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Tax Dollars Funding Anti-Abortion “Crisis Pregnancy Centers”

As the Bush administration continues its anti-abortion agenda of cutting federal funding for comprehensive sexual education programs and services, anti-abortion “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs)Ñwhich receive large portions of taxpayer dollarsÑare proliferating throughout the country, spreading propaganda and misinformation, Salon.com reported today. According to the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), there were more than 3,200 CPCs in the US in 1999. Although CPCs are advertised and marketed as legitimate women’s health clinics, their staff consists of abortion opponents rather than medical professionals. Women entering CPCs are coerced into watching gory anti-abortion videos and counseled on the severe impacts of “post-abortion syndrome,” a condition for which the American Psychological Association finds there is no evidence. The questionable legality of CPC practices has resulted in injunctions in California and North Dakota, prohibiting CPCs from advertising themselves as health clinics. However, in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Missouri, and Florida, state governments continue to distribute their monies to vehicles of the anti-abortion campaign. CPC programs also promote abstinence-only education, that is ridden with fabricated facts. For example, the government-funded Real Alternatives purportedly cites a 2001 Department of Health and Human Services report on their Website saying: “A US government study released recently reveals no proof that condoms prevent the transmission of the most common STDs, including gonorrhea, chlamydial infection, trichomoniasis, genital herpes, syphilis, chancroid, and HPV-associated diseases.” However, the true report text states: “Beyond mutual lifelong monogamy among uninfected couples, condom use is the only method for reducing the risk of HIV infection and STDs available to sexually active individuals.” Despite the lack of scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of abstinence-only sex education programs, President Bush remains a staunch supporter. Last January, he sought a 33 percent increase to $135 million in funding for such programs in the FY 2003 budget.

Sources:

Salon.com 8/23/02; NARAL fact sheet 8/23/02

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