If you're a woman shopping at Alderwood for Black Friday, and if you recently discovered that you're pregnant, this advertisement—just outside the Alderwood food court—might catch your eye:
But before you contact these people, you should know that "Pregnancy Resource Center" in Everett was identified last year by Seattle Clinic Defense as a "Crisis Pregnancy Center," which is another name for Christian organizations with the "mission of steering expectant mothers away from abortion and instead into 'abortion alternatives.'" Pregnancy Resource Center's website admits that they "do not perform or refer for abortions, arrange adoptions or provide medical care." Text on the website also indicates that Pregnancy Resource Center "should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional counseling, medical or pre-natal care." And once more for clarity, the site adds, "Please note, our center does not perform nor refer for abortions."
Also, their website offers the following advice about sexually transmitted disease: "Avoid all sexual activity until you are in a committed, monogamous relationship (such as marriage) and remain faithful to that (uninfected) partner for life. This is the only way to avoid the risk of an infection."
Camano Chapel lists Pregnancy Resource Center as one of their "missions that we regularly support" because they "take the sanctity of life very seriously." They praise the Center for touching "thousands of students with the message of abstinence" and for forwarding a mission to "support empowering clients to make life-affirming choices reducing the felt need for abortion and preventing unplanned pregnancies."
If you want to learn more about crisis pregnancy centers, you should read Cienna Madrid's excellent feature about her experiences at these centers. Here's her explanation of what they do:
...none of these centers are medical clinics—they're not medically licensed with the state. They're largely staffed by volunteers, not nurses or doctors, and their services are far from comprehensive. Some of the centers offer sexually transmitted infection testing or ultrasounds (no diagnostic analysis, just moody pictures of your insides) but no other medical care. None of them provide information about or access to birth control or condoms (just abstinence and Jesus). When you visit their websites or call to make an appointment, it's rarely made clear that these are Christian organizations.
Crisis Pregnancy Centers are a weaselly attempt to control your body and your choices. If you want to talk to real human beings in a real medical clinic about your real options, visit a Planned Parenthood near you. This has been a public service announcement. Please enjoy the rest of your shopping day.