Those ads that say ‘Scared and pregnant?’ Don’t believe them.

Pregnant? Scared? Seeking an abortion? A lot of women are. Finding out you're pregnant is a life-altering event even when it's planned and welcomed. An overwhelming number of pregnancies, however, are not planned, and there are nearly 750,000 teen pregnancies in America every year. Luckily, in the United States, the right to access abortion services is protected by Roe V. Wade and the 14th Amendment.

However, that doesn't mean actually getting an abortion is always easy. Far from it. There are a lot of sneaky ways anti-abortion advocates try to prevent women from exercising that constitutionally protected right.


You've probably seen billboards or ads online that say things like "Pregnant? Scared? We can help." They're specifically designed to attract women who are pregnant, scared, and seeking abortions. And unfortunately, they often work.

Unfortunately because, chances are, the ad belongs to what's called a "crisis pregnancy center."

Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) are not at all what they seem, as this recent video from Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency explains.

"Don't visit a crisis pregnancy center. It's a trap," Sarkeesian warns.

These centers, she explains, are run by anti-abortion organizations and have a single goal: to convince and trick women into carrying their pregnancies to term by any means necessary and even sometimes against their will. Vulnerable women seeking to terminate their pregnancies come in with promises of free guidance, medical care, and support but instead face guilting and delaying tactics designed to steer them away from abortions.

CPCs also peddle false information about birth control and sex itself, often without a qualified medical professional anywhere to be found. A woman coming to a CPC looking for medical care or advice with the intention of keeping her pregnancy would likely find little help from the staff there. According to NARAL, some CPCs do offer some limited medical services, such as ultrasounds, though they are "generally not used as a diagnostic tool, but as another means of shame and coercion."

Another shocking fact: There are over 1,500 such centers across the country, meaning they far outnumber actual abortion clinics.

That's exactly the way anti-abortion organizations want it.

"The agenda? Prevent people from exercising their legal and moral right to determine whether a pregnancy is right for them," Sarkeesian says.

Even if you do oppose abortion on moral or religious grounds, lying, manipulating, and tricking people with fake medical advice is reckless, amoral, and downright dangerous.

As Sarkeesian points out, we'd never let this kind of unregulated practice fly in any other circumstance. Yet CPCs remain totally legal and poorly supervised.

"There's a very good reason we don't allow just any yahoo off the street to throw up crisis medical centers for heart disease, diabetes, or cancer," she says. "Because it would be ethically and medically disastrous. And totally bonkers."

The ads for CPCs do get one thing right: There are a lot of very frightened women out there facing surprising and unwanted pregnancies. What they need is sound medical advice and unbiased information to help them make the decision that is right for them — whether that means keeping the pregnancy or terminating it.

If you want to do more than just steer clear of shady CPCs, you can throw your support behind organizations like Planned Parenthood and NARAL, both of which work tirelessly to protect women's reproductive rights.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Yesterday I was perusing comments on an Upworthy article about Joe Biden comforting the son of a Parkland shooting victim and immediately had flashbacks to the lead-up of the 2016 election. In describing former vice President Biden, some commenters were using the words "criminal," "corrupt," and "pedophile—exactly the same words people used to describe Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I remember being baffled so many people were so convinced of Clinton's evil schemes that they genuinely saw the documented serial liar and cheat that she was running against as the lesser of two evils. I mean, sure, if you believe that a career politician had spent years being paid off by powerful people and was trafficking children to suck their blood in her free time, just about anything looks like a better alternative.

But none of that was true.

It's been four years and Hillary Clinton has been found guilty of exactly none of the criminal activity she was being accused of. Trump spent every campaign rally leading chants of "Lock her up!" under the guise that she was going to go to jail after the election. He's been president for nearly four years now, and where is Clinton? Not in jail—she's comfy at home, occasionally trolling Trump on Twitter and doing podcasts.

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
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Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

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Racist jokes are one of the more frustrating manifestations of racism. Jokes in general are meant to be a shared experience, a connection over a mutual sense of humor, a rush of feel-good chemicals that bond us to those around us through laughter.

So when you mix jokes with racism, the result is that racism becomes something light and fun, as opposed to the horrendous bane that it really is.

The harm done with racist humor isn't just the emotional hurt they can cause. When a group of white people shares jokes at the expense of a marginalized or oppressed racial group, the power of white supremacy is actually reinforced—not only because of the "punching down" nature of such humor, but because of the group dynamics that work in favor of maintaining the status quo.

British author and motivational speaker Paul Scanlon shared a story about interrupting a racist joke at a table of white people at an event in the U.S, and the lessons he drew from it illustrate this idea beautifully. Watch:

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With the election quickly approaching, the importance of voting and sending in your ballot on time is essential. But there is another way you can vote everyday - by being intentional with each dollar you spend. Support companies and products that uphold your values and help create a more sustainable world. An easy move is swapping out everyday items that are often thrown away after one use or improperly disposed of.

Package Free Shop has created products to help fight climate change one cotton swab at a time! Founded by Lauren Singer, otherwise known as, "the girl with the jar" (she initially went viral for fitting 8 years of all of the waste she's created in one mason jar). Package Free is an ecosystem of brands on a mission to make the world less trashy.

Here are eight of our favorite everyday swaps:

1. Friendsheep Dryer Balls - Replace traditional dryer sheets with these dryer balls that are made without chemicals and conserve energy. Not only do these also reduce dry time by 20% but they're so cute and come in an assortment of patterns!

Package Free Shop

2. Last Swab - Replacement for single use plastic cotton swabs. Nearly 25.5 billion single use swabs are produced and discarded every year in the U.S., but not this one. It lasts up to 1,000 uses as it's able to be cleaned with soap and water. It also comes in a biodegradable, corn based case so you can use it on the go!

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