Analysis

University of Chicago publishes abortion guide, warns against pregnancy centers

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Universities are thought to be places where a free range of ideas are encouraged, where all sides of an issue can be examined; however, the top-ranked University of Chicago has taken only one side of the abortion issue and magnified it in an abortion guide. The university isn’t really hiding this fact since the link can be found at “abguide.” not even masking what it’s there for, is a multi-page resources on how to obtain and finance abortion. The guide, put out by the University of Chicago Section of Family Planning and Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3), encompasses a number of pages, all of which point to abortion being a positive resource for women. It covers parental notification laws in depth and even provides a sample letter that a minor can have a parent or guardian, eliminating the need for direct contact. That letter has no space for a notary or any other verification of legitimacy of the signature, and if, indeed, that letter with a signature would suffice, it would be easy for any minor to obtain an abortion while getting around the parental notification laws. Pretending to prioritize options for pregnant women, it actually eschews all options but abortion. The guide says:

“Pregnancy options counseling should not involve advocacy of any one option. It is especially important for the provider to identify and understand his/her own values and beliefs when conducting pregnancy options counseling (particularly with adolescents).”

Curiously, the “options” the page provides are all abortion options. Even the so-called faith resources lead to places like the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, an organization filled with pro-choice clergy who mimic the cries of Planned Parenthood but use the name of God to do so. The other main “option” provided” is a link to Pregnancy Options, which, even in its options resources actually is laden with abortion resources. And while it’s entirely legitimate to provide spiritual counseling and comfort to a woman post-abortion, Pregnancy Options provides a guide not to deal with the regret of abortion but to embrace abortion and walk through religious rituals to bring comfort for the act. It doesn’t indicate an abortion is a wrong choice. The guide the tells women how to obtain an abortion, and though the authors claim the guide is not for students, it certainly outlines how a University of Chicago student can obtain an abortion right there on campus:

“Abortion providers can be found in free-standing facilities where abortion care is the primary service, family planning clinics like Planned Parenthood, private and public hospital clinics (like the University of Chicago’s Ryan Center), and private physician practices.”

Indeed, the university houses its own version of a Planned Parenthood clinic, right there in the OB/GYN department. The College Fix reports that “The University of Chicago is also the only known university in the U.S. to perform abortions on campus.” The guide then tells all the ways that others can pay for a person’s abortion:

“The National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of abortion providers in North America. NAF sets quality standards for abortion care through evidence-based Clinical Policy Guidelines (CPGs), which were first issued in 1996 and are revised annually. Providers can apply to become Provider Members of NAF.”

So what about those other options that are allegedly so important? The University page does mention crisis pregnancy centers, but only to discredit them and cite a single biased study from a pro-choice politician:

“‘Crisis pregnancy centers’ (CPCs) can impact the experience of seeking abortion care. CPCs offer free pregnancy tests, pregnancy and health care information, and sometimes ultrasound imaging; however, they generally do not provide licensed medical care, abortion services, referrals to abortion services, or a full range of contraceptive options.5 They sometimes look like medical clinics or have similar names, but are often established by individuals who oppose abortion. A number of CPCs exist in Illinois and the confusion they can cause by their presence and practice can lead to delays in care for an individual who wants to consider abortion. A 2006 study commissioned by Representative Henry Waxman on federally-funded CPCs found that 87% provided false or misleading information about the health effects of abortion and grossly misrepresented the medical risks of abortion, ‘telling the callers that having an abortion could increase the risk of breast cancer, result in sterility, and lead to suicide and ‘post-abortion stress disorder.’”

Throughout the website, note after note indicates it is false a woman could suffer real trauma from an abortion, using excuses. It notes that any decision can trigger guilt, that prior trauma that has not been confronted could lead to trauma, actually anything but abortion seems to be a traumatic cause if one adheres to this website. Illinois Right to Life responded to the guide by breaking down the biases and inaccuracies of the web page and calling the University of Chicago to account for being one-sided, abortion happy, and political-minded. Emily Zender, Illinois Right to Life executive director notes that:

“The misrepresentation of facts continues in the Abortion Guide when it calls abortion ‘one of the safest and most common medical procedures…with less than a 2% risk of complications….’ However, it fails to note that in a Chicago Tribune investigation in 2011, ‘nearly 4,000 reports of abortion complications involving Illinois residents in 2009 were missing the required description.’ The Tribune further uncovered six deaths, one in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2008, and 2009 – the majority of which the abortion industry could not confirm if it had reported the deaths to the State. “However, the University failed to cite that the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute documentation shows that since 1957, 58 out of 74 (78%) research studies conducted in 22 countries confirmed an increased risk of breast cancer following an abortion. In one of the most recent studies conducted in China, a 44% increased risk of breast cancer was found after a woman had one induced abortion.”

Zender concludes her response saying:

“While the misinformation in the guide continues far past what is numerated above, my point is clear. I invite the University of Chicago to heed its own advice posted within the Abortion Guide: ‘Providers who cannot set aside their own biases should refer to someone who can. Counselors should offer medically accurate and factual answers to questions….’”

Sadly, at the University of Chicago’s Section for Family Planning, the only ideas which roam freely are those that propagate abortion. At the very least, the university should take care to present all sides of the issue, not just the one that involves taking a life and reassuring people it’s okay they do.

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