It was so ambiguously worded that I almost didn't catch it at first. Or maybe it was just the unrelenting 100-degree heat every day this week? Or maybe I've just grown so accustomed to those enterprising evangelical Christians and their creative propaganda on this issue. I clearly am not on top of my game.
Whatever the case, and I suspect it was the latter, here was the headline from AP:
"Report: Women misled on abortion risks."
When I read that the hairs on my pretty little head stood right up. What? Are there health problems related to abortion we didn't know about? I seriously doubted it but for the tiniest half-second I got panicky. And then very quickly my reporting instincts kicked in and I recovered my faculties.
Those folks at AP could really use some new headline writers!
Women are being misled, all right, but not on any real health risks regarding abortion. Because as objective medical science has repeatedly demonstrated there aren't any. But who cares about basic medical facts when you're peddling fear and ideology?
According to a report issued Monday by Democrats on the House Government Reform Committee, young women who call pregnancy centers run by an evangelical group called Care Net are routinely lied to about the physical and mental health effects of abortion.
These are not silly little while lies, like you might experience dizziness, a slight fever, a sniffle or two. But big bad whopping lies, like abortion leads to a greater risk of breast cancer. And abortion causes increased infertility. And abortion leads to severe lifelong emotional trauma.
Imagine being a scared teen and being told by an adult: If you have an abortion, you might never be able to have children. Do you think you'd question that adult for a second? Do you think you wouldn't be intimidated? Do you think you'd say to yourself, 'Well, honey, there's really nothing to worry about because the person at the pregnancy clinic is full of shit'?
The report came about after some congressional aides posing as pregnant 17-year-olds called 25 pregnancy centers across the country run by Care Net. When I think that my daughter in a few years could be one of those callers or some of my friends' daughters, it makes me sick. But then she probably wouldn't be calling one of those awful places anyway because she wouldn't have to. She has me to talk to. Still, it's truly frightening what these people are up to. One center told an aide the remarkable statistic that the risk of cancer after an abortion could be 80 percent higher!
The centers, by the way, apparently have no conflict when it comes to accepting federal funds to dispense their religious version of the truth. But why would they?
All I can say is thank God for Rep. Henry Waxman of LA, who had the guts to expose this shameless scam. But now Democrats need to go one step further. Put Care Net out of the women's health-care business. Which it never was in to begin with.
As Waxman said, "It's wrong to pour millions of dollars into organizations that are providing false information to teenagers."