GREELEY – Isabel Serafin hid the “pregnant pee” under her clothes, sealed in a glass container surrounded by handwarmers. She kept her phone in her pocket, recording audio, as she walked into the pregnancy center waiting room.
The University of Northern Colorado student was on an undercover mission to find out what happens when a young woman who fears she is pregnant visits The Resource Center, a religious-based, anti-abortion nonprofit that looks like a typical medical clinic or doctor’s office.
The center, a few blocks from the UNC campus, advertises free pregnancy and STD tests in the University Center and hands out water bottles bearing its slogan: “Tests4Greeley.” Bus benches just across the sidewalk from the college depict a worried-looking girl with the question in bold: “Pregnant?”
“Free tests. Private. Medical,” the benches and a billboard say, making no mention that the center is Christian-based or that its mission is to counsel women to carry babies to term. The center considers itself a medical clinic because it has licensed nurses and a medical director who is a physician, but it does not offer birth control, gynecology or prenatal care — only pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and prenatal vitamins.
It’s this perceived deception that is now evoking outrage and has ignited a battle between the 40-year-old pregnancy center and a group of young women, including Serafin, a 20-year-old international affairs student at UNC. The northern Colorado town is the state’s new ground zero in abortion-rights groups’ war on “fake clinics,” defined by the movement as religious counseling centers that attempt to lure young women through their doors by portraying themselves as full-service medical clinics.
Colorado has more than 50 religious-based pregnancy centers that encourage women to keep their babies or link them with adoption agencies. That compares with 18 Planned Parenthood clinics — 10 of which offer abortion services — and 76 state-funded health clinic locations that offer low-cost birth control.
In five rural counties, the only pregnancy center or clinic is a faith-based one, according to a Colorado Sun analysis.
Read the whole story at The Colorado Sun.