Dublin pregnancy center, others targeted by pro-choice organization study

Report by California group says CPCs make false claims about pregnancy risks

A pro-choice organization released the results of a two-year undercover investigation Monday examining more than 200 unlicensed and unregulated pregnancy centers across the state.

The report, titled "Unmasking Fake Clinics: the Truth about Crisis Pregnancy Centers in California," asserts that the clinics make false claims linking abortion to breast cancer and infertility and dissuade particularly vulnerable women from receiving accurate medical advice.

The investigation, which included visits to 14 clinics in six counties and phone calls to an additional 200 centers across the state, was conducted by the NARAL Pro-Choice California Foundation unpaid staff and volunteers over a six-month period ending in August 2009.

Valley Pregnancy Center in Dublin is listed as a Crisis Pregnancy Center serving the Tri-Valley.

"Every pregnant woman needs reliable, medically accurate information about parenting, adoption and abortion," doctor Jennifer Kerns, an obstetrician/gynecologist and fellow with Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, said in a prepared statement.

"The last thing she needs is to be misled and manipulated by a crisis pregnancy center posing as a legitimate medical facility," Kerns said.

Calls placed to at least six different crisis pregnancy centers around the Bay Area went unreturned, and the director of the Pregnancy

Resource Center of Santa Cruz was unavailable for comment over the weekend.

According to the report, only 59 percent of California counties have an abortion provider, while 91 percent have at least one Crisis

Pregnancy Center, or CPC, which NARAL asserts are linked to anti-abortion umbrella organizations.

NARAL Pro-Choice California Foundation's mission is to protect a woman's right to make personal decisions regarding reproductive choices.

Amy Everitt, the California organization's state director, said that the report will be distributed to community-based organizations that provide medical referrals to the most at-risk groups of women, including those who are young, low-income, of color or from rural locations.

"No matter how a person feels about the question of legal abortion, everyone can agree that women should never be misled when seeking information about pregnancy, birth control, abortion or sexually transmitted disease," Everitt said.

The report claims that roughly 90 percent of CPCs are operated by three anti-choice organizations: the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, Care Net and Heartbeat International.

On the main page of the Heartbeat International website, the organization describes is mission as one "to rescue woman and couples from the agony and violence of abortion through the development of neighborhood pregnancy help centers, maternity homes and adoption services."

The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates works to convert pregnancy help centers to medical clinic status, and lists the following benefits on its website: "an increase in the number of abortion-minded clients seen and a dramatic increase in the percentage of clients choosing life."

To gather the information, trained unpaid volunteers visited the clinics accompanied by a second volunteer so that they could listen to free counseling.

More than half of the clinics investigated highlighted mortality as a claimed complication from abortion and the unpaid volunteer investigators were ultimately "dissuaded from considering abortion as an option."

Part of the problem, Everitt said, is deceptive advertising, which is why the organization collected more than 66,000 signatures on a petition targeting two online information sites, and

On these sites, more than thirty centers nationwide, including two in California, were listed under "abortion information and referral services" or "abortion clinics", but were found not to offer those services or referrals, according to the report.

One crisis pregnancy center, Options for Women in Concord, which is listed on the crisis pregnancy clinic website, is a self-described "abortion clinic alternative".

In Baltimore, a similar investigative report led to the development of a bill requiring the clinics to post notices in English and Spanish clearly stating they do not provide or make referrals for abortion services or birth control. That bill was eventually passed by the city council and signed into law by the mayor.

Currently, NARAL's staff is working with city council members and county supervisors to develop local legislation similar to the bill in


Patricia Decker, Bay City News

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Like this comment
Posted by Jonathan
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2010 at 9:56 am

I think that clinics that provide abortions should have to post signs that say they are biased towards providing abortions.

I wonder if the report actually investigated the claims that abortions are linked with an increase in adult depression and infertility cases. Given the methodology of the report it seems pretty clear that the motives of this report is to try and give more credence to pro-abortion centers' claims against centers that cite the negative effects of abortion to vulnerable women who might not otehrwise know the consequences. I could easily call 200 pro-abortion centers and find that they have a bias toward abortion.

I hope that city council members and city managers will not be fooled by this report and furthermore that they will see the value of helping women to make decisions that account not just for selfish "what do I want?" mindset, but help them to see the value of protecting a child that was entrusted to their care and will work to protect the innocent and weak in their societies.

Like this comment
Posted by Patty Morris
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2010 at 11:10 am

A few years back while in Florida I saw a Planned Parenthood listed in the yellow pages under both 'Abortion Altenatives' and 'Abortion Providers'. Kettle calling the pot black???

Like this comment
Posted by Crystal Ann
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Just because a clinic provides abortion services does not mean that they encourage women to use those services. It also does not mean they do not talk to the women about all of the pros and cons as well as other options.

I have not utilized these services, but I have gone to Planned Parenthood my whole adult life for birth control and have found that very forthright, open, and honest when providing information. I have not ever felt that the claims they provided were false (which is what I would automatically think if I were at a clinic that says abortions increase the likelihood of breast cancer).

Like this comment
Posted by elena andrews
a resident of another community
on Jul 13, 2010 at 2:33 pm

thank you, NARAL. i know that this has been a long time coming. im hoping that anti-choice propaganda will someday the mean time, we should let every woman know fully and completely the entire medical truth about pregnancy and abortion. I, myself, had to make a choice and i have no breast cancer, no depression, and im not dead. so, the CPCs need to update their information, big time!

Like this comment
Posted by Lauren
a resident of Parkside
on Jul 13, 2010 at 2:35 pm

I had an unwanted pregnancy at the age of 26 despite being on the shot. Planned Parenthood asked if I wanted to discuss alternatives, which I rejected, then the volunteers and doctor never discussed anything more than prenatal care which I was able to obtain on a sliding scale rate. Planned Parenthood supports all choices, and do not provide false claims like CPCs. If the issue was anything other than abortion, CPCs would have been shut down for malpractice, criminal negligence, and all other charges related to lying to patients. My only experience was their refusal to give me a pap smear until performed a pregnancy test, which, if positive, they would not have gone through with the routine procedure that involves swabbing of the cervix and IN NO WAY ANATOMICALLY POSSIBLE could hurt a zygote, embryo, or fetus. It is dispicable that in the name of "protection" CPCs are allowed to lie and harm women. Jonathan, all credible medical institutions have studies proving that abortions - legal, safe, modern abortions - do not contribute to infertility. Depression occurs but rarely. Though I did not chose abortion for myself, I had a very physically risky pregnancy that came at a bad time in my life, and I would NEVER EVER judge another woman's experience. Aren't you the selfish one promoting bad medicine and snap judgments?

Like this comment
Posted by Huh?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 13, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Lauren said:

Jonathan, all credible medical institutions have studies proving that abortions - legal, safe, modern abortions - do not contribute to infertility. Depression occurs but rarely.

Show me your research documentation, Lauren. Abortion is an atrocity.

Like this comment
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 13, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Abortions should be safe, legal and rare.

Like this comment
Posted by Elizabeth Reynolds
a resident of Dublin
on Jul 13, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Forced gestation is an atrocity. The highest maternal and infant mortality rates out of industrialized nations is an atrocity. Activists more concerned with eliminating abortion and birth control than providing accurate medical information and sexual education is an atrocity. 1 in 6 children is born into poverty is an atrocity. Lawmakers who vote against reproductive rights AND childcare subsidies, equal pay for equal work, gay adoption, the elimination of gender rating, funding for after school programs, etc. is an atrocity. Someone who insists on their own uneducated fascism to make medical decisions for other people has committed an atrocity.

I don't know who you and/or Jonathan are. But it is not Lauren's responsiblity to provide the information you have willfully ignored for however long you've been alive. You many find such research provided by the Guttmacher Institute, American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, and wonder why the United Nations, Amnesty International, and other related groups committed to human rights all defend access to abortion. Let's not forget abortion was only banned in this country in the late 1800's for its fatalities yet is now safer than having children, with complications present less than 3% of the time. Compare its relative safety to pregnancy, killing 15.1 women out of every 100,000 live births. I had my first child by emergency c-section. My own mother developed a heart murmur after her third pregnancy. Complications do not have to be fatal to be permanent. Let me guess, you're a Republican? And you probably object to universal healthcare. Why? Because the government shouldn't come between you and your doctor. But somehow in your own myopic perspective you believe you have the authority to tell women what to do with their bodies. I laugh long and hard everytime I hear abortion characterized as selfish. Selfish to me is looking the other way. We'll find the answer in reducing unwanted pregnancies, not demonizing abortion. It's akin to denying chemotherapy before preventing cancer. I love women. I trust them to make the best choice for themselves, their partners, their families.

Like this comment
Posted by M.
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 13, 2010 at 8:26 pm

M. is a registered user.

I was going to write something full of technical information, psychological terminology, social constructs in relation to RWA and SDO scales as I usually do, instead just Read Elizabeth's post. Good job Elizabeth you hit the nail clean on the head.


Like this comment
Posted by Janna
a resident of Dublin
on Jul 13, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Janna is a registered user.


I think you speak for so many women. Thank you for such a well written post.

Amazing how hypocritical people can be when they have an agenda. Planned Parenthood allows women and their partners to decide when to be parents, and does not shame them for having sex. The anti-choicers don't like it because they empower women to take control of the most important aspect of their lives, reproduction. That's why they keep trying to guilt women who make the best choice for themselves.

Like this comment
Posted by Grace
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Jul 13, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Amen... very well said, both Elizabeth and Janna. As a woman, as a mother, I agree and thank you.

Like this comment
Posted by steve
a resident of Parkside
on Jul 14, 2010 at 9:01 am

Janna/Liz-no one is shaming anyone for having safe, responsible sex. What you fail to see is the outcome of unsafe, irresponsible sex.
You so worried about your ights---who speaks for the innocent human life you choose to murder? Talk about someone with an agenda, with all the funding Planned Parenthood receives, do you really think they would want to jeopardize that gravy train by steering people away from their primary service-aborting children?

Like this comment
Posted by Janna
a resident of Dublin
on Jul 14, 2010 at 9:42 am

Janna is a registered user.


You should spend some time as a woman and then let us know how you're treated. The conservative, anti-choice movement is all about treating women as if they are not smart to make important decisions for themselves. Steve, if you don't want an abortion, don't have one, but don't try to keep safe reproductive services from my daughters.

Just because you think of abortion in a purely negative way, doesn't mean that's the way it is. So many woman would be dead if abortion were still illegal. Charging up the topic with words such as "murder" does not move us forward, it's only showing your judgmental viewpoint.

Like this comment
Posted by A.J.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 14, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Actually, Steve, their primary service is providing gynecological services to low-income women. Then birth control. Then prenatal care. THEN abortion. Being male and of low intelligence, it doesn't surprise me one bit you don't know this. Fact: most PP clinics do not perform abortion. Many states have only a single clinic that does.

Steve, I need a kidney transplant, but nobody in my small family is a match. Since we need to preserve life at all cost - even the cost of your personal health - if we were a match I should be able to get one of your kidneys without your consent.

P.S. Babies aren't innocent. They're amoral. And in the legal window for abortion, please familiarize yourself with the stages of development. A blastocyst is not a baby. A blastocyst can't feel, can't think, can't come before the needs of a sexually mature women.

P.P.S. No birth control is 100%. (My bro's a failed vasectomy baby - hi Jeremy!) Unwanted pregnancies are not the result of young drunk promiscuous girls who don't use condoms or the Pill even if that's the only explanation in your mind.

Like this comment
Posted by Janna
a resident of Dublin
on Jul 17, 2010 at 8:35 am

Janna is a registered user.

What happened to Steve? I was looking forward to him telling me all about my experiences as a woman since he seems to know so much about what we go through. I guess he'd rather call women murderers and be done with it.

Like this comment
Posted by Don Smith
a resident of Foxborough Estates
on Jul 27, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Anti-choice retards like to call abortion "murder". In that case, all anti- choice braindeads should be aborted ! Then this country would be well back on the path to the thing these idiots have no regard for --- FREEDOM !!!

Like this comment
Posted by Lee Dodge
a resident of another community
on Jul 27, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Bravo Elizabeth Reynolds, you showed there is another side of the argument that is rational whereas the Pro life argument is justified by religious(some say superstitious)beliefs.

I wonder how many pro-lifers would be willing to step forward and commit to adopt the child in order to avoid an abortion.
That's a challenge isn't it?
An opinion from Wisconsin

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