A Texan’s experience at a fake women’s health center

I am a 44 years old woman and had the worst experience of my life at Birth Choice in Dallas, Texas. I had not had a period in about a year and my gynecologist told me I was in perimenopause so I wasn’t as diligent about it as I had been in the past. Other than fatigue, I had absolutely no pregnancy symptoms..

My husband and I decided to take a pregnancy test to rule out why I was constantly exhausted. My heart sank when I saw the plus sign on the test before the 5 minutes were even up and we went into immediate panic mode. We headed to what we thought was Southwestern Women’s Surgery Center, a local abortion clinic. Southwestern and Birth Choice share a parking lot (a common tactic of fake clinics) and my husband and I walked into Birth Choice by accident.

Once there, I took a urine test to confirm the pregnancy and was told I needed an ultrasound to determine how far along I was. At that point, the nurse separated my husband and I, saying that my husband needed to meet with the male counselor. During the ultrasound, I repeatedly asked for my husband to be in the room with me, but the nurse insisted that I was in a “safe place” and my husband couldn’t make the decision for me to have an abortion.

The ultrasound results showed that I was 26 weeks pregnant with a “healthy baby boy” and a “special miracle,” even though I had told the nurse this was an unwanted pregnancy. She told me she could immediately make a phone call and place the baby with a family. Meanwhile, my husband was getting the same treatment from the male “counselor.” The “counselor” even told my husband that families paid “$50,000 for a white baby!” They finally brought him into the room where I was still enduring looking at the 70 inch ultrasound screen. When he walked in, the nurse greeted him with, “congratulations daddy, it’s a boy!”  The male “counselor” came into the room with a doll that he described as a 26-week gestation baby and blocked the door as my husband and I tried to leave. We managed to make it out but they chased after us, yelling about not killing the baby and how much God loves us.

This experience left me totally shaken and an absolute mess; I threw up all the way home. I was able to see my gyno the following Monday and thankfully, she had some answers. I was in fact 26 weeks pregnant, but the baby was far from healthy. She explained that I couldn’t get an abortion in Texas due to how far along I was and contacted a clinic in New Mexico. We were lucky enough to travel there a few days later and terminate the pregnancy, which was the decision we had made from the start.

S.H. lives in Dallas, Texas. To learn more about fake women’s health centers and their deceptive tactics, visit txpregnancy.org 

One Texan’s Experience at a Crisis Pregnancy Center

When I was 16 I didn’t fully understand sex. I grew up with a mom who taught sex-ed, but in Texas you don’t learn anything useful about sex at school so the nitty gritty details escaped me. I was inexperienced and feared disappointing my mom. Needless to say, I was at a disadvantage.

As a black girl, you’re taught to NEVER “act fast” and subconsciously I had shame about sex after being molested as a young girl. For two months I was sure I was pregnant, sure that my life was over, sure that my mom would be ashamed of me for wasting my potential. Millennial to the core, I immediately got online to look for at-home abortion remedies.I made plans to seek out herbs, started rehearsing lies to tell my mom if I had a bad reaction to anything. Looking back I’m horrified because if anything had happened I may have died.

After finding a place to get a pregnancy test,  I debated whether I was even brave enough to go. Having an answer to this question would determine where I was going next so I made the appointment for an evening during the week after school. The crisis pregnancy center was two blocks away from my school, connected to a church, so I walked over as soon as class let out.

The reception was warm, weirdly. The women working there acted very excited to see me. I walked into the space and didn’t see anyone else, but there was a room in the back with several other women. The lights were low and it felt like a cozy living room. There was a table set up with a bunch of pamphlets about the false ills of abortions, and the second I saw that I thought “Oh F**K THESE ARE WEIRDOS” and got really scared. Not knowing if I was pregnant was one thing, but being attacked by Christian Fundamentalists was scarier. We sat in a room together and discussed how we got there. We went around in a circle talking and one by one went into another room full of medical equipment to get tested. We prayed for quite a long time before receiving the results. This entire time I felt the anxiety in the room heighten. The women around me were picking up on how resistant the women leading the discussion were to any options that didn’t end in “I am keeping this baby”. We were getting antsy and one of the women angrily asked when we were getting the results so they brought us into a different room one by one to get results. The second I got my results (a negative) I got out of there. Some of the women stayed, so I assumed they were actually pregnant.

I didn’t escape without a lot of pamphlets intended to make sure I had “information.” My fear lifted as soon as I knew I wasn’t pregnant, so walking back to the train I mostly worried about how the other women were going to handle it.

Emma Robinson works at The Afiya Center in Dallas. To learn more about deceptive, manipulative crisis pregnancy centers, visit txpregnancy.org.

STATEMENT: TX House Approves an Additional $20 Million to Anti-Abortion CPCs

Texas House Approves an Additional $20 Million to Anti-Abortion Crisis Pregnancy Centers

For Release: 4-6-2017

Contact: Sharmeen Aly, [email protected]

AUSTIN, TX — During debate on the 2018-19 state budget, the Texas House approved an additional $20 million per two-year budget cycle for the Alternatives to Abortion program. This program funnels millions of tax dollars to manipulative, deceptive crisis pregnancy centers that intentionally lie to and coerce pregnant Texans.

Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, released the following statement on the funding increase for crisis pregnancy centers—

“It is shameful that the state continues to give millions of health care dollars to non-medical entities that lie to, shame and manipulate Texans considering an abortion, especially at a time when vulnerable children are dying in foster care, public education remains chronically underfunded and cuts to Medicaid for disabled kids remain in place.

Crisis pregnancy centers are not comprehensive health centers and do not provide Texans with the full range of available options. CPCs exist to prevent people facing unintended pregnancies from accessing abortion care and delay their care to the point where they’re not able to access abortion. These centers use scare tactics and provide scientifically inaccurate information to their patients and are ultimately dangerous to the health and safety of pregnant Texans.

It is unconscionable that lawmakers voted against a budget amendment to move this money to the family planning program and instead increased funding by $20 million for ideologically motivated CPCs and refused to fund legitimate health care providers.”

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