A crisis pregnancy center (CPC) is opening up across the street from the Women’s Health Center, the only abortion provider in northern Minnesota. “We already have problems with picketing and harassing patients, so we feel if the crisis pregnancy center goes kitty-corner from us, there just may be more picketing and harassment,” said Laurie Casey, executive director of the Women’s Health Center. “We’ve heard this happens elsewhere. When clinics have similar names, there are problems.”

Angie Wambach, who will be the CPC’s unpaid director, stated that they chose the location of the center “based on the need of the community.” Another CPC, Lake Superior Life Care Center, is just three blocks away. A Women’s Care Center fundraising letter that went out in 2010 for this center stated that the reason for establishing a center at this site was related to a 4% abortion increase in the county. “For this reason,” Wambach said in the letter, “we are opening a new pregnancy resource center in the heart of our city immediately proximate to the Women’s Health Center (abortion clinic).”

This CPC will be the 20th in the Women’s Care Center franchise. Currently, there are an estimated 3,500 CPCs nationwide, most of which are affiliated with one or more national umbrella organizations. CPCs pose as legitimate health centers and offer “free” pregnancy tests. Some CPCs coerce and intimidate women out of considering abortion as an option, and prevent women from receiving neutral and comprehensive medical advice. These clinics are typically run by anti-abortion volunteers who are not licensed medical professionals.

Media Resources: Inforum 7/1/12; KBJR News 1 7/2/12; RH Reality Check 7/2/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/29/12

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