AN UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION REVEALS
A POIGNANT TRUTH ABOUT HUMAN NATURE
Fair is fair.
Abortion foes have cheered the undercover infiltrations of abortion clinics conducted by Lila Rose and her group, Live Action — although by no means is there unanimity in Pro-Life circles on whether these covert video stings are ethical (as I discussed in a May 11 post).
But, hey! — if anti-abortion activists can go undercover, so can pro-abortion types. And Caitlin Bancroft, a George Washington University Law School student and legal intern at NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, has done just that.
Writing on the Huffington Post, Ms. Bancroft describes her foray into a crisis pregnancy center in Manassas, Virginia, called AAA Women for Choice. Her tale is one of terror such as to stir primal memories of the Spanish Inquisition.
“I wasn’t considering abortion. I wasn’t considering adoption, or parenting, or childcare. I wasn’t even pregnant, and I definitely wasn’t scared — at least not at first.
“When I volunteered to visit multiple crisis pregnancy centers in Virginia, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) are the foot soldiers in the war against women. These anti-choice non-profits pose as women’s health clinics then use lies and manipulation to dissuade pregnant women from considering their full range of reproductive options (ie: abortion and birth control).
“CPCs use a variety of tactics to lure women into their buildings: they offer free pregnancy testing, are known to list themselves under ‘abortion’ in online directories and search results, and may use misleading names with the hope that women will confuse them for legitimate healthcare providers. Once inside, women are treated to a carefully crafted program of manipulation designed to dissuade them from choosing abortion, birth control, and if they’re not married — sex.”
Cue the threatening music. Maybe the shark theme from Jaws.
Now, Ms. Bancroft has a point about the misleading name, AAA Women for Choice, in this case. I’ll grant that the word “choice” is obviously intended as outreach to women who want to keep their options open. The AAA part has nothing to do with the automobile association. It’s merely a device to get the name placed first in the Yellow Pages listing, very probably under the “Abortion” category, as she suggests.
Of course, let us never forget there is that famously misleading name, Planned Parenthood. Just how much parenthood planning do you suppose goes on in their facilities? I think what mostly happens is parenthood avoidance. PP is the largest abortion provider in the country.
Ms. Bancroft goes on to describe the crisis pregnancy center’s reassuring atmosphere, rather like that of a pediatrician’s office, complete with toys for use by any visiting children. But things take an unpleasant, even menacing turn, when a counselor — “a conservatively dressed middle-aged woman” with “forms on a clipboard I was not permitted to see” — leads her into a back room and subjects her to a series of “personal and invasive” questions…
“As I sat there having my life probed, the purpose of the questions dawned on me. In case the test was positive, my ‘counselor’ wanted to know which tactic to use to persuade me to continue the pregnancy — exactly where my resolve was the weakest.”
The counselor attempts to discern such things as her relationship with her parents, if the potential father is aware she could be pregnant, and whether any birth control has been used. Ms. Bancroft believes she’s being lied to when the counselor points out that there is evidence linking the pill to cancer (the counselor is speaking truthfully; there is such evidence) and that contraceptive devices may actually be abortifacients (some are).
“I was told the pill could cause breast cancer, that condoms are ‘naturally porous’ and don’t protect against STIs [sexually transmitted diseases], and that IUDs could kill me. She lectured and lied to me for over an hour before I even received the results of my pregnancy test.”
Worst of all…
“I was told abortion would scar me for the rest of my life — would damage all of my future relationships and leave me ‘haunted.’”
The undercover investigation continues in several other “deceptively named” crisis pregnancy centers where Ms. Bancroft encounters similar intimidating treatment. In one she receives a positive pregnancy test result, though she doesn’t explain how this came to be. Did she somehow trick the test? If it was authentic, she shares nothing of what she decided to do about it. She does describe the reaction of the staff…
“…I could hear two employees whispering before entering my room, plotting strategies to reveal the test results and best manipulate my reaction. When they did finally clue me in, my concerns were casually brushed aside and used as ammunition for their agenda: I could care for a baby with no job, my parents would certainly help, and I could absolutely handle the stress. They even argued that I could be a law student while pregnant: ‘It will probably be good for the baby,’ the woman said, ‘because you will be sitting down all of the time.’”
Start fading the Jaws music.
“Their tactics were so blatantly manipulative that I should have been able to fight back. I wanted to have a response, some kind of self-defense. But I couldn’t find anything to say. I am a pro-choice feminist activist and I often discuss these kinds of difficult and emotionally sensitive topics at work and in school. Yet these women’s so-called concern left me defenseless, struggling to find a response that didn’t play right into their hands.”
Jaws music out.
What is this young lady so afraid of?
What power does she imagine these “foot soldiers in the war against women” are asserting over her? What is this hidden agenda she perceives at work sapping her confidence and stripping away her autonomy as a human being, turning her into nothing more than, as she puts it, a “walking womb”?
It’s a basic tenet of feminism that childbearing precludes a woman’s ability to completely fulfill herself as an individual. That’s why access to abortion is defended so fiercely.
But really now, what are pro-lifers encouraging women to do that women haven’t been doing since the beginning of time? Why such abject horror at the very idea that someone might try to persuade a woman not to end the life of the child growing within her? And the tone of this article is surely that: horror.
You don’t understand — you’re not a woman!
Well yes, that’s true. I’m not a woman. I have never — will never — experience the anxiety, discomfort and physical depletion associated with pregnancy, or the pain and danger associated with childbirth, or the restrictions on my life’s path associated with motherhood.
I have observed all these things, however, at very close hand, in the lives of women who are dear to me.
Rejecting the question because…You’re not a woman!…is merely a dodge (a common one). And I don’t think that the key to all this horror lies entirely within feminist commitment, support for abortion, or even not wishing to be reminded that the things we desire have consequences.
Here’s the giveaway…
“I knew I wasn’t pregnant — knew exactly what she [the counselor] was doing — knew she wasn’t a doctor. But my body reacted instinctively to her questions with guilt and shame.”
Oh? And why is that? If Ms. Bancroft was entirely clear on the circumstances under which she was doing her covert research, why the “guilt and shame”?
She’s appalled at the judgmentalism of the counselor’s questions about her sexual activities — so much so that she concocts a story about getting drunk at a party and being raped. But even that doesn’t shield her feelings…
“Her [the counselor’s] response made it clear that the situation was my fault, ‘Oh so he took advantage of you. Well just don’t do it again sweetie; just don’t do it again.’ It made me sick.”
We can’t know from Ms. Bancroft’s account if the counselor intended those words to be accusatory or comforting. But even though the infiltration of this crisis pregnancy center was based on a complete ruse, Ms. Bancroft is overwhelmed by her “guilt and shame.” And the reason is so terribly…human.
The religious devolution of our society has been extreme, yet some moral feelings are surprisingly persistent. With all our efforts to remove sex from the domain of right-and-wrong — and as much as we drape it in laurels of “personal liberation” and “individual choice” and “expression of my inner essence” and the rest of it — ’fessin’ up to a little canoodling in front of somebody who might think less of us for it still pricks the conscience. Even, in this case, when the story is totally contrived.
What a poignant realization.
Damn! Will we never be free of this — this Puritanism? Can’t we just do what we want?
As it says in the Bible, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
And we always know it when we do.
Here’s a link to my piece about controversy over the video exposés of abortion clinics conducted by Lila Rose and Live Action, posted on May 11, 2013…
There’s a point at which ideology shades over into pure emotion. Feminism, at its ideological extreme, tends toward despair. About this time last year an anonymous woman writer styling herself “Lynn Beisner” and describing herself as “a mother, a writer, a feminist, and an academic living somewhere East of the Mississippi” penned one of the most depressing confessions you’re likely to read. Titled “I Wish My Mother Had Aborted Me,” the piece offers, among other observations…
“The world would not be a darker or poorer place without me. Actually, in terms of contributions to the world, I am a net loss. Everything that I have done — including parenting, teaching, researching, and being a loving partner — could have been done as well if not better by other people. Any positive contributions that I have made are completely offset by what it has cost society to help me overcome the disadvantages and injuries of my childhood to become a functional and contributing member of society.”
This lady is in desperate need of faith. Pray for her. God surely knows who she is and where to find her. Meanwhile — if you’re up to reading it — her sad essay can be found on a most peculiar, gender-obsessed webzine called Role/Reboot…