Four myths that aren’t: NARAL continues crusade against crisis pregnancy centers

NARAL has posted a “quiz” on its website, here, that attempts to “inform” the user on the problems of crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs).   The first question follows:

Question 1: Which of the following misleading and false statements do CPCs tell women?

  1. Condoms are not effective at preventing pregnancy and disease.
  2. Abortion causes breast cancer.
  3. The birth-control pill, emergency contraception, and other forms of hormonal contraception cause abortion.
  4. Abortion causes dangerous and life-threatening psychological side effects.

The quiz states that the answer is, of course, all of the above.  But, in fact, all of the statements are factually true.  Let’s take them one at a time:

  1. Condoms commonly fail.  Even newly purchased condoms can sometimes fail (read the back of the box), and About.com (owned by the NYTimes), states that condom “typical use” failure rate to prevent conception is 15%.  This is not surprising when we consider that over half of unwanted pregnancies occur while some sort of contraception is being used.
  2. This statement is unresolved at best.  While the official position of the National Cancer Institute is that a link between abortion and breast cancer has not been established, multiple studies have listed abortion as a “risk factor” for developing breast cancer.  One study last year by a National Cancer Institute Researcher reported a statistically significant 40% risk increase for women who have had abortions and listed it among “known and suspected risk factors.
  3. The vast majority of hormonal contraceptives (such as The Pill) work by doing three things: attempting to prevent
    ovulation, thickening the cervical mucus, so that sperm has a harder time reaching the egg, and thickening the walls of the endometrium, so that a fertilized egg can’t implant.  The first two methods, if successful, don’t cause abortion, but the third causes a genetically unique human person to be expelled from the body.  Since even the most reliable birth control methods can fail to prevent pregnancy, it is obvious that the first two methods sometimes fail, as well.  On certain methods, such as the intra-uterine devices, 45% women have been known to still be ovulating a year after implanting the device (more info here).
  4. Anyone who disputes this fact is out of touch with reality.  Here is just one of the many studies that looks at the effect of loss of pregnancy on women.  A relevant quote from the study: “Our results indicate that over 25% of women who have had pregnancy losses feel they need professional help.  Aborted women appear to require more and more sophisticated grief counseling than those who suffer other types of pregnancy loss.”  This is likely caused by the fact that, despite organizations like NARAL’s best efforts, people intrinsically understand the simple fact that if their unborn baby wasn’t alive, they wouldn’t have to kill it.

The most baffling aspect of the entire quiz, however, is why NARAL should have a problem with crisis pregnancy centers.  Is it because, rather than simply offering abortion, they inform women of the entire breadth of their choices in a situation?  If NARAL is looking for misinformation, they should look a little closer to home, in the Planned Parenthood clinics, as the Rosa Acuna project has repeatedly shown.

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