NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Monday August 8th 2022

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Beware First Care

By MONICA BICKING

First Care, with a new location soon to open on Chicago Ave and 21st St. is not a clinic, but rather an anti-abortion counseling center. It is an organization owned by Evangelical Christians with an agenda to shame and intimidate pregnant people to mantain their pregnancy and not have an abortion. It is part of a complex and multifaceted strategy to control female bodies and prevent abortions that has made great strides with the recent overturn of Roe vs Wade. While abortion remains legal in Minnesota, anti-abortion activists continue to be hard at work to make sure access to abortion is limited in Minnesota and throughout the country.

As the name implies, the strategy behind First Care is to get to people before they see a medical professional, to be the first “care” a pregnant person receives. Their marketing thickly cloaks their true agenda. Their website suggests that they have the resources needed to help someone prepare for an abortion. It states that if a person wants an abortion, they must first have a pregnancy test, dating ultrasound, abortion education, and STD testing, all services which First Care will provide for someone wanting an abortion for free. And while it also says that First Care does not refer people to abortions in the fine print, it does not mention that the organization is morally and religiously opposed to abortions and provides “care” to pregnant people so that such “care” will dissuade pregnant people from electing abortions.

First Care’s agenda is to attract people considering abortion to confirm the pregnancy, provide an ultrasound (personifying the embryo), and educate about the dangers of having an abortion in order to change the pregnant person’s mind. Their supposed unbiased abortion education spreads misinformation about abortion, such as implying that elective abortion frequently effects future fertility and mental health challenges. According to the Mayo Clinic website, there is no evidence that medical abortions (the abortion pill) or a single surgical abortion effects future fertility, however, there is some evidence that multiple surgical abortions can effect fertility. While First Care presents as caring about pregnant people it is actually only interested in controlling their bodies, no matter the outcome to the pregnant person.

Part of the strategy of First Care and other “crisis pregnancy centers” is to stall pregnant people who are considering abortion by enticing them to come into the anti-abortion counseling center instead of a true medical clinic and telling them to take their time to think about their decision, while actively shaming them, in an effort to slow their decision making process. Medical abortions, the safer option, are most effective and often only legal in the first 10 -11 weeks of pregnancy. By misdirecting pregnant people and stalling their care, First Care is making them more likely to need a surgical abortion, which while still relatively safe, is more likely to have complications than medical abortions. The longer a pregnancy goes on before an abortion, the less safe it becomes. First Care’s misinformation and stall tactics directly put pregnant people’s health at risk.

While anti-abortion activists are attacking the ability for pregnant people to have access to abortion from a multitude of angles, abortion is still leagal in Minnesota. For Phillips Neighborhood residents, there is full spectrum of healthcare available at Planned Parenthood through virtual appointments or in person in nearby Uptown, including, but not limited to birth control, transgender hormone therapy, STD/STI testing and prevention, and abortion referralls. Skip the lies and deception at First Care and find true medical care somewhere else.

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