CHAPEL HILL- The Chapel Hill Town Council is publically advocating for an end to what some are calling deceptive practices in North Carolina’s crisis pregnancy centers.
The resolution was written by NARAL North Carolina, an organization that advocates for pro-choice rights throughout the state. Here’s NARAL Executive Director Suzanne Buckley, who spoke during last week’s meeting.
“We believe it’s time to stop deceiving and misleading women, and start empowering women to make reproductive health care decisions that are right for them and for their families,” she says. “And that’s what this resolution will do.”
Buckley says that the NARAL organization decided to take action after its 2011 report exposed deceptive tactics in North Carolina’s estimated 122 crisis pregnancy centers.
“Fifty-nine percent incorrectly exaggerated abortion risks, 56 percent made claims about a so-called ‘post-abortion stress syndrome,’ which isn’t recognized by the DSM V, and 26 percent incorrectly linked abortion to breast cancer, which has been refuted by multiple studies.”
And Katie Mannis, who has also read NARAL’s report, says those statistics are shocking and require immediate action.
“Young women are often unaware of CPCs’ agendas,” she says. They might visit a CPC in need of help, only to be faced with manipuilation and false information…They are being lied to [and] we are being lied to.”
But not everyone is dissatisfied with the job that local crisis pregnancy centers are doing; Mimi Every, who serves as executive director of Chapel Hill’s Pregnancy Support Services Center, says her organization has never provided its clients with misleading information
“I fully agree that women should never be manipulated, coerced, or given misinformation,” she says. “That wouldn’t be right or fair, but we don’t do that.”
Although the council’s resolution encourages the General Assembly to take action against potentially misleading information, Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt says council members can’t directly control the practices of any crisis pregnancy centers.
“I want to make it clear that the town isn’t in the position to tell any organization in this arena what they can and can’t do,” he says. “Any concern that we let things happen is inaccurate, because it’s not in our authority. This resolution calls upon another authority to take action.