Brianna Heldt is a writer, speaker, and radio show host. She blogs at www.briannaheldt.com, has been a featured guest on BBC Radio, and her work can regularly be found in other online publications as well. A convert to the Catholic Church, Brianna explores topics ranging from faith and social issues to adoption and large family life. She and her husband make their home in Denver, along with their eight children.
Watch out, America.
It would appear that crisis pregnancy centers are the latest target for pro-abortion groups in Colorado.
You may not have heard of it, but there’s a billboard campaign taking place in Denver — billboards are being placed around town in both English and Spanish — boasting advertisements that read “In Your Neighborhood: Fake Health Centers.” Sponsored by the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR), the billboards aim to paint CPCs in the worst possible light, casting them as dangerous and misleading to women because, presumably, they are not necessarily staffed by licensed physicians.
Of course any reasonable person understands that these centers are not, and were never, intended to replace access to comprehensive medical care. On the contrary, crisis pregnancy centers offer an alternative to Planned Parenthood in providing women with free-of-charge pregnancy testing and ultrasounds. CPCs can make referrals, offer help with resources like diapers or accessing social services, and explain the risks and problems with abortion. Ultimately, they aim to offer women support on what may otherwise be a very lonely, frightening journey. But COLOR’s smear campaign would much rather misrepresent the mission of CPCs. Why? Because crisis pregnancy centers pose a very real threat on the front lines of the abortion wars.
And then there’s the controversial video from ProgressNow Colorado, published last year, but which is just now making public waves with our very own (read: Catholic) Marisol Health Services.
Long story short, the video also misconstrues CPCs as deceptive and dangerous to women. But it goes a few steps further than the aforementioned billboards — at one point, actual photos of Denver crisis pregnancy centers flash across the screen, with their names underneath, including Marisol Health.
Marisol Health, by the way, is affiliated with Catholic Charities in Denver. Through its partnership with Bella Natural Women’s Care and Family Wellness, Marisol has an entire medical team devoted to meeting the needs of pregnant women. (Also non-pregnant women, men and children.) Which means that this particular “fake health clinic” employs multiple physicians, nurse practitioners, a nurse midwife, medical assistants and ultrasound technicians. They have admitting privileges at two different Denver-area hospitals. I happen to be a patient at Bella myself, and so I can tell you firsthand that this is a truly life-affirming, compassionate and thorough practice. Regardless of a woman’s religious beliefs or ability to pay, she will receive the best possible care from any one of the providers. Marisol prides itself on combining best practices with the upholding of human dignity, and it shows.
So a little over a week ago, and in response to the slanderous ProgressNow video, which utterly (and surely quite intentionally) misrepresents Marisol Health, Marisol’s attorney has issued a letter demanding the video be removed from a number of social media platforms. (To date, it has not.) The attorney has also threatened further legal action if this demand was not met.
In any case, there are those on the pro-abortion side who care little for truth or scruples of any kind. Abortion is not only big business, it also represents a spiritual battle for the very souls of men and women. It continues to rip at the social fabric of our communities even as its proponents promise freedom, liberation and deliverance from oppression. But oh, how wrong they are. Because abortion is bad for women, men and children — 100 percent of the time.
We Catholics of course know who wins in the end, but we must also remain alert, and keep fighting for the rights of medical providers like the ones at Marisol Health to practice medicine. Because if organizations like COLOR and ProgressNow have their way in Colorado, such clinics may cease to exist elsewhere — their only crime having been the beautiful embrace of life.