Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Jumping through ideological hoops for pregnancy care

Today's advice seeker writes to Secular Pro-Life:
I'm a married mom who is currently pregnant. I needed a medical verification of pregnancy for insurance, so I went to a free pregnancy center. I received the verification, but first they asked me for a lot of information that I felt was intrusive given my situation.
I was clear the entire time that I was a married woman in a long term monogamous relationship with my spouse, and that this is very much a wanted pregnancy—I just needed the verification for insurance, and I didn't want to go to Planned Parenthood to get it. They asked me quite a few questions about my religion and asked if I'd be open to talking about God. I left there feeling a mix of grateful that they exist, but really dirty and somewhat violated by the information I was asked to provide.
I'm living in the Bible Belt, so that might be why, but things like this are why nobody wants to recommend crisis pregnancy centers to those in need. I wonder if there actually ARE any secular ones. Thanks!
That really sucks. I suppose it's better than a place where 94% of pregnant patients are sold abortions, but still. You shouldn't have had to endure a lecture when it was OBVIOUS your baby was in no danger and they were just after a religious convert. 

Every pregnancy center is different and it depends a lot on the philosophy of the individual volunteers and staff. Being in the Bible Belt is definitely a factor. I note that the Birthright chain of pregnancy centers has a non-proselytizing policy, but most of its locations are up north. 

Then again, I know a devoutly Christian pregnancy center director in Tennessee whose non-Birthright center provides regular STD screenings for a trans patient without judgment. As the pro-life movement as a whole comes to see the value of the secular perspective, pregnancy center leaders are taking note. I'm also greatly encouraged by the rise of the student-led Pregnant on Campus movement, which offers much of the material support of pregnancy centers but without the religious mission. 

Loyal readers, do you have any further suggestions for finding the pregnancy care resources that fit best?

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