PBS Frets ‘Pregnant People’ May Be Hoodwinked By ‘So-Called Crisis Pregnancy Centers’

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PBS News Weekend anchor John Yang on Saturday threw some trendy trans silliness into his introduction to a news story suspicious of crisis pregnancy centers that actually help women deliver their babies instead of aborting them (which PBS has no problem with).

John Yang: Crisis pregnancy centers provide counseling and other prenatal services from an anti-abortion perspective. Their supporters say they help ensure that pregnant people know the risks of abortion. Advocates of abortion rights say the information they provide can be misleading or have no scientific basis….

During a more sensible age, “pregnant people” were known as “pregnant women.” It’s amusing that he talked about “pregnant people” right before accusing something else of having “no scientific basis.”

Reporter Ali Rogin spoke with Carter Sherman, former journalist for the once-hip, now-bankrupt left-wing outlet Vice, and used slanted verbiage to tilt suspicion toward pregnancy centers.

Ali Rogin: In the United States, so-called crisis pregnancy centers are nothing new….But after the Supreme Court ended the constitutional right to an abortion, these largely unregulated centers have seen renewed support and attention. According to analysis by the group Reproductive Health and Freedom Watch, which supports abortion rights, anti-abortion pregnancy centers brought in at least $1.4 billion in revenue in the 2022 fiscal year. That includes at least $344 million in government grants….Carter Sherman is reproductive health and justice reporter for The Guardian….

Sherman is as liberal as her title. In January 2021 she tried to smear pro-lifers by associating them with the January 6 riots.

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Carter Sherman, The Guardian: So the point of a crisis pregnancy center, which is often known as a anti-abortion center, or even just a pregnancy center, is to convince people to continue their pregnancies. And they offer services like pregnancy tests, they sometimes do medical services like ultrasounds, they will also give out goods like car seats or strollers. Now the thing is that even when they do provide these medical services, many of these facilities are not actually medically licensed. So they’re not burdened by the kind of limitations that medical providers face….

Rogin asked, “So when someone does enter one of these crisis pregnancy centers, what sort of interactions are they likely to have with these volunteers?”

Sherman sounded disappointed that women walk into clinics and walk out with their fetuses intact.

Sherman: ….something that has come up again and again, from people who go into these centers, is that they walk in not necessarily knowing that they are not in an abortion clinic. You know, these centers, according to abortion rights supporters will oftentimes set up shop very close to an abortion clinic, they will have names that include words like birth, or choice, are the sorts of things that we tend to hear from abortion rights supporters. And in reality, again, these are centers that are trying to convince you to continue a pregnancy.

Rogin made another interesting word choice.

Rogin: What sort of people do centers like these target?

Sherman: These centers offer usually free services. And so that can be really appealing to people who are low income. And we do know that at least prior to the overturning of Roe, most people who get abortions are low income, because it is so difficult for people to afford pregnancies in this country.

Rogin: So why are the centers receiving more funding now?

(Note that the abortion mill Planned Parenthood gets federal funding without being the target of hand-wringing reports from PBS about where they get their funding.)

The former Vice journalist, took the liberal view of a baby as a burden.

Sherman: Well, since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the anti-abortion movement has really framed crisis pregnancy centers as the place to go for women who might otherwise have wanted an abortion but are now in a situation where they have little choice but to give birth….

This segment was brought to you in part by Cunard.

A transcript is available, click “Expand.”

PBS News Weekend

3/2/24

6:04:54 p.m. (ET)

JOHN YANG: Crisis pregnancy centers provide counseling and other prenatal services from an anti-abortion perspective. Their supporters say they help ensure that pregnant people know the risks of abortion. Advocates of abortion rights say the information they provide can be misleading or have no scientific basis. As Ali Rogin reports there’s a debate over federal aid for these facilities.

ALI ROGIN: In the United States, so called crisis pregnancy centers are nothing new. The first one opened in Hawaii more than 50 years ago. But after the Supreme Court ended the constitutional right to an abortion, these largely unregulated centers have seen renewed support and attention.

According to analysis by the group reproductive health and freedom watch, which supports abortion rights, anti-abortion pregnancy centers brought in at least $1.4 billion in revenue in the 2022 fiscal year. That includes at least $344 million in government grants.

There are an estimated 2,500 such pregnancy centers around the country. In comparison about 800 clinics providing abortion care, were operating before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Carter Sherman is reproductive health and justice reporter for The Guardian. Thank you so much, Carter, for joining us. Tell us a little bit about how these centers work, what sorts of services do they provide.

CARTER SHERMAN, The Guardian: So the point of a crisis pregnancy center, which is often known as am anti-abortion center, or even just a pregnancy center, is to convince people to continue their pregnancies. And they offer services like pregnancy tests, they sometimes do medical services like ultrasounds, they will also give out goods like car seats or strollers.

Now the thing is that even when they do provide these medical services, many of these facilities are not actually medically licensed. So they`re not burdened by the kind of limitations that medical providers face. The other thing about these centers is that they`re often staffed by volunteers, they`re usually faith based. And so that creates issues for courts that might be looking to further regulate them, because judges are very wary of treading on these centers first amendment rights.

ALI ROGIN: So when someone does enter one of these crisis pregnancy centers, what sort of interactions are they likely to have with these volunteers?

CARTER SHERMAN: I think the interactions can really vary a lot. But something that has come up again and again, from people who go into these centers is that they walk in not necessarily knowing that they are not in an abortion clinic. You know, these centers, according to abortion rights supporters will oftentimes set up shop very close to an abortion clinic, they will have names that include words like birth, or choice are the sorts of things that we tend to hear from abortion rights supporters. And in reality, again, these are centers that are trying to convince you to continue a pregnancy.

ALI ROGIN: What sort of people do centers like these target?

CARTER SHERMAN: These centers offer usually free services. And so that can be really appealing to people who are low income. And we do know that at least prior to the overturning of Roe, most people who get abortions are low income, because it is so difficult for people to afford pregnancies in this country.

ALI ROGIN: So why are the centers receiving more funding now?

CARTER SHERMAN: Well, since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the anti-abortion movement has really framed crisis pregnancy centers as the place to go for women who might otherwise have wanted an abortion but are now in a situation where they have little choice but to give birth. And state governments, particularly the governments of red states have really agreed with that logic. We know for example, that since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, at least 16 state governments have sent more than $250 million worth of taxpayer money to programs that support crisis pregnancy centers. I think in the coming years, we`re likely going to be seeing even more funding.

ALI ROGIN: So tell us a little bit more about the breakdown of what we do you know now about how these crisis centers are getting their funding. Is it coming from the federal government, state and local governments? What does that allocation look like?

CARTER SHERMAN: It can really be a mixture. Some of the money that flows from the government to these crisis pregnancy centers is ultimately from the federal government. We know that the state governments will take the money that the federal government gives them for things like Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and direct that towards programs to support crisis pregnancy centers.

ALI ROGIN: And there`s now a debate happening between the White House and Congress over whether Temporary Assistance for Needy Families should continue to be used for crisis centers. What is the status of that debate?

CARTER SHERMAN: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is a program that we would tend to understand as being a part of welfare. It is money that the federal government will give to state governments that they can then disperse for various aims to help families that are in trouble. And one of the goals of temporary assistance for needy families or TANF is to help prevent out of wedlock pregnancies. Now, the Biden administration has said that, you know, by the time someone comes to a crisis pregnancy center or they already suspected they`re pregnant. And so it`s actually not an aim of a crisis pregnancy center to prevent an out of wedlock pregnancy because the pregnancy has already occurred. The Biden administration introduced this rule. The Republicans in the U.S. House have responded with legislation that would block HHS from effectively making that role. That bill did pass the House but given Congress`s general state of inaction and polarization right now, it is very unlikely that that bill will ultimately become law.

ALI ROGIN: Right, likely something we`re going to see continue in state houses though. Carter Sherman, reproductive health and justice reporter for The Guardian, thank you so much for joining us.

CARTER SHERMAN: Thank you for having me.

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