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First Concern Pregnancy Resource Center logo
First Concern Pregnancy Resource Center

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  • Nominator
    Nominated Cause
  • #3683

    Maggie
    Spectator
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    This is the official discussion thread for the cause First Concern Pregnancy Resource Center. Its EIN is 04-3091048 and it's a public charity based in Clinton, MA. Research more info about the cause on GuideStar and Charity Navigator.

    First Concern Pregnancy Resource Center logo
    We offer confidential, free pregnancy tests and peer counseling in Central Mass.

    At one point in my life, I was 18 and pregnant, and really wish I had known a place like this. From their website:

    “Since its inception, First Concern Pregnancy Resource Center has helped women and men of all ages who face planned and unplanned pregnancies. We offer confidential, free pregnancy tests and peer counseling. We also offer after abortion counseling, information about local resources, a mothers’ support group, father mentoring, parenting classes, and an interactive abstinence presentation for schools.

    OUR MISSION

    We exist to empower individuals to make informed choices and to extend help in situations where the beginning of new life has brought hardship or confusion instead of joy. Our mission is to confidentially provide honest, accurate and complete information that will help people make good choices about pregnancy, abortion and sexual behavior.

    First Concern Pregnancy Resource Center is a non-profit organization. The options counseling, parent education, and life-affirming support we provide is free because of community support. If you have questions about our organization, please reach out to us today.”

    Also read Charitocracy's blog post about First Concern Pregnancy Resource Center!
  • Commenter
    Comments
  • #3691

    Nancy P
    Participant

    From the AMA Journal of Ethics.

    Crisis pregnancy centers are organizations that seek to intercept women with unintended pregnancies who might be considering abortion. Their mission is to prevent abortions by persuading women that adoption or parenting is a better option. They strive to give the impression that they are clinical centers, offering legitimate medical services and advice, yet they are exempt from regulatory, licensure, and credentialing oversight that apply to health care facilities. Because the religious ideology of these centers’ owners and employees takes priority over the health and well-being of the women seeking care at these centers, women do not receive comprehensive, accurate, evidence-based clinical information about all available options. Although crisis pregnancy centers enjoy First Amendment rights protections, their propagation of misinformation should be regarded as an ethical violation that undermines women’s health.
    <h3>What Are Crisis Pregnancy Centers?</h3>
    Drive down any highway in America, and you might see a sign: “Pregnant? Scared? Call 1-800-555-5555.” Most often, these signs are advertisements for crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs). CPCs, sometimes known as “pregnancy resource centers,” “pregnancy care centers,” “pregnancy support centers,” or simply “pregnancy centers,” are organizations that seek to intercept women with unintended or “crisis” pregnancies who might be considering abortion. Their mission is typically to prevent abortions by persuading women that adoption or parenting is a better option [1, 2]. One of the first CPCs opened in 1967 in Hawaii [3].

    Most CPCs are religiously affiliated [4], and a majority are affiliated with a network or umbrella organization such as Birthright International, Care Net, Heartbeat International, or the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates [1, 3]. These umbrella organizations offer legal support, ultrasound training, and other services to CPCs. With an estimated 1,969 network-affiliated CPCs in the US in 2010 [1], CPCs outnumber abortion clinics, which were estimated at 327 as of 2011 [5]. Many state governments fund CPCs through mechanisms such as “Choose Life” specialty license plates and grants, and many also receive federal funding [3, 6].

    In this article, we will argue that both the lack of patient-centered care and deceptive practices make CPCs unethical. We will first highlight the discrepancy between the lack of standards for quality of care provided by CPCs and the innumerable restrictions on abortion clinics. We then show that CPCs violate principles of medical ethics, despite purpor

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  • #3692

    MegaMom104
    Participant

    Just to make sure everyone’s clear on this:

    This center counsels people away from abortion. This is not an unbiased counseling group which suggests many options and encourages the person or people to make their own choice.

    This specifically teaches abstinence and seeks to prevent abortions, no matter what might be best for the family or parent.

    I’m not going to judge – but I want it to be clear that this is NOT an unbiased counseling group.

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    • #3720

      Maggie
      Spectator

      Not everyone will find themselves unexpectedly pregnant, but if you don’t abstain from sex, it CAN happen. It happened to me.
      Teaching abstinence didn’t work for me. Maybe it has worked for someone, somewhere, and I’m glad that person didn’t have a tough decision to make, but I did.
      Not everyone who gets unexpectedly pregnant wants an abortion, and people facing the same situation would be well-served to get as much information as they can about every choice they have, because whatever they choose, they will have to live with it for a long time!
      (My unexpected baby is now 27. She’s a doctor in NYC. I’m proud, but if she still lived with me and couldn’t hold down a job, I would love her just as much, and never regret a single minute of her beautiful existence!)
      This organization is a WONDERFUL help to so many families who find themselves unprepared for a new life to join theirs. Yes, they DO help parents who choose the path of having their child acquire the care, skills, and resources they need to begin to negotiate parenthood successfully, and no, they do not perform abortions. They also do not pretend that option does not exist, and they certainly have clients who have already had abortions. Not everyone who has made that choice feels at peace about it—some people need post-abortion support, and they can get that from First Concern.
      Abortion is NOT the only choice, and for those people who need help figuring out how anything else could possibly work, First Concern is amazing.
      I have to say, when I was 18 and pregnant, I faced a lot of negativity. People were embarrassed by me. People that cared about me made sure I knew I could get an abortion. I wasn’t ok inside myself with that, but quite honestly, the kind of support available to me was “here’s some prenatal vitamins. Don’t drink too much alcohol. You’re going to be poor now. Good luck.” I had to figure out a lot of things on my own, and I didn’t really have anyone to talk to about my feelings.

      I understand that not everyone agrees about this extremely  delicate subject, (women’s reproductive health,) but I’m a woman, and I have reproduced. I have had sex at inappropriate times at an inappropriate preparedness level—emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially. People like me exist, and they need help, too. First Concern can be that help.

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    • #3723

      babycatcher
      Spectator

      I do think it is essential for Charitocracy to vet the wording in each nominee’s description for its accuracy and honesty.  This group is NOT unbiased, yet phrases its words in a way that would lead one to believe you will receive non-judgemental guidance from them.  Charitocracy, I do hope you will have them change their description to a more honest description.

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    • #3724

      Benj
      Keymaster

      I don’t have the resources to personally investigate the nominees as far as truth in advertising goes.  In my blog post linked above, I did talk about the anti-abortion bias of “crisis pregnancy centers” and “pregnancy resource centers” in general:

      Please familiarize yourself with the definition of pregnancy resource centers, also known as crisis pregnancy centers. These nonprofit organizations “typically run by Christians who adhere to a strictly socially conservative viewpoint” … “are established to persuade pregnant women against having an abortion” and “have also frequently been found to disseminate false medical information, usually about the supposed physical and mental health risks of abortion.” (See Wikipedia page for references.)

      Whether this information makes you more or less likely to want to vote for First Concern is a very personal decision. But since their web site (quoted below) doesn’t explicitly mention steering clients away from abortion, I figured I should mention that’s the typical pattern. Note that I have no direct knowledge of First Concern specifically. Beyond counseling, it appears that First Concern offers other valuable services to their community. So, now you know, and knowing is half the battle! (The other half is lasers.)

      Since I have no experience with this organization, I can’t say how judgmental they are, how strongly they steer clients toward particular options, etc. Nothing in the description appears to be objectively false. I’m personally skeptical how “honest, accurate, and complete” the information they provide their clients is, but that’s just not enough for me to make educated edits.

      In lieu of editing things from my position of ignorance, if you do have experience with First Concern you could share, or links to more information about them, that would be the best way to balance and advance the discussion here!

      And thanks to everyone who cares enough to learn and swap knowledge about nominees at Charitocracy, not least of which the nominator, whose personal story is welcome and honored here despite criticism of the nominated cause. ❤️

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    • #4184

      Bethany
      Participant

      There is no shortage of dissuasion to have abortions in the US, especially with the way the Supreme Court is ruling these days.  The last thing Charitocracy (meaning this group of donors) needs to be doing is putting money behind initiatives, such as First Concern Pregnancy Resource Center, that create barriers for women (even if only instilling personal guilt), rather than removing them and truly providing CHOICES.

      I’d encourage people to put their votes behind organisations that make the world more equitable, like Planned Parenthood and places that truly support and provide safe services for women’s reproductive rights.

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      • This reply was modified 11 months ago by  Bethany.
    • #4186

      Maggie
      Spectator

      My mistake. I was under the impression that each of us have the same representation in this charitable democracy, one vote. Please people, feel free to vote and nominate as you see fit! We all have different viewpoints, isn’t that the crux? Different things to read about and vote on?
      I am personally disgusted that anyone would suggest that “this group of donors” should not be supporting some certain causes, based on your political beliefs about what is happening in the Supreme Court.
      I personally find Planned Parenthood abhorrent, yet when MY money went there because of the majority vote in “this group of donors,” I respected the system here. If this turns into another place where certain charitable organizations are vilified because they stand for something some people don’t agree with, you can bet I will take my democracy dollars and give them ALL to only the charities I like.

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    • #4304

      Nancy P
      Participant

      https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/why-crisis-pregnancy-centers-are-legal-unethical/2018-03

       

      this says it all. Journal of Ethics, American medical association.

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    • #4307

      Maggie
      Spectator

      It doesn’t actually say “it all.” Here’s some more:
      https://www.care-net.org/abundant-life-blog/a-picture-of-academic-bias-against-pregnancy-centers

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  • #4188

    Bethany
    Participant

    I’m sorry you took such personal offense to my post Maggie – I’m just using this platform in the way I understand it’s meant to be used: to canvas votes towards causes we, as individuals, care about.

    But you bring up a great point – I certainly struggle to reconcile lobbying on behalf of Planned Parenthood and then having even a single dollar of mine going to cause that undermines my values and the work of PP.  It seems to me that First Concern Pregnancy Resource deliberately misrepresents itself by using disingenuous language, and I’m uncomfortable with that.  I’d like to believe that previous Planned Parenthood voters would be too.

    It is a real challenge with this platform and all I can say is that yes, we have the freedom to pull our donations or we can start a dialogue and seek to persuade other voters to see our point of view.

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    • #4305

      Maggie
      Spectator

      Sorry, replied to wrong post, deleted to move to correct spot.

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      • This reply was modified 8 months ago by  Maggie. Reason: Moved it
  • #4215

    damianf
    Participant

    I agree with Bethany. My main issue with “pregnancy crisis centers” in general is not that I disagree with their stance on abortion — it is that they misrepresent themselves as somehow being objective and placing mothers’ welfare first, without making their agenda clear. Worse, they do this both to mothers in crisis AND to donors.

    That said, I have no experience with this particular organization, but my research suggests that it follows the pattern.

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  • #4309

    Nancy P
    Participant

    My simple question

    Does  this organization support a Womens Reproductive Rights which includes the right to terminate her pregnancy.

     

     

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  • #4391

    Marthaek
    Participant

    I think everyone who has contributed to this thread is a caring individual.  Thank you.  In my opinion, everyone is correct.  Unfortunately, in our mainstream culture, a lot of people feel entitled to judge others.  A woman with an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy seems to be a favorite target.  An organization that helps and truly supports a woman who has made the tough decision to continue her pregnancy and parenting of a child, despite the hardships, is invaluable and a blessing.  These same organizations should be upfront about their excellent strengths/resources, mission and preference for a continued pregnancy.  Thanks Maggie for giving us the opportunity to understand more about this through your personal experience.

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  • #4419

    RoamX
    Participant

    Anyone who is Pro Choice should recognize that many pregnancies are wanted, and taken to term, despite being unintended.  These days, it is so easy to stumble upon suspicious sources of information on the internet.  But since it has figured prominently in previous comments, I will quote a couple of sentences from the article “Why Crisis Pregnancy Centers are Legal but Unethical”:

    “As nonprofit organizations, CPCs have the right to exist. Indeed, they could provide a valuable resource for some women, particularly those seeking material support for a pregnancy they plan to continue [33].”

    If we look a little closer at this excerpt and refer to its reference [33], “What Women Seek from a Pregnancy Resource Center”, we read the authors’ conclusion:

    “PRC [Pregnancy Resource Center] clients largely sought parenting, not pregnancy, resources. The underutilization of pregnancy-options counseling and high demand for parenting materials and services point to unmet needs among caregivers of young children, particularly for diapers. Our findings are limited in their generalizability to typical PRCs, which are conservative Christian and antiabortion. Nonetheless, our results suggest the need to rethink the allocation of resources toward funding or eliminating PRCs solely for the purpose of influencing women’s decisions about abortion.”

    This study, referenced by a scholarly AMA journal article, found that most users aren’t contemplating or seeking abortions.  They are seeking assistance to follow through on their Choice.  They are receiving services that they find beneficial.  Isn’t that sufficient justification to make a donation to this similar organization nominated by Maggie?

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  • #4420

    Bethany
    Participant

    You make a valid point RoamX, but I still have issues with the disingenuous language this organisation uses.  Even your article’s title notes the ethical issues underpinning crisis pregnancy centres and transparency is of the utmost importance, especially for people in vulnerable situations.

    I think it’s also important to note that organisations like Planned Parenthood are supporting all women of all faiths and backgrounds to have access to the resources they need, including the support to keep going with the pregnancy.  Again, the key is in the title.

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  • #4479

    Robin
    Participant

    Agree with Bethany here.

    RoamX points out that these *crisis centers* really do help with diapers + other material needs for people who want to parent, those who choose to continue with their pregnancy to term.

    That’s a welcome social service and should have no ideological/theological agenda. Parents do have serious economic burdens when raising a child, many are in economic crisis.

    Helping is great. Deception is fraud. Market your service accordingly. If giving away strollers or cribs is what you offer prospective parents of wanted children, say that. Maybe people would want to donate — but if your intention is to scare people who aren’t aligned with your demands for them — do not — tell them they can’t or shouldn’t follow through on their decisions to proceed with abortion care.

    In other words, don’t be frauds. Just be honest and forthright with everyone, including donors at Charitocracy. +

     

     

     

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