A woman facing an unplanned pregnancy might feel like the walls are closing in on her. Friends and relatives may be pressuring her to act quickly. Concerns about finances, educational plans, and a lack of support may weigh her down. She may feel like abortion is necessary—not a “choice.”
What she needs is a place where she can take a deep breath and discover all her choices.
Since 1983, Choices Pregnancy Centers, in the Phoenix area, has been such a place. Choices is a non-profit, privately funded community health center where caring staff members listen to women and provide them with information and resources so they can make the best decision for their future.
Without the type of critical support and information that Choices provides, many women decide to abort their children—only to deeply regret it later. Choices knows this well. That’s why it also provides post-abortion support to women struggling with the many psychological issues that can follow an abortion.
Sadly, not all Arizona women facing an unplanned pregnancy know about pregnancy centers like Choices. And a lawsuit Planned Parenthood filed in Arizona threatens to close an important window of opportunity for a woman to discover her real choices before she turns to abortion.What Women Need to Know
Before a woman undergoes an abortion to end her child’s life, Arizona law requires that abortion providers tell her certain critical information about her unborn child, the abortion procedure, and available alternatives, and give her at least 24 hours to reflect and research after receiving that information. This helps ensure that women considering an abortion are afforded the time and facts they need to make a fully informed decision.
For example, abortion providers must tell a woman agencies and services are available to assist her during pregnancy and after birth if she chooses not to have an abortion. They must also tell her about a website listing those agencies and that a printout of that list is available free of charge.
Choices Pregnancy Centers is one of the many places on that list. Many women who visit Choices or similar organizations choose not to have an abortion. And, for the nation’s largest abortion provider, that’s bad for business.
So, it’s no surprise that Planned Parenthood is suing Arizona to strike down a law guaranteeing women a day to explore their choices.Planned Parenthood Wants Fewer Choices
If Planned Parenthood is successful, women will suffer.
If women are not given time to visit places like Choices Pregnancy Centers or to explore the choices available to them, more women will feel pressured into an abortion. Choices won’t be able to help as many women slow down, consider all the information, learn about the many available resources, and make the best decision. This will lead to more women facing the crushing psychological effects of abortion regret.
Thankfully, on March 2, a federal district court granted Choices’ request to intervene in the case and help defend Arizona’s informed consent law.
Women deserve an opportunity to reflect and investigate before making a life-altering decision. Denying women that opportunity denies them real choice.
This article was originally published at adflegal.org.