California Crisis Pregnancy Centers Can Continue To Take Advantage Of Vulnerable Women, Thanks To The Supreme Court

California Crisis Pregnancy Centers Can Continue To Take Advantage Of Vulnerable Women, Thanks To The Supreme Court

Withholding information about abortions is a massive blow to women's reproductive health and proves that crisis pregnancy centers never considered the well being of women a priority in the first place.


Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that crisis pregnancy centers in California do not have to relay information about state-offered services, such as abortion, to women. The reasoning behind this is that it supposedly goes against the centers' First Amendment right to free speech. The California law being disputed requires the clinics to share a government-drafted script about the services that the state offers and how to contact them, but since one of those services is abortion, the clinics feel that they should not be forced to promote that option to women because it goes against their religious beliefs.

The conservative Supreme Court Justices agreed with the crisis pregnancy centers and affirmed that freedom of speech protects the clinics from being required to express a message from the government that opposes their beliefs. However, California's law was not meant to take any stance on abortion because

"It makes sense to require the centers to tell patients of the state's offered services because that it is when women are most in need of them, the state contends."

Not only that, but the clinics should not be so quick to claim that they are being forced by the government to push their agenda when the anti-abortion agenda has already been forced onto doctors. In Justice Stephen G. Breyer's dissent for the court's liberals, he referenced the 1992 Supreme Court case of Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey and asked,

"If a state can lawfully require a doctor to tell a woman seeking an abortion about adoption services, why should it not be able, as here, to require a medical counselor to tell a woman seeking prenatal care or other reproductive health care about childbirth and abortion services?"

It is hypocritical for these pro-life pregnancy centers to be adamantly against having to share information that is contrary to their views only because it benefits them personally, but then turning a blind eye to the same situation when the roles are reversed and their opponents are now having to spread their anti-abortion message. I realize that someone who is pro-life would read my thoughts on this and claim that I am also being a hypocrite for the same reasons, except I am upset because this ruling will only keep women in the dark about the options available to them for their pregnancy. This is not about me wanting the crisis pregnancy centers to make sure that women have been presented with the option for abortion because I am pro-choice, but rather that I want women to be given access to all information so that they can then make an informed decision.

These clinics are known for targeting homeless shelters, high schools, and low-income communities where women are less likely to have good healthcare, and they are using this to their advantage by trying to present carrying a pregnancy full-term as their only option. The Supreme Court's ruling only makes this mission even easier to achieve because now the California women entering their clinics could possibly never realize that they can contact their county's social services office and see if they are eligible for a free or low-cost abortion since the clinics would no longer be required to make them aware of this alternative.

The crisis pregnancy centers operate under the claim that they offer support for pregnant women even though they are actually fulfilling their own unethical desire to manipulate vulnerable women into carrying to term so that they can appear heroic and "save a life" that they would likely end up hating if they were born anything but white, male, straight, cis-gendered, and able-bodied.

I understand that the clinics feel it is an abuse of the government's power to have to disclose information about abortion services to women when their religious beliefs tell them to dissuade women from choosing that option, but the doctors that perform abortions that have to tell their patients about adoption services likely feel just as frustrated. In order for women to be able to reach an informed decision about how to proceed with their pregnancy, they have to know all of the information about both sides of the issue. Even though I am strongly opposed to crisis pregnancy centers as a whole, it is not because I want women to believe that abortions are their only option. It is because those centers provide false medical information, disguise themselves as medical buildings and abortion clinics, and take advantage of low-income women.

I am pro-choice because I want women to be able to choose what course of action to take for their pregnancy by being given equal access to information about both abortions and adoption. Withholding that information is a massive blow to women's reproductive health and proves that crisis pregnancy centers never considered the well being of women a priority in the first place.
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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.


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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Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.


I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.


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