Salon.com has a report on new videos shot at a “crisis pregnancy center” — read: anti-abortion indoctrination center — in Cleveland. The “counselor” at the center is either incredibly ignorant or she flat out lies to the young woman who comes in to ask about getting the morning after pill.
In a secretly recorded video (embedded at the bottom of this story), a young woman named Kate, 19, tells a counselor at Cleveland’s Womankind “maternal and prenatal care” center, “Usually we use condoms, but yesterday we didn’t.” She’s taken a pregnancy test, but is told it is probably too soon. Then Kate asks, “Like, I know there’s a pill you can take to not get pregnant. And I don’t know if you have to go to the doctor?”
After some confusion, the counselor replies inaccurately, “It sounds like the morning after pill. If you have intercourse and then take this pill and it causes a period to come on or something, or bleeding. It’s like having kind of an abortion.” She adds, “That could harm you. It really could harm you … You could hemorrhage from anything like that.”…
Whether the counselor was misinformed or intentionally misleading, her advice on emergency contraception was false. The so-called morning after pill, or emergency contraception, has been shown only to block ovulation to prevent fertilization after unprotected sex; it’s decidedly not an abortion. It is entirely distinct from medication abortion, which can only be taken at a doctor’s office, and which does cause bleeding by inducing a miscarriage. By contrast, the possible side effects for Plan B, the most commonly taken form of emergency contraception, are listed as changes in your period, nausea, lower abdominal pain, fatigue, headache, dizziness and breast tenderness. The counselor did seem to be vaguely aware of the distinction, saying of the pills in question, “I know people do buy it over the counter, but is that wise? Something somebody else might do you don’t do.”
Despite the fact that the fictional Kate would have a good chance at preventing an unplanned pregnancy, and perhaps an abortion, with the morning-after pill, the counselor also asks her, “Why do you have sex? You’re not married.” After saying sex is a responsibility, the counselor adds, “It has consequences and you don’t want to put the consequences on having to harm yourself. And harming yourself would be having an abortion. Or taking the pill after. Because sometimes taking a pill like that could cause more bleeding than what you think. It would only take you to the emergency room and you having to take care of what’s happening. A lot of those things, you probably could read online, on the Internet, the risks in taking something like that would be. There’s risks in anything. It could leave damage to the cervix, it could mean hemorrhaging.”
There are 2500 of these places around the country, masquerading as actual clinics but usually staffed by clueless people like this.