Pro-Choice?

I’m wondering how I came to be on NARAL’s e-mail list. I’m relatively certain I’ve never said anything that would lead anyone to believe I’m a proponent of abortion, much less that I would contribute to NARAL. Nevertheless, have a look at what showed up in my inbox this morning.

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine is considering legislation that would funnel thousands of dollars to so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” in his state through “Choose Life” license plates.  He could sign or veto the bill any day now.

“Crisis pregnancy centers” are deceptive fake clinics that mislead women, and promote extreme, anti-choice views to stop women from exercising their right to choose.

Contribute now to help keep state funds out of anti-choice hands and to protect choice at every level.

NARAL Pro-Choice America is mobilizing its nationwide support network and building on NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia’s work to put a stop to these efforts.

Gov. Kaine, who also serves as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, should uphold the strong pro-choice platform the Democratic Party adopted last August by stopping this anti-choice bill from becoming law. And we urgently need the resources to focus our staff on this and all the threats to choice nationwide — that’s why we’ve asked you to help us raise $50,000 by March 31.

Please donate today to help us reach our goal because this isn’t about just reaching a fundraising target…it’s about women’s lives.

This gem was signed by Nancy Keenan, President, NARAL Pro-Choice America.

I’m not sure exactly how revenue is generated by cause plates, but my assumption has been that purchasers are assessed an additional fee, which then goes to support the cause, in this case, crisis pregnancy centers.

The crisis pregnancy center of which I have the most knowledge (gleaned from years of reading their newsletters) is staffed by compassionate, trained volunteers who sincerely care about their clients. Many have experienced unplanned pregnancies. Many pray for their clients. They provide confidential, non-judgmental support at a difficult time. It doesn’t masquerade as a medical clinic, nor do they disseminate false information or lie to or mislead women in any way that I’m aware of.

They do provide accurate, detailed information on fetal development and abortion procedures and discuss options such as “choosing” to put a baby up for adoption or “choosing” to keep and raise the baby. Likewise, women can “choose” to visit such a center or “choose”  not to. Once inside, she can “choose” to stay or “choose” to leave at any time. After her visit, she’ll be well informed about all the options from which she can “choose.”

But leaving aside for a moment the relative merits of crisis pregnancy centers, it occurs to me that Virginia residents will be able to “choose” to purchase the “Choose Life” plates or “choose” not to purchase them. Women can “choose” to heed the message or “choose” to ignore it.

That seems like a lot of choices to me. You would think that an organization named “Pro-Choice” America could really get behind that.

The reality is quite different. Even though there’s nothing about a “Choose Life” license plate that’s going to stop even one woman who truly desires it from obtaining an abortion, NARAL has chosen to oppose this innocuous piece of legislation as being anti-choice. Even though no funding will be diverted; no new anti-abortion agencies created; no additional regulations or requirements enacted.

Why?

A few reasons come to mind, the first being that they hope for the knee-jerk response that the words “anti-choice” elicit in so many women. Next, they fear the plates have the potential to sway public opinion. And the last, “Pro-Choice” America isn’t really about all the choices, rather just about their choice.

If this is an issue that’s important to you, please contact Governor Tim Kaine’s office and let him know your views. Virginia residents, it is especially important that you do so today.

Update: On Monday, March 30, Governor Tim Kaine signed the “Choose Life” legislation. Please contact Governor Kaine at the link above to thank him.

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7 Comments

Filed under Abortion, Pro-Life

7 responses to “Pro-Choice?

  1. JD

    Crisis pregnancy centers are deceptive fake clinics that mislead women, and promote extreme, anti-choice views? Hmmm. Interesting perspective. I thought the pro-choice position was one of advocacy for women, no?

    • paulag1955

      Apparently and unfortunately, no. If that were the case, they would welcome anything that might open up options for women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, wouldn’t you think?

  2. I Love your I Love Israel heart button. I might have to snag that from you to put on my blog. :]

    BTW, I’m so glad that we are Twitter buddies. I can tell that you are really into networking w/other bloggers.

  3. I don’t like the term “pro-choice,” because that frames the issue in terms of pro- and anti-choice. I’m not anti-choice; I’m anti-murder, anti-death, anti-infanticide.

    Another good post, as always.

  4. As a strong pro-choice supporter, this sort of mailing offends me deeply, so I find myself in the peculiar situation of agreeing with you on a political question. Surprise!

    I believe that choice includes choosing not to abort, and, while I’d like to keep religion out of government, women do need to know all the options that are available, and they desperately need counseling. Being pregnant with an unwanted baby is a frightening, painful, life-changing situation. I’d like to see information presented in a balanced and unbiased manner…but I’d rather see it presented than not, however it is skewed. For the record, abortion clinics offer the same sort of information, but it’s brief and cannot be considered real counseling.

    I don’t see a problem with using “choose life” license plates for funding. Only people who want to support the centers will buy them, so it’s a great deal like making a voluntary donation to a cause (and getting a badge in the form of a license plate). We have them here in Florida. My license plate is “Save our Oceans” and costs almost double a traditional plate, so every year I donate about $30 to that cause.

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