By Jonathon Van Maren
It is common for abortion supporters to accuse pro-lifers of only caring about children before birth and abandoning them after birth, a lazy slander intended to deflect from the fact that the abortion supporter’s solution to poverty, abuse, and other difficult circumstances is to have the child killed while she is still in the womb. It is also a slander that is easy to rebut. According to a study conducted by The Witherspoon Institute, the United States alone boasts well over 2,700 pregnancy resource centers which serve a collective two million women every year. Many of those women stay in residential facilities; New York City alone has 22 centers serving 12,000 women with services that include everything from STI testing, ultrasound, nutrition consulting, parenting classes, and much more.
But for many abortion supporters, none of this is good enough. If the centers don’t offer killing services (or at least referrals to clinics that specialize in empty wombs and broken hearts), then they should be shut down. In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to target crisis pregnancy centers across the country and deny them charitable tax status to hobble their financial support—because they are not pro-abortion. And as I noted in this space earlier this week, abortion supporters are often opposed to social welfare policies when those policies are explicitly intended to reduce the number of abortions.
A new and particularly pernicious example of this comes from the city council of Somerville, Massachusetts. On March 24, Somerville’s councillors voted on an ordinance sponsored by the entire council to ban crisis pregnancy centers from the city due to their “disingenuous” decision not to provide or refer for abortion. In short, because only life-affirming alternatives to abortion are offered in order to support women in their pregnancies or to persuade them not to have an abortion, these centers are not permitted in Somerville, regardless of whether or not women value or desire their services. As one pro-life group pointed out, Planned Parenthood is not required to provide assistance to women—only feticide.
In fact, Somerville does not even have a crisis pregnancy center, but City Councilor Kristen Strezo felt it was necessary to pre-emptively ban them just in case, with a $300 fine attached to any violation of the new city ordinance. Strezo stated that the measure was necessary to protect those in Somerville from having to “deal with deceptive and manipulative language” that she accused crisis pregnancy centers of using when counseling women. She also noted that she was “very proud” of the pre-emptive ban, which asserts “an individual’s right to make reproductive decisions about one’s own body.”