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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.

Pop Culture

She bought the perfect wedding dress that went viral on TikTok. It was only $3.75

Lynch is part of a growing line of newlyweds going against the regular wedding tradition of spending loads of money.

Making a priceless memory

Upon first glance, one might think that Jillian Lynch wore a traditional (read: expensive) dress to her wedding. After all, it did look glamorous on her. But this 32-year-old bride has a secret superpower: thrifting.

Lynch posted her bargain hunt on TikTok, sharing that she had been perusing thrift shops in Ohio for four days in a row, with the actual ceremony being only a month away. Lynch then displays an elegant ivory-colored Camila Coelho dress. Fitting perfectly, still brand new and with the tags on it, no less.

You can find that exact same dress on Revolve for $220. Lynch bought it for only $3.75.
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This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.