The Raving Theist

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CPCs and JFJs

April 27, 2006 | 20 Comments

Women sometimes “choose” not to have an abortion after talking to a crisis pregnancy clinic volunteer — but we all know that’s not really a “choice” because no woman would voluntarily forgo her right to a constitutionally-guaranteed procedure unless brainwashed into magical thinking. So last month Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney proposed a bill to combat the epidemic of deceptively-procured non-feticides. The measure would prohibit any organization from advertising “abortion services” if it did not actually offer “surgical [or] non-surgical procedures to terminate a pregnancy.” Termination by means other than by birth, presumably.

Rep. Maloney couldn’t round up any of the countless victims of CPC trickery for her press conference announcing the legislation. Apparently the ones who escaped with their lives were all busy at home abusing their unwanted, crib-bound future felons. That, or all the NARAL volunteers who had their sensibilities offended while pretending to be pregnant in prank phone calls to CPCS were in the middle of midterms. However, Maloney’s website did boast the support of the ACLU, whose Washington legislative director declared that “[w]omen deserve truthful, accurate information about their reproductive health care choices.” As opposed to sonograms, which NARAL considers “weapons” of mass confusion.

Maloney’s site still boasts the ACLU’s backing. At this point, however, that information may be a little untruthful and inaccurate. The endorsement apparently wasn’t vetted by the organization’s full board, and looks to have been withdrawn after an outcry by civil libertarians. Of particular note were the comments of the “very strongly pro-choice” ACLU board member Wendy Kaminer:

I think this is precisely the kind of legislation we should be opposing, not supporting. I am troubled by the assumption in the legislation that abortion services, as a matter of linguistics and a matter of law, cannot include discussing with a woman why she shouldn’t have an abortion. I don’t believe the pro-choice movement has the copyright on the term ‘abortion services.’ That seems to me a very clear example of government being the language police.

Heartening to an anti-choice crazy like me, yes, but I began wondering whether there was some sort of trick involved. Do the emanations from the penumbras of the First Amendment really stretch so far as to allow anyone one but Haven volunteers to talk to pregnant women? Fortunately, another ACLU board member, John Brittain, opposed the bill with the clear-headedness I’ve come to expect from pro-choice advocates:

Mr. Brittain said that one board member warned that a ban on deceptive advertising outside the realm of commerce could even affect groups such as Jews for Jesus, which seem Jewish at first glance but are actually Christian. “I could see a free speech principle even in the utmost deception,” said the lawyer.

In other words, convincing a woman that a fetus is a life worth saving, as opposed to a worthless clump of cells, is the “utmost deception.” It’s exactly like the JFJ’s lies about the Jewishness of Jesus, as contrasted with the rock-solid (but conflicting) truths of Judaism and/or Christianity. Magical, but Constitutionally-protected speech.

Comments

20 Responses to “CPCs and JFJs”

  1. Mookie
    April 27th, 2006 @ 12:35 am

    So what should the punishment be for women who choose to have an abortion? What about for the doctor(s) and other staff who help these women have them? Jail time? Severe fines?

    You have yet to address these questions.

    Do you do this just to piss people off? Or do you like being wrong and have everyone tell you so?

  2. Mookie
    April 27th, 2006 @ 12:50 am

    People hate it until they need it.

    http://mypage.direct.ca/w/writer/anti-tales.html

  3. Individin
    April 27th, 2006 @ 3:09 am

    RA, I think you’ve lost your mind. Advertising “abortion services” without the intent or even the ability to ever provide them is misleading. That’s like seeing a sign that says “Free science classes!” only to walk in and find a seminar on creationism. Except that the abortion issue is more immediate. I’m still kind of on the fence about the abortion issue. I don’t think a freshly fertilized lump of cells is a person, but I also don’t think that an 8.5 month old fetus is the same as that clump of cells. That said, your arguments are terrible, and you’re really doing a disservice to whoever you’re trying to argue for with these posts.

    You’ve lost a lot of respect from people who frequent this site, and it’s not because you’ve taken a bold stance for what you believe is right. It’s because your arguments are irrational, and people around here value rationality very highly.

  4. eo
    April 27th, 2006 @ 4:01 am

    Though I usually agree with your abortion posts, I think you’re off on this one. While something like “abortion counseling” might be either pro-abortion or anti-abortion (or neither, theoretically), I don’t see how “abortion services” could reasonably mean anything but performing abortions. To use it to mean something else starts to enter the realm of false advertising.

    Let me ask this: Why should an anti-abortion counselor WANT to advertise themsevles as “abortion services”, knowing that the name would probably be misleading to a lot of people? Don’t get me wrong, I am in favor of women choosing birth over abortion. But I am not in favor of using any kind of lies or trickery to get them to come around to my viewpoint.

  5. Dada Saves
    April 27th, 2006 @ 8:07 am

    TRA is right. Rather than whine about it, the Pro-Death crowd should offer ‘Adoption Services’ for women carrying unwanted Blastocyst-Americans. Once they get her inside the office, they should then ‘adopt’ the cell clump with a little suction action or, if necessary, slice & dice.

    I’d like mine medium-rare please; hold the fries.

  6. HappyNat
    April 27th, 2006 @ 8:46 am

    RA you are being intentionally obtuse, right?

    What if there was a office that offer “pre-natal services” and it was really evil abortionists who wanted to talk would be mothers into having an aborton? Same deal right? Flase advertising to get people in the office either way.

    OK maybe now I’m being intentionally obtuse.

  7. Mister Swill
    April 27th, 2006 @ 12:28 pm

    I’m a lot more lenient toward the idea of CPCs than I am toward the idea of outlawing abortion. After all, the first amendment to our Constitution is supposed to guarantee the right to free expression, and of course people who oppose abortion are entitled to have their say, and if someone who opposes abortion convinces a woman that she’d rather bring her baby to term, I have no objection.

    However, I cannot see how a rational person could condone a CPC being allowed to misrepresent itself as an abortion provider. First of all, some CPCs have allegedly advertised themselves as abortion providers, pretended to set up appointments for abortions, and continuously “re-scheduled” the appointments until the pregnancy wass far enough along that it was no longer legal to abort. Check out page 3 of the PDF on this page.

    But even if you don’t believe the allegations, or believe they represent anomalies, we’re still talking about the basic issue of truthful advertising. The CPC web page to which RA linked a few posts back has a blurb that says “These centers do not offer abortions or abortion referrals,” possibly due to an agreement with the New York Attorney General in 2002. What on Earth is wrong with that? Would RA support any other business — profit or non-profit — explicitly or implicitly advertising a service it does not provide?

    As for the government-as-language-police issue, come on! The government already regulates the phrases used in the advertising and labeling of products from drugs to food to camera film, for Pete’s sake. I suppose one could stretch the definition of “abortion services” to include talking someone out of an abortion, but that seems pretty dicey. I’m sure there exists a label that is accurate but does not scream “steer clear of us!” How about “abortion counseling?”

  8. Choobus
    April 28th, 2006 @ 12:06 am

    Abortion again? Yawn.

    I guess this is the raving part.

  9. Rob
    April 28th, 2006 @ 6:29 am

    I’m with Choobus here and I have a suggestion. When are you going to rant about animal rights? After all, if a life is a life even if its hardly developed, then why distinguish between human and other animals? Seriously, I encounter atheists and agnostics with views all along the animal rights spectrum. If you want to tackle a volatile and irresolvable issue that hasn’t been done to death here (not sure how to phrase this without a pun), I’m up to hearing your opinion on animal rights.

  10. Dada Saves
    April 28th, 2006 @ 7:32 am

    Rob, I don’t think RA’s Magical Thinking extends to non-human life.

  11. Thorngod
    April 28th, 2006 @ 11:40 am

    R.A.: (( In other words, convincing a woman that a fetus is a life worth saving, as opposed to a worthless clump of cells, is the “utmost deception.” ))
    This is not the deception being referred to by the ACLU spokesman. If he is referring to any specific practice, he is alluding to the initial ruse of luring the unsuspecting woman
    into a missionary hall disguised as something else.

  12. Jospeh
    April 28th, 2006 @ 11:48 am

    Mookie,
    The stories in your link remind me of Conservatives who are against porn, they want other people to stop using it – but they also want some one to prevent them from using it. Unless it’s illegal they just won’t have the willpower to avoid it. Makes sense too, since the right doesn’t care about the fetus – they just care about controlling the sex drive. I guess RA is the same.

  13. Christina
    April 28th, 2006 @ 12:57 pm

    Um…. I don’t know of any CPCs that advertise “abortion services.” All the ones I’ve seen say “abortion information,” which they’re all too happy to provide. Especially, say, information about lawsuits against the local quack.

  14. docjmcg2
    April 28th, 2006 @ 1:03 pm

    Jews for Jesus at least has the Jesus reference. Call it Pro-Life Abortion Services, and that would be fine.

  15. Mister Swill
    April 28th, 2006 @ 4:09 pm

    Speaking of quackery, I also believe that any CPC giving medical advice or performing medical procedures (ultrasounds, sonograms, etc.) must be subject to all the same restrictions as any medical clinic. But I think RA agrees with me on this.

  16. Hookflash
    May 1st, 2006 @ 5:09 am

    RA’s still on his “tiny-clumps-of-cells-are-the-same-as-you-and-I” nonsense I see. What a sad, deluded man.

  17. EK
    May 1st, 2006 @ 7:11 am

    Hookflash, you-and-I are just larger-clumps-of-cells. From where are your delusions drawn?

  18. Brian Macker
    May 1st, 2006 @ 2:45 pm

    Rob,

    Yes, I am interested in RA’s opinion on animal rights.

    I’d also like to know his opinion on the haploid phase of the diploid/haploid human life cycle. As every biologist knows, life doesn’t begin at fertilization but is continous. Shouldn’t we be protecting the lives of all those innocent human gametocytes. I know I want to. Shouldn’t Carmen Electra and Natalie Portman be forced to have sex with me so that their oocytes do not suffer premature death and thus fail to live up to their full potential? Don’t my spermatocytes deserve a chance? When will this holocaust end? World wide we are talking about quintillions of human lifeforms dying annually here. :)

  19. Brian Macker
    May 1st, 2006 @ 3:18 pm

    RA, Does the following quote mean that you believe Jesus wasn’t a Jew? That’s news to me.

    “It’s exactly like the JFJ’s lies about the Jewishness of Jesus, as contrasted with the rock-solid (but conflicting) truths of Judaism and/or Christianity.”

    I see no false advertising in the name “Jews for Jesus” because the determining factors for both can overlap. Unlike Christianity ones Jewishness is not determined by belief alone. A persons can be classified a Jew based merely upon maternal bloodline. Thus one can be the offspring of a Jewish mother who is a Christian convert, literally a “Jew for Jesus”.

    One cannot however claim to be providing abortion services when one doesn’t offer abortion services. That is just a straight out lie. Now claiming that you provide “abortion information” is less deceptive because it is more of a white lie. While providing information on why not to get an abortion, which is technically “abortion information”, they are not providing information on how to get an abortion or abortion providers. Now if they claimed to be providing “anti-abortion information” then I wouldn’t think it was a white lie. The opposite argument wouldn’t hold water.

  20. Andy
    May 26th, 2006 @ 12:56 pm

    We should also sue Levitra and Cialis, as well as any other drugs that provide “natural male enhancement”. They had me going that they would make my wang bigger, and all they are are treatments for ED!

    As a penis pump manufacturer, I am outraged that they would deliberately use misinformation to accomplish their goals.

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