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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Weeding out destructive pregnancy centers from legitimate ones

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Author Topic: Weeding out destructive pregnancy centers from legitimate ones
Atonement
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 42492

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Hello!

I've read a lot of stuff on this site about pregnancy crisis centers and the destructive lies that some of them feed people about sex, pregnancy, and abortion.

I am looking into doing some volunteering in my city to help build my resume. Given my familiarity with this site and that OB/GYN is the specialty i am most interested in, volunteering at a pregnancy/prenatal clinic/center seems like a pretty likely choice.

However, I don't want to involve myself with any organization that operates on principles that I disagree with.

Are there any basic questions that I can call and ask a facility to determine whether they're a good, normal, factual clinic/center or one of the harmful ones?

There is also a rape crisis center listed on the sheet. I feel like i have a decent background on that from here, but at the same time, I'm a little intimidated by the sensitive environment. What does volunteering at a place like that usually entail?

Thank you!!!

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Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

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I can speak personally to rape crisis centers. I volunteered with one for several years.

Usually rape crisis centers need volunteers for their crisis line, or for accompanying people who have been assaulted to the police station or hospital. Many places also need volunteers for administrative and fundraising work, which, while it is not direct service, is vitally important to running the organization, so would be a strong contribution.

Most rape crisis centers I'm familiar with have extensive training and support. They don't just throw you into crisis line or accompaniment work without giving you tools and support.

As to the pregnancy/prenatal clinics: One thing you could ask would be what services they provide. You could also ask if they have a specific mission statement.


That's all I can think of for now but I'm sure others will have more ideas.

Ifyou have specific questions about what it's like volunteering with ar rape crisis center (of course they're all going to be a little different) feel free to ask. [Smile]

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Robin

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BrightStar171
Peer Ambassador
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A few thoughts about weeding out crisis pregnancy centers- one quick and easy thing to ask is if they provide abortion services or referrals to abortion services. If the answer is no to both, they're probably not one of the reputable ones. You can also typically tell a lot from their websites- e.g., if they're publishing destructive lies about sex, abortion, etc. on their website, they're obviously not reputable. You could also ask to see some of the materials they provide patients.

Good luck! Your desire to do this is really admirable!

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moonlight bouncing off water
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This one is going to sound a bit ridiculous, but if they're is a huge group protesting abortion outside the doors of the clinic, well that probably means that the clinic is one of the good ones, since people don't tend to protest outside of somewhere that is feeding people the same bald faced lies as they are using for cannon fodder in their protests. Of course it'd be super awesome if there was no protesting outside any of the centres, but if there is that could be an indication.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Atonement: I'm pretty connected when it comes to the issue around clinics, so if you just put up a list here of the places you're looking at, we could probably sort it together very quickly. It'd probably be a helpful exercise for anyone, so. [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Atonement
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 42492

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The options are

Hope Pregnancy Center (www.hopepregnancy.org)

and a Prenatal Clinic. I also looked at the list and saw they have a Planned Parenthood.

The prenatal clinic is just about offering prenatal care, so no abortion or contraceptive stuff available.

I'm kind of iffy about Hope Pregnancy Center, because I noticed on their site they have a column that says "Waiting until marriage is a great option"

(on a little side rant, i think this is totally ridiculous. I know several married people that are less prepared to parent than most teenagers.)

So, I pretty much think they sound not along my lines of thinking.

Planned Parenthood is pretty much always a safe choice, right?

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Good eye with Hope.

Oddly, there are a LOT of CPCs with "Hope" in their name, so that right there is a tell, odd as that may seem.

As you also noted, while they talk about abortion, they don't provide abortion or any links to a place where a woman could obtain abortion services.

Like a lot of CPCs, they list a big bunch of risks for abortion, but don't list any risks of delivery (which is riskier). In fact, the page for pregnancy is SO short, while the one for abortion goes on forever, despite that fact that with some of the bonafide, real risks with abortion, they also exist for pregnancy. According to their pregnancy page, there basically aren't any risks at all.

To boot, they use a bunch of pro-life language, like "partial birth abortion," and say some things about abortion that either simply aren't true (like "skull-crushing" at 13 weeks) or are not supported my medical science. They talk about god, too (which you are not going to find at any bonafide medical clinic).


But when you click on what their services are, you'll note they don't offer ANY medical services at all.

Your gut had it from the get-go. This looks like a textbook CPC.

And yes, Planned Parenthood clinics are safe bets, though if you want to work in/with abortion, not all branches offer that care. But that's not about ideology: any PP branch will always refer a woman who wants to terminate to a service provider.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Atonement
Scarleteen Volunteer
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I checked the website. The clinic itself is in one area, and they have a separate abortion center next door.

I think I'm going to go with that one. In fact, if I had seen it on the list the first time I looked, I wouldn't have even thought about it.

Since I live in a college town (and one that, while being great on many other counts, is unfortunately pretty conservative), I guess it's a little assumable that they have CPCs. I know there's another one in town as well. I have to say, just knowing that they're around disgusts me.

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Atonement
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Also, just curious. A lot of pro life advocates love to go on about how having an abortion can make it difficult or impossible to get pregnant by choice later.

Is there ANY fact in this claim whatsoever?

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Not with first-trimester procedures, no: and no data to back that up. Once you get into the second, it has no impact on GETTING pregnant, but some complications may impact the ability to sustain a pregnancy. That's rare though.

On the other hand, taking a pregnancy to full-term and delivery has a much higher rate of association with those difficulties. But, of course, you won't see them mentioning those risks. ::eyeroll::

Rock on about volunteering for PP! They'll be lucky to have you! [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Atonement
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 42492

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I had a feeling.....

Thank you!!!!

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