has horrible connotations and was simply invented to promote a nasty political ideology?
@cameron diaz...

It does not require a belief in god to value a cluster of cells above a sentient being, just misogyny. Good for you for being an atheist misogynist. Here's a cookie.
How about the absolute refusal of the abortion establishment to conduct studies as to what extent abortions cause infertility?

They just declare from on high "no it doesn't". Well then, where is the study? You'd think several million abortions in there would be some sort of study. You know, proving their completely unfounded and wrong claims correct. Why no fake study?

You know why. The CONservatives would attack and rip it's baseless nonsense to shreds. So they simply tell the scared woman "it will be okay, you'll be able to have a child later". Neener-neener.

A mirror image of the CONservative inability to study the uselessness of AA for alcohol. Millions of samples, and yet they just can't get a study.

That's cause if there was a FAKE STUDY the Atheist LIEbrals would mock it's absolute worthlessness.

After all, if you look, you know what you'll find, so best to let sleeping dogs die.

In this the CONservative and the LIEbral agree.
@osage2112, it must be nice, riding atop that high horse. God forbid you ever make a mistake and take responsible action to make sure that mistake does not negatively effect your life and other lives. What a cretin you would be to feel no shame about that.

The issue with these "clinics" is not that they provide pregnancy tests or non-licensed opinions in the form of counseling to women, or that they are Christian/Catholic based. The issue is that they do not disclose their purpose to women prior to any personal medical or sexual questions being asked with no assurance or legal responsibility that the information provided will be kept private. They do not give women the information they need to make the decision if this is the best place for them to seek care.
It is also that they are providing false information regarding abortion health risks, and condom reliability. These are not medical professionals. This is false information. Essentially there are LIES being told, and the last time I checked, telling a lie is a sin. Shame shame shame on them.
The fact that they don’t put the results in writing is yet more proof that anti-abortionism is more about “ensuring consequences for sex” than it is about “saving lives.” Medical coupons and WIC vouchers are things that the woman will only need if she decides to KEEP the pregnancy. These are things that go into the CARE of the fetus and, after it’s born, infant. Yet these people deny access to these services just as they deny information about abortion services.

If they were really concerned about saving lives, this would include ensuring that the woman has all the access she can get to various means of FEEDING the fucking thing, but apparently they don’t give a shit about that.
@PT Barnum, how about you stop speaking out of your ass? Your post made zero sense. Zero. Maniacal ranting with absolutely no point.
Great article. Guys freak out over tests for STDs too, we just don't admit it at the time. But then we don't get preggers.
there are plenty of statistical analysis's done on abortion that show that "vacuum aspiration—the modern method most commonly used during first-trimester abortions—poses virtually no long-term risks of future fertility-related problems, such as infertility, ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous abortion or congenital malformation."…

Here are the references for that quote:

2. Atrash HK and Hogue CJR, The effect of pregnancy termination on future reproduction, Baillière’s Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1990, 4(2):391–405; and Hogue CJR, Cates
W and Tietze C, The effects of induced abortion on subsequent reproduction, Epidemiologic Reviews, 1982, 4(1):66–94.
3. Ibid.; and Hogue CJ et al., Answering questions about long-term outcomes, in: Paul M et al., eds., A Clinician’s Guide to Medical and Surgical Abortion, New York: Churchill
Livingstone, 1999, pp. 217–227

Great reporting. Just goes to show when people are hesitant to refer to the Stranger as real reporting, or call it a rag, they have their heads up their asses. You guys do Important shit no-one else will touch. Bravo.
What a great and necessary article! Thank you!

And, anyone who thinks that "making due of a bad situation" via teenage pregnancy is a swell idea can watch a few episodes of 'Teen Mom'. Those little babies suffer in nearly every episode due to their mother's ignorance and lack of support. Yes, it's tv, but still valid.
@45 love the list. Here's my own comeback: "I guess adoption would be okay, but only by a same-sex couple."
I think it's disgusting how the fundamentalist Christians I've met, talked with, and discussed religion with get literally GIDDY at the thought that the person across from them is disillusioned, confused, or at all in flux with their feelings or opinions. I've had Christians try to TALK ME INTO being disillusioned and lost when I was merely still making up my mind. They joyfully seek vulnerability in other human beings, then exploit it with a reasonable-sounding but false and/or bankrupt message about fairies, unicorns, miracles, grace, and other empty bullshit.

Not "all" Christians. But all of a specific strain/faction.
Even if care net blatantly said they were Christian and wanted to stop abortions, people would still complain. The issue is not so much about honesty, it is more about bashing on people who want to stop abortions.

Even if abortion should not be illegal, there are still moral issues with terminating or potentially terminating a life. Arguing that a fetus can never be an actual life is ignoring scientific reality. It is legitimate to try to persuade people not to have abortions. This is a separate issue from whether abortion should be legal. I agree that the pro life movement has a disproportionate share of wackos and hypocrites. However there is room for debate on whether someone should make the choice to have an abortion even if it is legal. It is valid for an organization to present reasons for not having an abortion. Again I acknowledge that care net is being accused of being deceptive but I think the broader issue is that the abortion issue has gotten politicized to the point where any organization that attempts to stop abortions is going to get attacked regardless of their tactics.
@61...did you read the later comments...I'm talking about the people who use abortion at a primary form of birth control.

I also believe in choice, but could never use it myself. I've friends that have and there is guilt and shame in the choice.

INCEST, RAPE, MISTAKES...are all reasons where the person is NOT TO BLAME...but for the dumbass that took no precaution and WOUND-UP knocked up...should get some grief for being a dumbass.

YOU sound like you were responsible...why you need to assume everyone is, is beyond me.

In this entitled world we live in...more people are not responsible for anything.

@70 Planned Parenthood and many other local clinics to an excellent job of counseling women who are unsure of what to do without pushing abortion above all other options. The 'clinics' in question offer false information with the explicit motive of preventing abortion. It is not fair to pressure someone to do or not do something by intimidating them with false medical information, especially threats of infertility and early mortality.
I agree that abortion is not always the right option, but deciding what to do with an unplanned pregnancy is a deeply personal issue. I don't think anyone should be talked in or out of keeping/aborting/adopting out a potential child, counsel should be factual and supportive with the final decision left up to the one carrying the fetus.
@46 and all the other anti-choice assholes out there:

Your logic is seriously flawed. (With the exception of hardliners who want abortion abolished in all cases, including rape and incest. Yous guys are dead wrong, but at least you have a logically consistant argument and are [maybe, benefit of the doubt] adhering to your self stated purpose of preserving the life of all embryos)

Many anti-choicers say that in the case of rape or incest, they are ok with a woman obtaining an abortion.

But, if abortion is murder, and murder is wrong, why do those women get carte blanche to commit murder?

Is it becasue, oh I don't know, you're not so much for preserving the life of embryos, but PUNISHING women for having sex?

If a women becomes pregnant but didn't want/ask for the sex, than it is ok for her to murder her baby.


But it is not ok for a woman to murder her baby if she wanted/asked for the sex. Then, she must accept the consequences of her actions.


But abortion is always murder, and murder is wrong.



Please explain, thanks.

Here's your study: The millions of women who go on to have children after having an abortion.
osage2112, I did read your later comments. You believe in a womans right to choose as long as she meets your requirements, but she is a cretin if she feels no shame.
Nobody uses abortion and their primary form of birth control. Please tell me of case studies where women used abortion as a primary form of birth control. There are women who have made the decision to terminate more than one pregnancy, sure, but your choice of words wrong. Abortion is not birth control. Abortion is the termination of a pregnancy.
You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but your judgement calls are akin to someone saying that AIDS flies through condoms like rice through a tennis racket. They are simply false and misleading.
I've paid for three abortions in my life and I think it's the best money I've ever spent. I've never regreted it for one second and would do it again without hesitation.

Christians are some of the biggest liars, cheats and murderers on the planet, this doesn't bug them much because they think they are forgiven by jesus for being so weak and evil.

The reason that Xians care about saving babies while condoning the murder of countless adults is because they know that they have to install the brainwashing in you while you are still young, doing it to an adult with developed defenses is much much harder.
Thank you @76. I'm going to quote you so everyone can see your response:

"I've paid for three abortions in my life and I think it's the best money I've ever spent. I've never regreted it for one second and would do it again without hesitation.

Christians are some of the biggest liars, cheats and murderers on the planet, this doesn't bug them much because they think they are forgiven by jesus for being so weak and evil.

The reason that Xians care about saving babies while condoning the murder of countless adults is because they know that they have to install the brainwashing in you while you are still young, doing it to an adult with developed defenses is much much harder. "
@26: The Max: How about "Pro-Scrotum", or "Pro-Santorum"? Apparently they think that dicks have more rights than women.
@72: RIGHT ON, OLIVE!!!! I could not have said it better myself!!!!
Many pro-life activists aren't Christian. What about the pro-choice agenda planned parenthood is pushing (their revenue depends on it) is Cienna looking to bring them down as well?
@46, If you generally hold such conservative views, you probably feel very frustrated reading The Stranger. Maybe you should go away and not try to present a tired-out regret story to pro-choicers who are not budge on their support for women's basic rights. If you don't support abortion, then don't get one.
Yes, it's a good article and the majority of posters on this site are in the right. Now, let's stop congratulating ourselves for being right, and drive these frauds out of Seattle, one neighborhood at a time. We know where these "clinics" are located, so let's take a page from the anti-choice crowd's playbook and picket them. If you believe what these people are doing is wrong and care about women, team up to make sure no one every enters one of these places without knowing exactly what to expect and what deceptive pigs the staff members are. Why spend months trying to pass a law requiring an exchange of info that could be facilitated, clinic by clinic, beginning tomorrow? Plus, the resulting PR would work to further spread the word.
Yes, it's a good article and the majority of posters on this site are in the right. Now, let's stop congratulating ourselves, and drive these frauds out of Seattle, one neighborhood at a time. We know where these "clinics" are located, so let's take a page from the anti-choice crowd's playbook and picket them. If you believe what these people is doing is wrong and care about women, team up to make sure no one ever enters one of these places without knowing exactly what to expect and what deceptive pigs the staff members are. Why spend months trying to pass a law requiring an exchange of info that could be facilitated, clinic by clinic, beginning tomorrow? Plus, the resulting PR would work to further spread the word.
I'm sending another check to Planned Parenthood....
I'm sending another check to Planned Parenthood. God Bless 'Em.
@84 Good for you. You're really taking a stand. Gandhi and MLK would be proud. You wrote a check and were snarkily superior.
Abortions account for about 3% of the health services Planned Parenthood offers (see pages 8 and 9 specifically):…

They could eliminate abortion services and PP would still do just fine. Their revenue does NOT depend on it.

But yes, PP DOES have a pro-choice agenda: They want women to be free to choose how to best care for their reproductive health. Those monsters!!!
@78, I know I'm not a registered user, and that no one will read my comment, but I have to say I am against "pro-scrotum." I am as pro-choice as you can get, and I am a guy, but I can't seriously label myself as "anti-scrotum." I guess you can say that I've grown too attached to my own scrotum to be against it.

"Pro-Santorum" is okayish, but it doesn't seem to be as on target as the label should be. I do agree that a new label is needed, but it needs to be perfect. Keep on brainstorming!
I am a board member of a pregnancy medical clinic (PMC) in Washington State. There is much misinformation & hearsay in this article about pregnancy medical clinics in our state. Here are two fallacies and facts.

Fallacy: PMCs are fake medical clinics.

Fact: PMCs are licensed medical clinics under WA State law RCW 18 and RCW 70. PMCs are medical clinics because they provide medical services under the direction & supervision of a licensed physician & such medical services are implemented through licensed medical professionals.

Fallacy: Abortion clinics are licensed and regulated by the State but PMCs are not.

Fact: According to the Dept of Health Offices, Health Systems Quality Assurance, WA State does not license or regulate abortion clinics or any medical clinic for that matter. Rather, the State licenses & regulates the medical professionals who practice in medical clinics. Therefore, PMCs are licensed & regulated under the same WA State standards as abortion clinics, Planned Parenthood, OB/GYNs, or any medical clinic.

State Impact:
In 2010, the pregnancy center network in WA State served over 62,000 women & provided over $18 million in free medical & maternal/infant services. The Dept. of Health has reported NO complaints about the services of PMCs and NO law suites have been filed against any PMC in our state.

I urge everyone to please get the facts before declaring war on community-based social service pregnancy centers that are doing so much good for so many women and children.
@89, links or you're lying.
@89, Hi Beth, thanks for commenting. While I have no doubt that you believe that you are doing good by women, I have to ask, how does spreading scientifically false information such as abortions lead to a 50% increase in developing breast cancer, not being able to bond with future children, and the possibility of suffering from post-abortion syndrome (which as, Ms. Madrid pointed out, is not recognized by the American Psychological Association) benefit the women who choose you to use your services?
@89, 91 I have an addendum to my previous post. If Christians (which I assume compose the majority of PMC workers, and I could be wrong) view science as empirical proof of God's will, is not lying about the results of scientific studies baring false witness against your neighbor? I know that there is the commandment that thou shalt not commit murder, but baring false witness lies within the same list. As far as I know there are no caveats among the 10 commandments, so why is breaking one in prevention of another okay?
Fine reporting: informative yet funny, and the personal angle makes the story resonate.
Thank you for this article, Cienna! Also, the part I didn't suspect ('cause I guess I never stopped to think about it carefully) was the lack of needed HIPPA compliance at these "clinics", which adds an additional chill to the bleak pallor of rest of the story. Yeesh.

Transparency, transparency, transparency. We *need* regulation in this state to insist that these religiously-affiliated shops must be upfront.
Your Bill is as useless as a dollar bill? many a con man operate many a scam in the United States Of Scams? Scumbags posing as Christians as well and thats really not new News to anyone who pays any attention.

But to the point enforcement of laws are the key and as well if you discovered some shady places don't be a total frigging sissy and not name them as in "Name of place and names of people and Address?

Your use of the word Cristian is referring to a large percentage of the world?

and the old school word for what the hell you were looking for is an "Abortion clinic" and as they are the ones who would know about Abortions and complications there of your should really find a city that would educate you against the word "free" frigging anything?

Family is very cool and Family can really suck so your choice is yours to make and for you to deal with. you may be happy with it or you may lay awake at night in regret
I was going to comment, something witty, a retort, to all those who hate women and their bodies. Then I just gave up from a migraine.

I will go with an old one liner...
"Keep your Rosaries off her ovaries"

Busch, out.
I understand that there has been much confusion regarding what WA State does and does not do regarding licensing and regulating medical clinics.

The good news is that getting the facts about what WA State does and does not regulate or license regarding medical clinics is not difficult. In fact, it can be as simple as a phone call away.

Call the WA Dept of Health at 1-800-525-0127 and ask for yourself. They will tell you that WA State does not license or regulate medical clinics in our state. They do, however, license and regulate medical professionals who practice in medical clinics.

For you who love blogs, go to the following link to see a statement from Debbie Puryear-Tainer, Department of Health Office of Customer Service, Health Systems Quality Assurance regarding WA State that confirms that WA State does not regulate any medical clinics in our state(i.e., abortion clinics, OBGYN clinics, ambulatory clinics, Pregnancy Medical Clinics) but the state does license and regulate medical professionals who practice in the medical clinic:….
@91 & 92 Thank you for asking for clarification regarding the claims that Pregnancy Medical Clinics (PMCs) in WA State are spreading false information about reproductive health concerns. I appreciate the oppportunity to educate about this issue.

PMCs have Medical Directors (MDs) who are licensed physicians. These MDs are responsible to ensure that quality health care is implemented at the PMC.

As in any medical clinic, nurses and patient coordinators at PMCs are instructed by the Medical Director regarding patient health education. At a PMC, the Medical Director determines what evidence based health information about pregnancy, pregnancy options and other reproductive health is shared with patients.

While doctors rely on scientific research to make the right decisions regarding health care, it is not uncommon to find credible scientific studies with contradicting conclusions. This is why doctors often disagree with their peers.

Many respected scientific studies support a wide variety of conculsions regarding reproductive choices. A simple Internet search indicates such. It is up to the MD to determine which study he or she wants to use to support their evidenced based health care services.

PMCs believe that women are smart and capable of making their own reproductive health decisions. PMCs do not receive any money from the choices their patients make.

Bottom line, PMCs are good for Washington State. Where else can any woman, regardless of her financial condition or socio-economic status, go for pregnancy diagnosis, ultrasound exams, nursing consultations, community referrals, and maternal/infant care services -- all free of charge?
Thank you for writing this Cienna. I tend to be a pretty skeptical person and somehow I fell for this scam many years ago when I was pregnant and extremely poor and living in big city. All of the same lies you mention in the article (50% greater chance of breast cancer, the possibility of not being able to have children in the future, and yes death) were sweetly described as possible consequences when I asked about abortion. I was also shown some very disturbing pictures. To top it all off they called my house to "check up on me" (a big gnarly college house I lived in with mostly guys) and they told my roommates they were calling from a pregnancy center even though when they asked if that would be ok I said no and that they should use a pseudonym. These places pray on women at their most vulnerable, poor, and afraid.
@98, Hi Beth, thanks for responding. I understand how scientific studies can report a wide variety of conclusions (I work in a field of science, not medicine though). Based on your comment, I decided to dig a bit deeper into one of the issues. Since I work at a university, I have access to various medical journals, and I browsed some articles relating to abortions and the increased risk of breast cancer.

From what I've found out (I'll admit, I did use Wikipedia as a starting point), all major credible medical associations (the World Health Organization, the U.S. National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) support the conclusion that there is no correlation between receiving an abortion and developing breast cancer. In fact, the only organizations that support such a claim have pro-life leanings which cast doubt on the objectivity of their conclusions.

My reasoning of why the studies which claim that there is no link between abortions and breast cancer are accurate comes from the question: what do these organizations stand to gain from such a statement? Abortions are not some sort of money making industry, but a surgical procedure, and I cannot fathom a reason why a scientist would justify letting women undergo such a procedure unless they had objective proof that it was safe.

However, I can see such a justification on the other side of the argument. The organizations that I found, which claim that there is a link, have ties to the pro-life moment. I know that Christianity believes that abortions are a sin, and I can see that belief blinding certain scientists to the bias inherent in their results.

Additionally, proponents of no link make a compelling argument that the results of studies which show a link fall victim to response bias.

Beth, I would like to thank you for your comments, but I know that I am on terra firma when I state that abortions do not lead to an increased risk of breast cancer, and that any medical professional that claims otherwise is being deceitful.