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Texas pregnancy centers offer mixed messages by offering abortifacient contraceptives

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TEXAS, November 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – As the Trump administration opens the door to legitimate health organizations receiving money that previously went to the abortion industry, pro-life pregnancy centers are hoping to seize the opportunity to grow. But one Texas-based pregnancy center alliance is trying to do so with an inconsistent stand on birth-control methods that can function as abortifacients.

In February, the Trump administration finalized the Protect Life Rule, which requires “clear financial and physical separation between Title X-funded projects and programs or facilities where abortion is a method of family planning” and bans “referral for abortion as a method of family planning.”

The rule is projected to cut almost $60 million from the $563.8 million Planned Parenthood received during the most recent fiscal year, provoking multiple lawsuits and leading Planned Parenthood to voluntarily withdraw from the program rather than comply with the new conditions.

That money can now be redirected to health providers that aren’t involved in abortions, which dramatically outnumber Planned Parenthood locations in every state. Among those providers is The Source, a chain of eight Christian pregnancy centers that tells the Washington Post it refuses to make abortion referrals but “plans to offer a full array of medical services, to include testing for sexually transmitted diseases, first-trimester prenatal care and contraception choices.”

The Source rejects the premise that offering contraception encourages promiscuity, and frames its services as an intentional contrast from the rest of the pro-life movement. “It helps to show that not every pro-life activist says, ‘Put an aspirin between your legs and don’t have sex,’” said OB/GYN and Source board member Ingrid Skop.

Most pro-lifers argue that birth control is already widely available in the U.S., and that promoting it even more will actually increase unintended pregnancies by encouraging people unprepared for parenthood to engage in “safe sex” instead of abstinence, as studies have shown.

The chain also says it will provide a range of contraceptive methods including pills, injections, and intrauterine devices (IUDs), but draws the line at Plan B due to its abortifacient nature. But Plan B isn’t the only contraceptive method with abortive potential; IUDs, for instance, can also function by preventing an already-conceived embryo from implanting in a woman’s uterine lining, resulting in death.

Students for Life of America president Kristan Hawkins responded by telling the Post she agrees with the need for pro-lifers to improve a “damaged brand” regarding the movement’s care for women, but rejects The Source’s embrace of contraception. “The contraceptive mentality is what has led to abortion in America today,” she said. “Loving a woman and empowering her is not putting her on a drug.”

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