Pregnancy Vans In Connecticut

The Problem With Crisis Pregnancy Vans

This article will be, I'm sure controversial, but as I articulate in the article I am not saying there is anything wrong with being pro-life, only that it is important for people to be aware of all their options, and for organizations to be free from agenda. Thank you.

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Throughout this semester, I noticed on occasion that there were "free pregnancy test" vans on the UConn campus. At first, I thought to myself "That's really neat" but I became a little confused when I noticed that the organization running these vans were advising students against Planned Parenthood and to use their services instead. As someone who utilized Planned Parenthood in the past for birth control, and has been with friends to be pregnancy and STD tested, I didn't understand why this organization with seemingly the same ideals would be speaking badly about it.

I have learned that the organization running these vans is the Women's Center of Eastern Connecticut (which I will refer to here on out as WCEC). This organization advertises a multitude of services on their website, many of which are for planning out the pregnancy and providing resources to help prepare mothers and fathers for the birth of a child. I think it's great that there is an organization that does that. I do have an issue with the fact that they advertise, in terms of pregnancy, that they "will discuss all your options and concerns." This is concerning as, from the information I have gathered, the WCEC has a very biased way that they go about providing information and does not, in fact, discuss all options in an uncolored way.

While organizations such as Planned Parenthood provide customers with all of their options in an unbiased way, simply aiming to help the person, centers like the WCEC tend to take on a more pro-life approach. The van itself was sponsored by Students For Life. Now, I am not saying anything against people being pro-life, or wanting to discuss that with others. My issue is that if you are advertising your organization as a women's center to help pregnant women, you should remain unbiased in approach. The center has been reported to accentuate the possible emotional trauma of abortion and to use stories of women who have had bad experiences with abortion in an attempt to deter people from considering abortion as an option. In general, the organization admits on their website that they "do not perform or refer for abortion" and the only information they provide on abortions is a more graphic and negative depiction of the actual procedure. If you are looking to meet with professionals who can help you with that option if you are considering it or just want to be able to have all your options 100% available to you, it would be most beneficial to meet with someone more suited to your needs than this organization.

The fact that the WCEC was trying at UConn to dissuade students from using PP also does not look great for the organization as if you support women's choices, you should want them to receive help from wherever they can. By bashing PP they appear to be attempting to keep women from organizations where they can receive neutral support in favor of their organization that preaches pro-life approaches and thus pushing women towards making a pro-life decision.

Moreover, in general, this organization does not provide blood/genetic tests to determine medical complications associated with pregnancy, a thorough review of pre-existing and familial health conditions, pelvic exams, urine screens, or heartbeat monitoring. These are services that many other clinics provide and I would encourage people to utilize those if they are looking for the best care. While the clinic doesn't need to offer every service, I don't understand why the WCEC would try to dissuade students from organizations that do offer these things, if again they are simply trying to get people the best help possible, whatever that may be.

In Connecticut, there is currently a bill that, according to the Connecticut General Assembly, aims "to prohibit deceptive advertising practices by limited services pregnancy centers." An informed choice is important. I don't think an organization should advertise themselves as being a general center if they can't be impartial, and I particularly don't think it should bash other support organizations if what they really want is the mother to have access to all their options and resources.

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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A Little Skepticism Goes A Long Way

Be informed citizens and verify what you see and hear.

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These days more than ever before we are being bombarded constantly by a lot of news and information, a considerable amount of which is inaccurate. Sometimes there's an agenda behind it to mislead people and other times its just rumors or distortion of the facts. So, how do you sift through all this and get accurate information? How can you avoid being misled or brainwashed?

This is an important topic because the decisions each of us make can affect others. And if you are a responsible citizen your decisions can affect large numbers of people, hopefully positively, but negatively as well.

It's been said that common sense is not something that can be taught, but I am going to disagree. I think with the right training, teaching the fundamentals behind common sense can get people to have a better sense of what it is and start practicing it. All you will need is to improve your general knowledge and gain some experience, college is a good place for that, then add a little skepticism and you are on your way to start making sensible decisions.

One of the fundamental things to remember is not to believe a statement at face value, you must first verify. Even if you believe it's from a trusted source, they may have gotten their info from a questionable one. There's a saying that journalists like to use: "if your mother said, 'I love you' you should verify it.'" While this is taking it a bit too far, you get the idea.

If you feel that something is not adding up, or doesn't make sense then you are probably right. This is all the more reason to check something out further. In the past, if someone showed a picture or video of something that was sufficient proof. But nowadays with so many videos and picture editing software, it would have to go through more verification to prove its authenticity. That's not the case with everything but that's something that often needs to be done.

One way of checking if something sounds fishy is to look at all the parties involved and what do they have to gain and lose. This sometimes is easier to use when you're dealing with a politics-related issue, but it can work for other things where more than one person/group is involved. For example, most people and countries as well will not do something that is self-destructive, so if one party is accusing the other of doing something self-destructive or disadvantageous then it's likely that there is something inaccurate about the account. Perhaps the accusing party is setting the other one up or trying to gain some praise they don't deserve.

A lot of times all it takes is a little skepticism and some digging to get to the truth. So please don't be that one which retweets rumors or helps spread misinformation. Verify before you report it.

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