This article was written by Mary Anne Mosack and Sandy Christiansen, MD, FACOG.
The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) and the North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (NASPAG), groups whose pro-abortion enthusiasm is well established, have written a joint position statement denouncing the fact that community-based pregnancy centers engage in pro-life advocacy and client services that reflect their well-known, decades long, life-affirming position. Basing their opposition to pregnancy centers (which they refer to as Crisis Pregnancy Centers or CPCs) on a “(1) review of academic publications and human rights and advocacy writing related to CPC policies, practices, and services and (2) discussions among a team of adolescent sexual and reproductive health experts,” it is clear that they arrived at their dubious conclusions without witnessing or experiencing the real-life interactions that pregnancy centers have with their clients every day.
Groups like SAHM and NASPAG, who remain intolerant of anyone who does not provide or refer for contraception and abortion services, have spent years trying to pin accusations of unethical practices and distribution of unscientific reproductive health information on pregnancy centers, and this most recent iteration is a retread of old, disproven arguments. Especially disingenuous is the charge that pregnancy centers engage in false advertising and provide incomplete information. Moreover, groups like SAHM and NASPAG spread their own disinformation in their efforts to mask the true humanity of the developing fetus,and they make the deceptive claim that abortion is “reproductive healthcare” and that all adolescents need contraception to keep them “safe.” These claims are medically irresponsible and scientifically inaccurate.
When it comes to sex education, there is only one “choice” these groups endorse and deem appropriate for schools and communities - contraceptive-based programs. However, these programs are often age-inappropriate, unnecessarily explicit, and ignore parental concerns. On the other hand, these groups have very little knowledge of Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) programs and that federally funded SRA curricula must assure for medical accuracy. They also do not appear to know that more than 1,800 SRA educators across the country, many from pregnancy centers, are certified in the approach.
Further, after a taxpayer expenditure of approximately $850 million on contraceptive-based programs under the Obama administration, a 2016 report from HHS found that 80% of students showed no effect when compared to students not in these classes. In contrast, twenty-five peer- reviewed, published studies show the effectiveness of SRA programs. Study findings include a delay in sexual debut, a lower likelihood to engage in other risky behaviors like smoking, drinking, and drug use, improved academics, and no reduction in their likelihood to use condoms if they do become sexually active..”
It is ironic that abortion providers, now under increased scrutiny for gross violations of trafficking in the sale of fetal parts, among other unethical Gosnell-like concerns related to “standards of care,” do not incur the same public denunciation by these groups that pregnancy centers receive.
Finally, this position statement reveals what must be an uncomfortable truth – abortion and birth control do not solve all of the problems that groups like SAHM and NASPAG claim they do. In contrast, the education and life-affirming services provided daily by pregnancy centers resonates with the lived experiences of those they serve and, as SAHM and NASPAG’s statement admits, “many clients report needing and valuing them.” Their holistic approach reaches women and men right where they are with solutions that promote healthier families and futures. A point that continues to be lost on most of academia.