Saturday, July 22, 2006

HHS Misleads Teens on Medical Risks of Abortion

Federally funded pregnancy centers mislead pregnant teens about the medical risks of abortion, according to a report released this week by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA).

Female investigators posing as pregnant 17-year-olds seeking advice telephoned "crisis pregnancy centers" that receive funding from the Department of Health and Human Services. Twenty of 23 centers reached "provided false or misleading information about the health effects of abortion," said the report.

The report says there were three major topics of misinformation: first, the purported relationship between abortion and breast cancer; second, the purported relationship between abortion and infertility; and third, the purported relationship between abortion and mental illness.

According to the investigators, in one instance, a center compared the post-traumatic stress of an abortion to that seen in soldiers returning from Vietnam and said that it "is something that anyone who's had an abortion is sure to suffer from."

"This tactic may be effective in frightening pregnant teenagers and women and discouraging abortion," the report concludes. "But it denies teenagers and women vital health information, prevents them from making an informed decision, and is not an accepted public health practice."

– Maddy Sauer. ABC News

Ed.: The Bush Admin strikes again! Hmmm... scare teens into having their unwanted children, but don't provide any medical help or financial assistance for them to take care of these children. I don't personally believe in abortion, but I do believe in choice; further, I believe teens especially need truthful information from their doctors – and all medical professionals, government funded or not, should be free to provide truthful information – in order to make an informed choice. More manipulation by 'the man.'

UPDATE: Adding insult to injury, a bill that would make it a crime to take a pregnant girl across state lines for an abortion without her parents' knowledge passed the Senate (Tuesday, July 24). Republican sponsors said the bill supports what a majority of the public believes: that a parent's right to know takes precedence over a young woman's right to have an abortion. Democrats complained that the measure was the latest in a series of bills designed chiefly to energize the GOP's base of conservative voters and spent the day trying to carve out an exemption for confidants to whom a girl with abusive parents might turn for help. It was rejected in floor negotiations. "Congress ought to have higher priorities than turning grandparents into criminals," said U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass.

During the debate leading up to the vote, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) provided these eye-opening stats:

  • Great Britain– the teen pregnancy rate is 47 young women per 1,000
  • Canada – the teen pregnancy rate is 46 young women per 1,000
  • Sweden – the teen pregnancy rate is 25 young women per 1,000
  • France– the teen pregnancy rate is 20 young women per 1,000
  • Germany – the teen pregnancy rate is 16 young women per 1,000
  • Belgium– the teen pregnancy rate is 14 young women per 1,000
  • Netherlands– the teen pregnancy rate is 12 young women per 1,000
  • U.S. – the teen pregnancy rate is 84 young women per 1,000

Ed.: So, let me make sure I understand this – those countries that are the least uptight about sex-education have the lowest teen pregnancy rates. Hmmm…

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