Crisis pregnancy centers are faith-based clinics that masquerade as legitimate women's health centers but are really run by anti-abortion advocates who lure in low-income women with promises of free (and vague) medical care but don't actually provide them with or refer for abortions and contraception. They don't like to advertise exactly what they do, either, because then women who actually want to know about all of their options might get too freaked out to hear fake facts about abortion.
A crisis pregnancy center in Vermont was recently denied a government loan because the USDA was concerned about their learning program called "Learn to Earn," which made expectant parents take a certain number of parenting and Bible study classes in order to receive free baby supplies.
According to RH Reality Check:
The material explained that if expectant parents attended 12 parenting classes and 12 Bible study classes in a 15-week period, they could earn "baby and mommy care necessities"-like baby clothes and baby furniture. If clients completed the required number of classes in the required time frame, they could choose one "large item" from a list. Clients could also choose a "medium item" if their partners attended all of the classes and a "small item" if they and their partners complete all of the homework. In one letter to the USDA, Chechile said that Care Net "sometimes" makes "slight adjustments" to the Learn to Earn requirements-for example, substituting "some extra Parenting Classes in for some of the Bible Study Classes."
Care Net, which clearly is unfamiliar with the concept of "separation between Church and State," says the USDA's actions violated the Fair Housing Act and its constitutional rights to free speech. It'sreal goal, the clinic argues, is simply to "share the truth and love of Jesus Christ in conjunction with a ministry to those facing pregnancy related issues."
Hey, share the love of Jesus all you want — just share some totally free baby supplies along with it if you want to buy them with government money! Or, you know, put up some signage that makes it clear that you're a faith-based organization that turns social work into a rewards-based Sunday School for new parents and not a legitimate woman's health clinic.
(Image via Care Net).