I am writing in response to Theresa Curry’s article on a recent interdenominational meeting of Christian churches in Charlottesville to discuss sanctity of life issues. The author missed an opportunity to cover an important community conversation and, instead, spoke as the mouthpiece for a pro-life organization rather than providing unbiased reporting.
The Pregnancy Centers of Central Virginia fall under the category of Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPC’s), which have received heavy criticism from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and medical ethicists for providing medically inaccurate and coercive materials to pregnant women. (www.acog.org/-/media/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Health-Care-for-Underserved-Women/co613.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20160226 T0920153439; journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/why-crisis-pregnancy-centers-are-legal-unethical/2018-03).
These organizations perpetuate myths such as: abortion is associated with increased breast cancer risk, all women will experience PTSD and emotional distress after abortion, abortion is associated with infertility, and abortion is an inherently high-risk medical procedure. All are false and have been addressed in the medical literature. The Gazette article states that the Charlottesville pregnancy center “often treat(s) women having complications from abortion,” which makes me wonder exactly what complications they are treating and who is treating them since the centers are not medical clinics.
Most concerning to me was the author’s assertion (not attributed to a source) that the centers “are now able to reverse the effects of abortion-inducing medication.” This claim refers to a treatment which is NOT supported by evidence or by ACOG, the professional organization for OB/GYN’s that institutes evidence-based standards of care in the specialty. In fact, in 2017 ACOG issued a statement that this treatment, which involves administration of high doses of progesterone, is “not based on science and does not meet clinical standards.” (www.acog.org/-/media/Departments/Government-Relations-and-Outreach/Facts Are Important Medication Abortion Reversal.pdf? dmc=1&ts=20180806T 2109535140).
As a registered nurse working in obstetrics, as a woman, and as a mother, I believe emphatically that women facing an unplanned or complicated pregnancy deserve unbiased, medically accurate information on their treatment options.
The Crozet Gazette is an excellent forum for community dialogue. However, this article does the community a disservice by failing to provide unbiased reporting on a socially important and divisive issue. The article was a missed opportunity to discuss a larger conversation happening around reproductive and social justice, women’s rights, and the variety of religious approaches to sanctity of life issues.
Women seeking medically and statistically accurate information on abortion and other reproductive topics can find unbiased information through ACOG, Planned Parenthood, Whole Woman’s Health, the Guttamacher Institute, Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, and the National Institute for Reproductive Health.
Natalia Bost BSN, BA, RN