Recent coverage from a local Grand Junction news station about a ballot initiative to ban abortion at 22 weeks in Colorado promoted misinformation about abortion from an anti-abortion pregnancy center, which the station failed to identify.
The KREX 5 story features an interview with Valeria Herrera of The Pregnancy Center in Grand Junction, which is never identified as an anti-abortion pregnancy center.
Also known as crisis pregnancy centers, or CPCs, these organizations are known to mislead women seeking reproductive care using a variety of shady tactics, including by promoting misinformation about abortion.
That misinformation often includes warnings of “post-abortion syndrome,” which abortion foes say causes PTSD-like psychological symptoms after one terminates a pregnancy. The American Psychological Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Medical Association, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Public Health Association all refute the existence of the syndrome, based on a growing body of scientific and medical research that finds no significant links between abortion and mental health.
Still, the myth of post-abortion syndrome is often promoted by anti-abortion activists and CPCs, including The Pregnancy Center in Grand Junction.
As the camera pans over a pamphlet that reads “Post Abortion Syndrome,” the KREX 5 coverage states:
“‘We know that abortion actually hurts women it doesn’t necessarily help them,’ says Valerie. Valerie feels that abortions are a short term solution, which may come with long term risks, ‘When a woman has an abortion a lot of times she can get post abortion syndrome which is similar to PTSD.'”
The Pregnancy Center’s website claims a long list of possible psychological side effects of abortion that are completely unsubstantiated by medical research. To name a few: “thoughts of suicide,” “broken relationships,” “frequent or uncontrollable crying,” “alcohol and/or drug abuse in order to forget,” “fear of punishment from God,” “nightmares and flashbacks,” “sexual problems (frigidity or promiscuity),” “denial”, and lastly, “inability to tolerate the sound of a vacuum cleaner or dentist’s drill because it sounds like the suction machine.”
In response to an email yesterday from the Colorado Times Recorder asking if KREX 5 would make a clarification, News Director John Kirby said he’d take a look. Since then, he has not responded or issued a correction on the story.