Monday, March 12, 2007

Undercover at the health center

The Advocate is a student publication at UCLA, "A UCLA student magazine of human rights: particularly, the right to life for all human beings," (according to its description on Facebook.) The first issue is now online (warning, it's a 3MB+ pdf file). Go have a read.

In the cover story (same title as this post), a student goes "undercover" at the UCLA health center. She pretends to be unexpectedly pregnant and reports on the advice she gets from the health center counselors. For those who've been involved in any kind of work or ministry at state universities, what she reports won't really come as a surprise. While claiming to focus on "choice," the only real choice that is presented is "pregnancy termination," i.e. the deliberate killing of the child within the womb. In this case, according to the magazine, UCLA has two doctors who provide abortions, but no pre-natal care, no adoption referral services and no pregnancy support groups.

Here are some quotes that I've typed up from the pdf.

One counsellor is quoted:
[Look] forward to the physical difficulties of pregnancy. The embarrassment of your classmate, both this quarter and next quarter: living in the dorm, being pregnant in the dorm, that would be a little different. Frequency of urination -- you know, you're sitting in class. You'd have to go to the bathroom.

UCLA doesn't support people who are pregnant and make things easier for them necessarily. ...

There's not one [adoption referral] here at UCLA that I know of. I occasionally get letters from people who want to represent people who want to adoprt or people who are trying to adpot themselves. But I don't investigate it at all.
There's ways to get an abortion paid for by Medi-Cal (CA's public insurance program for those with low incomes) that would involve, basically, lying about being on a parents' insurance.
The difference is if you were terminating the pregnancy, I have a place that I can send you where they will get you signed up for the Medi-Cal coverage and they just don't ask ... But I don't think they could do that [ignore your insurance and give you Medi-Cal coverage] for pregnancy, for on-going pregnancy.
And, of course, pro-lifers get in the way of things.
I don't need more [pro-life] people out there. It makes my work more difficult.
When asked whom a pregnant student should trust, she was told not to contact a priest or religious leader or family members, but counselors at the health center. The others "have their own agenda."

The health center staff, of course do not, it would seem. They just want to make sure that every student "chooses" to abort her child.

[Disclaimer: I have no idea about the veracity of what has been presented in the Advocate. I've never been to UCLA or had any interaction with any UCLA staff. I do have my own experiences from working in South Carolina, and, as I said above, this does not surprise me. So, I am inclined to trust that these folks aren't lying. There was subterfuge involved in getting this information, yes. But that is undercover journalism. Obviously, the staff would not be so forthcoming if someone wearing a Pro Life button walked up and started asking questions.]

[Full Discolosure: one of the folks on the production team of the Advocate is a good friend of mine. I learned about this publication from his Facebook profile.]

1 comment:

pritcher said...

I first heard about this though Feminists for Life in early February. Like you said, not surprising...