When you hear “crisis pregnancy center”, you probably think “anti-choice.” That’s an accurate assumption– from my experience dealing with an unplanned but wanted pregnancy, I’ve seen that crisis pregnancy centers exist only to perpetuate the anti-choice agenda– not to help pregnant women.
As pro-CHOICE feminists, I think that we need to provide more resources to women who have “crisis” or unplanned pregnancies, but do not personally want to go through an abortion. Crisis pregnancy centers shouldn’t try to convince women to carry unwanted pregnancies, but they should provide needed help to underprivileged women who do want to give birth.
What would a feminist crisis pregnancy center look like?
It would be both pro-mother and pro-choice. Once a teen or young
woman has decided that she wants to give birth, she should be respected.
No slut-shaming, no “marry your baby’s daddy,” no fearmongering.
It would promote choices in birthing as well as parenting. Women
would be given access to information about the benefits and risks of
different birthing practices. She should be given access to educational
resources so she can choose her own obstetrician or midwife.
It would offer realistic parenting classes that promote responsible
parenthood while also encouraging women to view themselves as
individuals– with personalities and careers beyond their choice to
It would offer free counseling services to women coping with anxiety
and depression during an unplanned pregnancy. The center could refer
women to psychologist or licensed therapists if the situation mandated
It would encourage pregnant women to view their bodies as beautiful
and sexy. It would provide information about maintaining a good sex life
and a positive body-image before and after pregnancy.
Above all else, it would help women find the financial and material
resources needed to make it through pregnancy and give birth. It would
offer information about the WIC program. Donors could bring baby car
seats, maternity clothes, cribs, nursing bras, breast pumps and canned
goods to help these women.
That’s my vision for a feminist crisis pregnancy center. What are
your visions? What would it take to make it happen?