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19 Cardozo J.L. & Gender 933 (2012-2013)
Crisis Pregnancy Centers: Impeding the Right to Informed Decision Making

handle is hein.journals/cardw19 and id is 981 raw text is: CRISIS PREGNANCY CENTERS: IMPEDING THE
RIGHT TO INFORMED DECISION MAKING
ALICE X. CHEN*
INTRODUCTION
Amy K., a twenty-one year old woman, was approximately two weeks
pregnant when she decided to seek an abortion in New York City, New York. 1 She
visited the address of a Planned Parenthood that offered the procedure. Instead of
walking into the Planned Parenthood office, she unknowingly entered a crisis
pregnancy center (CPC) that was purposefully located in the same building.2
The waiting room was made to look like a children's playhouse[,] the office had
a receptionist's desk, and there was at least one bed that looked very much like it
was in a doctor's office.3
Amy requested a medical abortion. Instead, she received pamphlets full of
graphic abortion images. A staff member immediately performed a sonogram on
Amy and forced her to listen to the fetal heartbeat. Although Amy was less than
one month into her pregnancy, the CPC's staff member lied to her, informing her
that she was three and a half months pregnant. The staff member encouraged Amy
to continue the pregnancy, telling her, I think you're going to be a really great
mother, and asking, Wouldn't your mother love to take care of this baby?4 As
Amy became increasingly distraught about her pregnancy, another staff member
took advantage of her emotional vulnerability to encourage her to have the baby.
The CPC provided Amy with a sonogram image and instructed her to return with
her boyfriend.
Amy never revisited the pregnancy center and ultimately obtained an
abortion elsewhere. Reflecting upon her experience, she explained,
[flor me, there was a difference between being sure what I wanted and
being sure how I felt about it. I knew that I did not want to have a child
J.D. Candidate, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, 2013; B.A. Wellesley College, 2009. The
Author would like to thank her parents for their encouragement and support.
I Amy K., The Time I Tried to get an Abortion from a Crisis Pregnancy Center, JEZEBEL.COM
(Sept. 21, 2011), http://jezebel.com/5842125/the-time-i-tried-to-get-an-abortion-from-a-crisis-
pregnancy-center.
2 Id.
3 Id.
4 Id.

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