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Mon, Jan. 20

Letter | Aleeta Stamn: There is more than meets the eye at Advice and Aid Pregnancy Center

The Feb. 7 Daily Miner article titled “Teen pregnancies in Arizona are on the decline” quotes Advice and Aid Pregnancy Center’s Charlene Duffy as saying they are “there for pregnant women who don’t have an emotional and financial support system,” and that they see girls as young as 14.

It is important to note what Advice and Aid actually is and to distinguish between it and legitimate medical clinics.

Advice and Aid is part of a national network of approximately 3,000 crisis pregnancy centers (heavily religious anti-abortion groups), which were exposed in a 2006 federal-level Investigations Division study titled “False and Misleading Health Information Provided by Federally Funded Pregnancy Resource Centers”.”

This study found that 87 percent of the crisis pregnancy centers investigated used false and misleading information and other scare tactics to pressure and intimidate girls and women into foregoing their legal right to terminate their pregnancies. Those tactics included the thoroughly debunked claims that abortion causes cancer, sterility, mental illness, drug addiction, deformities in future children, suicidal tendencies, eating disorders, and sexual problems.

In addition, they greatly exaggerated the risk of perforation of the uterus, which is miniscule (legal abortion is actually safer than a tonsillectomy), and often show their “clients” pictures of bloody fetuses.

Pregnant girls and women may also be told that up to 50 percent of pregnancies end in spontaneous miscarriage (the actual figure is roughly 10 percent). It is then suggested that they come back in a month to see if they are “still pregnant,” in the hope that using delaying tactics will push the opportunity for an abortion beyond the point that it is feasible.

Some women have even irresponsibly been advised to stay in abusive relationships (and stay pregnant) because “the baby might change him.” A number of cities and states have found it necessary to enact laws to crack down on these group’s deceptive practices.

Please avoid these deceptive non-medical religious groups. Young girls are particularly targeted (to which the presence of Advice and Aid volunteers in public high school classrooms at one point attests), with the potential result being more ruined lives and futures.

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