It’s no secret that “crisis pregnancy centers” are usually nothing more than faith-based, anti-abortion facilities that are more interested in the fetus than the woman. They aren’t always staffed by doctors or other trained professionals, and we know they don’t always offer accurate medical information. In some cases, they literally pretend to be abortion clinics, only to pull a bait-and-switch on the women who walk in.
So what do you do when there are several of these clinics popping up in your county?
In King County, Washington, which includes the city of Seattle, there are at least eight of these centers. Government officials can’t shut them down without cause, so the Board of Health just passed a rule that would at least let women know where they’re at: Every location will have to put up a large sign that says they’re not actual health care facilities. Literally.
The new rule requires that the pregnancy centers, also known as limited-service pregnancy centers, post a sign saying, “This facility is not a health care facility.” That sentence must be posted in 10 languages, including English, with all of the languages in 48-point type size.
Board members said they intended for the sign to be posted in entry ways or waiting areas, so that it’s readable to people.
The people at these centers were furious, presumably because telling the truth goes against everything they stand for.
One supporter even suggested the Board members were acting like Nazis.
Jonny Nicoli, a supporter of the centers, scoffed at the idea that the rule just required signs. “That’s the same way a powerful government oppressed the Jewish population, by putting up signs,” he said.
Right. Because informing women they’re not at licensed health facilities is just like killing Jews.
The punishment for not having the sign up will be up to $100 a day.
Again, this is all about openness and honesty. These clinics are not health care facilities. They’re centers where women are supposed to be persuaded to keep the baby no matter what (and to come to Jesus while they’re at it). Volunteers at these places have the right to make that pitch, but they should also be honest about their intentions. Reminding patients that they’re not at a hospital — or a facility with responsible doctors on hand — should hardly be a problem. Hell, if the people at these centers were honest about their qualifications and goals from the get-go, these signs wouldn’t even be necessary. But they’re not, so the signs are sorely needed.
Let’s hope women see the signs and walk right out those doors to a place where they can get accurate information from real professionals.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Honora for the link)