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Pro-women activists expose anti-choice ‘clinic’

Published Sep 12, 2006 11:12 PM

The Detroit Action Network For Reproductive Rights (DANFORR) held an informational picket on Sept. 9 at a so-called “crisis pregnancy center” in Detroit in order to expose the nature of such anti-choice facilities. Protestors warned potential clients and disclosed to area residents the true nature of the grossly-misnamed “Pregnancy Aid” center located in their community.

Women say they need a real health clinic.
WW photo: Dave Sole

Like thousands of other similar outfits around the country, “Pregnancy Aid,” the target of DANFORR’s picket, is not a real women’s clinic with a licensed medical staff and a full range of reproductive services. Far from it. Instead, it is really a front for anti-choice right-wingers.

Passersby who saw DANFORR’s protest learned from pro-choice activists that these medically non-certified and anti-choice operations use lies to scare pregnant women into carrying an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy to term. Demonstrators carried signs and distributed leaflets that disclosed the clinic’s false and misleading practices.

Many of these “clinics” receive federal funding. The U.S. government has funded anti-choice centers with $30 million in taxpayer money since 2001.

A July 2006 investigative report, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, found that a whopping 87 percent of the federally-funded fake clinics gave out information that was “grossly distorted or inaccurate.” (www.democrats.reform.house.gov)

Some of these outright lies include stating a relationship between abortion and a highly increased risk of breast cancer, subsequent infertility, suicidal thoughts and mental illness (“post-abortion traumatic stress”).This misinformation has been clinically refuted in research compiled by the National Cancer Institute, and both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association. (American Psychologist, Oct. 1992; General Psychiatry, Aug. 2000)

Additionally, the right-wing facilities offer no long-term assistance for babies or for families at a time when family assistance programs have been all but eliminated.

Women in the U.S., particularly oppressed women with limited resources who are the most detrimentally impacted by problem or unwanted pregnancies, have the right to be factually informed when making critical reproductive decisions about their lives and the lives of their families.

Yet anti-choice centers are increasingly being located in African-American and [email protected] communities, where medical resources are often scarce or inadequate. (www.news-medical.net)

The oppressed communities of Detroit have been particularly hard hit by unemployment, budget cutbacks and racist attacks, making the presence of the “Pregnancy Aid” center especially insulting.

Many U.S. states, including Michigan, are now closer to banning abortions altogether—a trend supported by both Democrats and Republicans, with few exceptions. The state bans already in place also increase the risk of a challenge to Roe vs. Wade, which, if overturned, could eliminate abortion and several forms of birth control altogether on a national level.

Only a massive struggle for full reproductive health care, including abortion, can stop the current attacks on women’s right to choose and the funding of bogus “crisis” clinics. With poverty rates hitting women with small children the hardest, women need accurate health care information and access to medically-supervised services now more than ever.

U.S. Senate candidate attacked by anti-choice thug

A handful of anti-choice rightwingers who opposed the picket line challenged pro-choice protesters in front of the phony “Pregnancy Aid” facility on Sept. 9. A representative of St. Joan of Arc Church in suburban St. Clair Shores had rallied them to the DANFORR protest through chain e-mails. The website homepage for “Pregnancy Aid” had also featured a large sidebar about DANFORR’s planned protest.

For the most part, the anti-woman posse positioned themselves up the street, but one white male stayed and persistently harassed the pro-choice picketers. When this man threatened to kill an African-American woman leader of DANFORR, other pro-choice forces stepped between the man and the threatened sister.

The man jabbed picket signs with a pen and then tried to remove the sign held by U.S. Senate candidate David Sole, who is running on the Stop the War Slate of the Green Party ticket. The man punched Sole in the mouth; the candidate fought back in self defense. Police were called by the anti-choice forces, one of whom conveniently videotaped only part of the whole incident.

The white male thug who attacked Sole was handcuffed but only briefly placed into a squad car and then later released. His cohorts received tickets for refusing to move their stationary signs, which graphically depicted supposed bloodied fetuses. A female officer at the scene warned Sole that he was about to be arrested and he should leave the area.

Sole told Workers World: “This confirms that the right-wing anti-choice movement is only too willing to revert to its violent methods of the 1990s. If I am arrested, I will issue a press release stating that my arrest has occurred because this candidate was defending women’s right to reproductive freedom. I urge everyone, men and women, to get involved in this crucial struggle.”