Amy Everitt declares 43 crisis pregnancy centers in California a “threat to public health” (“Crisis pregnancy centers threaten women’s health,” Viewpoints, March 12).
Her main criticism is alleged misinformation. Yet throughout the article, she spreads misinformation mostly based on an investigation performed by her organization – California’s National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League chapter – a biased source.
The Sacramento Life Center has medical licenses for all three clinics run by an OB/GYN and registered nurse. In January, 82 percent of our patients had already decided they wanted to continue their pregnancy but needed resources to overcome hurdles – lack of health insurance, domestic violence, undocumented status, low income – before they finalized their choice.
Many said our clinic was the first to offer help; other clinics recommended abortion and said they could not help if they opted to continue their pregnancy. Planned Parenthood often refers these patients to us. We connect them to low- and no-cost care, safe houses, and food and clothing resources. Ninety-nine percent of our patients report high satisfaction or satisfaction with services they received.
Women are strong and deserve to have comprehensive information about procedures they are considering for their bodies. Everitt chastises centers for sharing “gruesome descriptions” of abortion. We agree that inflammatory language and graphic photos are irresponsible, but so is minimizing what takes place in a pregnancy termination. Patients should be fully advised of risks and options to surgery. They should never be coerced into making a decision with insufficient data.
Everitt says that post-abortion stress syndrome has been debunked. Yet Susanne Babbel in Psychology Today says that the syndrome “is the name that has been given to the psychological aftereffects of abortion” based on post-traumatic stress disorder, and that “any event that causes trauma can indeed result in PTSD, and abortion is no exception.”
Everitt writes that “we can all agree that women should not be given medical misinformation.”
I hope she will consider this the next time she writes a misleading article about crisis pregnancy centers like ours, and promotes a culture where women are too weak to weigh medical consequences of elective procedures.
Marie Leatherby is executive director of the Sacramento Life Center, which runs the Sac Valley Pregnancy Clinic.