+

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: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

Honorees, speakers and guests on stage at We the Peoples

True

Some people say that while change is inevitable, progress is a choice. In other words, it’s a purposeful act—like when American media mogul and philanthropist Ted Turner established the United Nations Foundation 25 years ago.

Keep ReadingShow less

Chris Hemsworth and daughter.

This article originally appeared on 08.27.18


In addition to being the star of Marvel franchise "Thor," actor Chris Hemsworth is also a father-of-three? And it turns out, he's pretty much the coolest dad ever.

In a clip from a 2015 interview on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Hemsworth shared an interesting conversation he had with his 4-year-old daughter India.

Keep ReadingShow less
True

Innovation is awesome, right? I mean, it gave us the internet!

However, there is always a price to pay for modernization, and in this case, it’s in the form of digital eye strain, a group of vision problems that can pop up after as little as two hours of looking at a screen. Some of the symptoms are tired and/or dry eyes, headaches, blurred vision, and neck and shoulder pain1. Ouch!

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

A 92-year-old World War II fighter pilot flies her plane for the first time in 70 years.

"It's the closest thing to having wings of your own and flying that I've known."

Photo pulled from BBC YouTube video

World War II vet flys again.

This article originally appeared on 05.19.15


More than 70 years after the war, a 92-year-old World War II veteran took to the sky once again.

It's been decades since her last flight, but Joy Lofthouse, a 92-year-old Air Transport Auxiliary veteran, was given the chance to board a Spitfire airplane for one more trip.


Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 08.20.21


Sometimes you see something so mind-boggling you have to take a minute to digest what just happened in your brain. Be prepared to take that moment while watching these videos.

Real estate investor and TikTok user Tom Cruz shared two videos explaining the spreadsheets he and his friends use to plan vacations and it's...well...something. Watch the first one:

So "Broke Bobby" makes $125,000 a year. There's that.

How about the fact that his guy has more than zero friends who budget $80,000 for a 3-day getaway? Y'all. I wouldn't know how to spend $80,000 in three days if you paid me to. Especially if we're talking about a trip with friends where we're all splitting the cost. Like what does this even look like? Are they flying in private jets that burn dollar bills as fuel? Are they bathing in hot tubs full of cocaine? I genuinely don't get it.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Someone asked strangers online to share life's essential lessons. Here are the 17 best.

There's a bit of advice here for everyone—from financial wisdom to mental health tips.

Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

Failure is a great teacher.

It’s true that life never gets easier, and we only get continuously better at our lives. Childhood’s lessons are simple—this is how you color in the lines, 2 + 2 = 4, brush your teeth twice a day, etc. As we get older, lessons keep coming, and though they might still remain simple in their message, truly understanding them can be difficult. Often we learn the hard way.

The good news is, the “hard way” is indeed a great teacher. Learning the hard way often involves struggle, mistakes and failure. While these feelings are undeniably uncomfortable, being patient and persistent enough to move through them often leaves us not only wiser in having gained the lesson, but more confident, assured and emotionally resilient. If that’s not growth, I don’t know what is.

Keep ReadingShow less