Longtime Loyal Readers™ will recall that it has been my lifelong dream to moon Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. He is an arch-conservative shitweasel of the shittiest and weaseliest order, and unfortunately Ronnie Raygun put him in a position to do a lot of damage. For years he has been openly itching to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Via email from CREDO mobile today, we were apprised of the following:
A case challenging the constitutionality of a buffer zone designed to protect women’s health clinic workers and patients from harassment by anti-choice activists is being considered by the Supreme Court, and Justice Antonin Scalia has a supreme conflict of interest.
Justice Scalia’s wife, Maureen, has a long history of working closely with crisis pregnancy centers — as a “crisis counselor” and associate director of a center in Virginia, and as a board member of a national crisis pregnancy organization which tries to persuade women in “crisis pregnancies” to forego abortions.
Many crisis pregnancy centers post “sidewalk counselors” outside abortion providers to confront women seeking reproductive healthcare including abortion. While no one has accused Justice Scalia’s wife of individual misconduct, it is well documented that crisis pregnancy centers contribute to an atmosphere outside clinics that infringes on patients’ ability to freely and safely access medical care.
For those who may be blissfully unaware, here is a description of what “sidewalk counseling” is actually like. It is horrible enough. But it’s these crisis pregnancy centers (“CPCs”) that really put the lie in the Lying 4 Jeezus™.
CPCs are typically run by the usual Christian fetus worshipers, female enslavement advocates, forced birth enthusiasts and coat hanger industry lobbyists. Although the vast majority of CPCs are unlicensed, staffed by volunteers with no health credentials, and provide no actual medical services of any kind, many advertise themselves as “medical clinics” on their websites, brochures and signage. They list themselves in directories under abortion care, and deliberately sow confusion with slogans and names similar to those of actual clinics (e.g. “Plan Your Parenthood”). The idea is to trick people seeking abortion services into coming to them instead, so they can try to convince them to have the child. To this end, CPCs freely deploy deceptive and misleading advertisements falsely suggesting they provide abortions and related health-care services.
But the lying doesn’t stop there. Nope! They’re just getting started:
Journalists, medical researchers, congressional investigators, prospective CPC clients, and pro-choice advocates have routinely found that CPCs disseminate false medical information. In a few cases, such information may be based on decades-old studies that have been discredited by more recent research. The information is usually about the supposed health risks of abortion; centers fail to mention that abortion is 11 to 12 times safer than childbirth. Some centers even say that “terminating a pregnancy is far more dangerous than carrying a baby to term”, although the opposite is the case.
One common piece of medical misinformation is the assertion of a link between abortion and breast cancer. One crisis pregnancy center counselor is reported to have told a client that “50 percent of women who have an abortion get breast cancer and 30 percent die within a year of the procedure”; others have claimed a 50% increase, an 80% increase, a doubled increase, a quadrupled increase, or said that a client with breast cancer in her family would certainly get cancer and die if she had an abortion. Major medical bodies (including the National Cancer Institute) say that there is no link between abortion and breast cancer.
Another is the assertion of a link between abortion and mental health problems. CPC counselors are reported to have conveyed various supposed psychological consequences of abortion, including high rates of depression, “post-abortion syndrome”, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide, substance abuse, sexual and relationship dysfunction, propensity to child abuse, and other emotional problems. Figures included a 50% chance of long-term emotional problems or trauma, nine in ten women suffering “post-abortion syndrome”, and a sevenfold increase in the suicide rate; one center said that anyone who had had an abortion was certain to experience mental health problems like those suffered by Vietnam veterans. Neither the American Psychiatric Association nor the American Psychological Association recognizes the existence of “post-abortion syndrome”, and an American Psychological Association review of relevant studies found that “abortion is usually psychologically benign.”
CPCs may also claim that surgical abortion is a dangerous procedure, with a high risk of perforation or infection. One CPC counselor is reported to have told an undercover investigator that a patient was left needing a colostomy bag after her bowel was perforated; several reports mention that a CPC described or depicted a woman dying as a result of the procedure. However, fewer than 0.3% of women who have abortions experience complications that necessitate hospitalization.
The alleged risk of perforation and infection is also part of the assertion that abortion negatively impacts future childbearing, by increasing the risk of infertility, miscarriages, complications, ectopic pregnancy, or fetal health problems. One center claimed that there was a one in four chance of not being able to carry another pregnancy. These claims are not supported by medical data.
Besides false information about health risks of abortion, CPCs have also been found to disseminate misinformation about birth control methods, in particular the idea that contraception and condoms do not work or have harmful effects. Some counselors said that “all condoms are defective and have slots and holes in them” or that they fail “something like 40 percent of the time.” Other centers said that condoms were permeable to HIV or other diseases, or that hormonal contraceptives had abortifacient effects and did long-term harm to women’s health, such as causing infertility, while one said that condoms caused cancer. Some CPCs refuse to counsel on birth control.
Other false information may concern the methodology of pregnancy tests, the advisability of STI testing on pregnant women, the comparative risk, availability, and advisability of abortion at different stages of pregnancy, descriptions of female anatomy, the rate of postpartum depression among women who carry to term, the progression of fetal development, fetal pain, the possibility of getting pregnant from rape, the progression of pregnancy, and the number of pregnancies that end in natural miscarriages.
[citations at the link.]
Religious shitweasels have successfully blocked bills proposed by advocates that would require CPCs to disclose that they “don’t provide medical care, they oppose any birth control except for abstinence, and they refuse to offer abortion referrals to women seeking those services. They killed a bill in 2010 that included a requirement that centers provide “medically accurate information” to women. No, seriously: CPCs are not required to provide medically accurate information. Robert Pearson, the alleged founder of the first CPC, said a woman “has no right to information” that will allow her to have an abortion.
A couple years ago South Dakota enacted a law which would have required a consultation at a crisis pregnancy center first as a precondition to obtaining an abortion. The law was ultimately blocked in court, though I’m sure they’ll try it again. And again. In some cases, judges responsible for granting judicial bypasses to minors have required them to go to a CPC for counseling before having an abortion.
By the way, between 2001 and 2006, over $60 million in federal funds were given to crisis pregnancy centers. I cannot be arsed to look up more recent numbers because FUCK.
So to repeat, Scalia’s wife “has a long history of working closely with crisis pregnancy centers — as a ‘crisis counselor’ and associate director of a center in Virginia, and as a board member of a national crisis pregnancy organization.”
I’ma put ’em both in mah Abattoir, so we can harvest their organs to save lives.