Friday, March 11, 2011

CPCs and Jesus's career as a gyno

Well guess what-- Jesus isn't a gynecologist. You'd be surprised, though, how often his name is spoken to women in supposed "crisis pregnancy centers" as a part of the counseling session for abortions, birth control, or STI testing.  There are a few of these in my town, and when I first heard the term CPC, I did some research to root them out.  It's pretty much made me distrust any logo with a butterfly. (Look for yourself to see if you have any masquerading in your town).

One of my student employees asked to talk to me in my office today.  She's come in to get things off her chest before, and I appreciate that she feels safe enough at work and close enough with me to let me know when personal stuff may intrude on work.  We don't gab about boys, but if there's a problem, she'll let me know and ask my advice.  This is one more situation that makes me realize I am an adult now, whether I like it or not, and I hope I'm up to the challenge.

Seems that yesterday she went to a free clinic for an STI test (I applauded her responsibility) and quickly found out it was a CPC.  She had a little inkling that they existed, but had looked at their website and didn't find anything that sounded, as she said, "Jesus-y".   She's a strong young woman, so she didn't cow to their judgment, and they are very lucky she didn't bring out the temper than can be the bane of a customer service job.  She knew what she was there for and what they were supposed to give, so she waited for the spiel to be over and left.  They told her the results might take 6 weeks.  That made me raise my eyebrows, so I looked it up:
It usually takes about 48 hours to get the results of a STD test. Some tests like the one for syphilis takes about seven to 10 days. HIV test results can be obtained within three days. Chlamydia and gonorrhea test results take about a week. Tests done to check HIV infection can also provide information regarding the presence of some other STDs in the body. A urine and blood sample is usually taken during STD check-up. Symptoms like spots, wounds and sores are also looked into. -link
I told her that since she was dubious about their practices and unprofessional behavior, she should go to the county health clinic.  I said it might not be full of butterflies and people to hold your hand, but they're professionals and will get the job done, in less than six weeks (for chris'sakes).  We had a talk about being an adult and making decisions about your health, and she was on the same page but wanted some backup.  So I backed her up, as feminist as I pleased.

Of course, while taking blood for the STI test, they insisted she get a pregnancy test since she was there.  Fortunately for her, she's ok.  Unfortunately for them, they won't be able to force a woman to talk about a fetus she doesn't want to carry.  She said she wouldn't go back, and I suggested she let her girlfriends know what it is, and they can make that decision for themselves.  With everything a young woman in college has on her mind, the last thing she needs is a stranger pretending to help but really offering judgment.  I'm glad she got out of there, and I hope she turns out ok.

Her 'counselor' didn't know the difference between the uterus and cervix. Bad sign.
Please remember that Planned Parenthood will help you do whatever you decide is best and will not judge you.  They are a medical provider for safe, common and legal procedures as well as normal exams, sexual health and birth control.  And if you still want to go to a CPC for free services if you can't get them at PP, remember that you have the right to autonomy and respect.  If they ask to pray for you, tell them they're free to as you are walking away.

Resources about CPCs:

Footage of service at a CPC
CPC Watch: Exposing fake clinics
True/False on Abortion Counseling from Guttmacher Institute


  1. Right on, and good for you for being there for her with info and not judgement. Sometimes I hate being an adult, but at least it's good for something sometimes.

    Also, I was pretty unsurprised with most of the CPC nonsense until I got to this: "Her 'counselor' didn't know the difference between the uterus and cervix." Whut?

  2. She kept misnaming them, and got very uncomfortable when my employee said corrected her. Any mention of anatomy outside of her speech made her clam up. Urgh.


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