Editor’s Note: This letter to the editor is a response to the Colorado Times Recorder story titled “Legislation Proposed To Target ‘Deceptive Practices’ of Anti-Abortion Centers” published on Jan. 19 which can be read by clicking here. The story included testimony from Colorado abortion rights activists about anti-abortion centers in the state. In Colorado, anti-abortion centers — which have a big presence on college campuses — outnumber active abortion clinics 51 to 20.
by Dr. Catherine Wheeler
In 2018 I walked into a Pregnancy Resource Center for the first time. As an Ob/Gyn doctor, I was hesitant, as I had heard that they try to coerce women to not have abortions, and were deceptive – which is how the article “Legislation Proposed To Target ‘Deceptive Practices’ of Anti-Abortion Centers”, posted on January 19, 2023, by Heidi Beedle, labeled them. I was skeptical and critical; yet, I found the exact opposite to be true.
Labeling Pregnancy Resource Centers as “anti-abortion” is deceptive and does not accurately represent their missions or functions. Are they an alternative to abortion centers? Yes. Do they hope to offer help to women who believe they have no choice but an abortion due to a lack of resources and support from people in their lives, yet who do not actually want an abortion? Absolutely.
They are called pregnancy resource centers (PRC) because they provide resources to help women, and men, in need. They do not profit from their services, and most do not receive federal or state support, but function on donations. In 2019, over $266 million in FREE services and material assistance were provided by PRCs. PRCs adhere to all legal and regulatory guidelines. Any medical services are under the supervision and direction of a licensed physician, and in accordance with all applicable medical standards.
In PRCs, I have observed women, and men, sitting with trained, unhurried staff and volunteers, who are compassionate, and truthfully exploring ALL their options, with ALL the accurate information about each option, as well as the person’s goals, values, and desires. I was pleasantly surprised by the compassion, non-judgment, and TRUTH that was presented. There was no coercion. In fact, they offered continued help to the clients regardless of their choice.
I was disappointed that there was no research into the accuracy of the claims in the article, nor was there an investigation by visiting a PRC to speak with their staff to learn about their mission and services. I would encourage you to visit a PRC and learn for yourself what is true about them. If you are pregnant and facing hurdles that you need help with, I encourage you to visit a PRC. It would be an immense disservice to women, men, and families to lose access to this valuable service.
Catherine Wheeler, M.D., of Divide, is a member of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists.