Let's start with this, from The Washington Post:
Women who consult with pregnancy resource centers often get misleading information about the health risks associated with having an abortion, according to a report issued Monday by Democrats on the House Government Reform Committee.
Congressional aides, posing as pregnant 17-year-olds, called 25 pregnancy centers that have received some federal funding over the past five years.
The aides were routinely told of increased risk for cancer, infertility and stress disorders, said the report, which was prepared for Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.
For anyone who's been following the 'pro-life' movement, this comes as no surprise. If you remove lies, hyperbole, and propaganda from the arguments of abortion opponents, you pretty much have nothing.
While Rep. Waxman's investigation shows that federally funded centers are misleading, this is really the industry standard. According to the National Institutes for Health:
The decision to end a pregnancy is intensely personal. Most health care providers recommend careful counseling before making such a decision.
Because abortion is a controversial issue in the U.S., a woman who chooses to end a pregnancy may feel she cannot share her decision with others. Therefore, it is important for her to examine her support system and identify those people who may be capable of helping her through what may be a difficult time.
It is also important to choose a reputable provider or clinic that advocates choice for women. In many communities, crisis pregnancy centers offer counseling that is designed to dissuade women from choosing abortion. Women who are trying to make this difficult decision should avoid crisis pregnancy centers, and instead find a safe environment in which they can obtain adequate counseling regarding all options for pregnancy resolution.
So, if the US government says that 'women who are trying to make this difficult decision should avoid crisis pregnancy centers', why is the US government funding crisis pregnancy centers?
Among the lies women are told by these centers, one stands out - what should be a long dead argument. "One pregnancy center told a congressional aide the risk of cancer after an abortion could be 80 percent higher, the report noted," WaPo tells us, "[Care Net spokesperson, Molly] Ford said she doubted a pregnancy center would go that far, but the Web site for a pregnancy center in Albuquerque says the risk for cancer after an abortion is 50 percent or greater." The article tells us this isn't true, "In February 2003, a National Cancer Institute workshop concluded that having an abortion or miscarriage does not increase a woman's subsequent risk of developing breast cancer."
"There are a number of misconceptions about what can cause breast cancer," NCI tells us on their website, "These include, but are not limited to, using deodorants or antiperspirants, wearing an underwire bra, having a miscarriage or induced abortion, or bumping or bruising breast tissue. Even though doctors can seldom explain why one person gets cancer and another does not, it is clear that none of these factors increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer. In addition, cancer is not contagious; no one can “catch” cancer from another person." In other words, not only is the abortion-breast cancer tie nonexistent, it's crazy on the level of believing an underwire bra causes cancer or that you can get it from someone else.
Yet we - you and I, american citizen - are paying people to tell women the opposite of the truth.
As far as avoiding pregnancy in the first place goes, these guys seem to be totally uninterested. I looked up the Care Net center for my area - Dane County, WI - and clicked on their link for Sexual Health Education. The message there is "Coming Soon!". According to a whois on the URL www.carenetdane.org, the address was created May 16, 2000. This is a radical redefinition of the word 'soon'.
This isn't really a surprise either. As far as I can tell, there is no anti-abortion group in the US that advocates birth control. If you know of one, leave it in the comments for this post. But I'm not going to hold my breath.
In the end, the anti-abortion movement has absolutely no ideas regarding family planning other than 'don't get pregnant' and 'don't have an abortion'. They have no real world, practical alternatives to abortion and, given the political bent of the majority of abortion opponents, no interest in doing the sort of things that would reduce abortion. Universal health care and day care, a stronger social safety net for families, and realistic family planning would go a long way to reducing abortion.
But good luck getting 'pro-life' politicians to vote for that. When the chips are down, anti-abortion politicians are unwilling to make any personal sacrifice to reduce abortion.
They'll spend money to lie to pregnant women, but won't give a dime to help them any.