The ‘Other’ Choice: Pregnancy Care Center Defends Right to NOT Give Out Information on Abortion

Welcome to our letters to the editor/opinion section. To submit yours for consideration, please send to mskymkemp@gmail.com. Please consider including an image to be used–either a photograph of you or something applicable to the letter. However, an image is not necessary for publication. Remember opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of Redheaded Blackbelt.

In the following letter, a local “abortion alternative” organization defends itself against what it sees as unfair attacks.

Cindy Broese Van Groenou, Executive Director of the Pregnancy Care Center and J. Rophe Medical told us she feels there has been an unfair characterization of her pro-life, faith-based organization. She is also concerned about a new law that requires her organization to give information on where women can get government funded abortions. In this letter to the editor, she talks about her concerns.

Outside

All photos in this article provided by the writer.

There have been some negative opinions about our organization lately. Most of those opinions come from people who have never accessed services at our offices. We all know there are two sides to every story. There is even an ancient proverb that says as much, “The one who states his case first seems right until another comes and questions him.” I wanted to take a moment to give the public an idea what we do and why we do it. We understand that people will still believe what they want to believe but our hope is that they will be open-minded enough to at least consider our perspective.

Locally, if a woman is considering abortion, the chances are she will go to Planned Parenthood for her pregnancy confirmation and services. If a woman is planning to continue her pregnancy, she may go to J. Rophe Medical. Then there are those who are undecided. They might go to either place. The choice is theirs. We are two different organizations with differing philosophies. If they choose to visit J. Rophe Medical they can usually get an appointment within a day or two.

J. Rophe Medical is the medical arm for the Pregnancy Care Center of the North Coast. The PCC has been serving our community for over 22 years providing ongoing support to those who choose to continue their pregnancies. J. Rophe Medical has been open since October 2011 providing no cost pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, prenatal vitamins, and referrals to medical and social services.

Currently, we are in a lawsuit with the State of California for what we believe is a violation of our First Amendment rights. Last year, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB775 which would require our organization to post or hand out information of where women can call to get information about government funded abortions. Other similar lawsuits have been deemed unconstitutional.

Forcing an organization to give a government message, which violates its core values and purpose, is compelled speech and a violation of the First Amendment. This would be equivalent to making a chiropractor post a sign saying, “The Affordable Care Act may cover an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon. Call for information.”

Local city and county attorneys were included in the lawsuit because the law lists them as possible enforcers. Those local attorneys contacted the attorneys representing us and asked if they could be removed from the lawsuit if they agreed to not enforce the law until the appeal process was completed. Our attorneys agreed. It was not a case of us forcing them, as was reported elsewhere.

To help people understand why we oppose this law so strongly one would need to know more about our organization, which I hope to shed some light on.

Cathy

Cathy C., RN

We are Faith-based – We are registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a faith-based 501(c)3, not unlike St. Joseph Hospital, the Salvation Army or the Eureka Rescue Mission. Some of the greatest organizations in the world are rooted in Christianity. Our love for God is what compels us to serve our community. We have been doing this for over 22 years, never once charging for our services. People might think we only cater to Christians, which is not the case. Of our 3868 client visits in the past 12 months, only 1143 identify with Christianity – less than 30%. We serve all women and couples regardless of their religious beliefs, economic status or lifestyles. We want them to know they are loved and valued.

We are an Abortion Alternative – We are licensed by the State of California and our medical staff consists of Registered Nurses and a Medical Director. We are an abortion alternative medical office. We do not refer for or recommend abortion but are committed to providing accurate information about abortion procedures and risks. This statement is posted in both our centers, printed on our initial intake form and on our center brochure, as well. All information is medically accurate and approved by a board of highly qualified medical professionals.

Abortion can be traumatic. Unfortunately, turning back the clock is not an option. Whatever choice the patient makes, it is a choice of a lifetime. It is not a decision to be taken lightly. But we are here to empower them to make positive choices. We know not every woman will choose to continue her pregnancy. If a woman chooses to terminate, staff members or volunteers who have been through abortion will offer her non-judgmental recovery support, if desired. Some women find they face unexpected negative emotions after the procedure. We are here for her as she processes her feelings, whether it be immediately or 60 years later. We always emphasize the importance of forgiveness; forgiveness of self, forgiveness for others involved in the abortion, and the forgiveness God has for her.

To deny that abortion affects some women negatively is self-serving, ignorant or both. Research is clear that many women do experience unexpected negative emotions following abortion. Whether it was her choice or one that was imposed on her, it is still a pregnancy loss. One does not have to look very far to hear the stories of countless women who suffer from their abortion experiences, be it physical, emotional or spiritual. A simple internet search of Post-abortion Healing will make this clear. If it weren’t an issue, there would not be the need for support groups such as these.

Below are two articles also addressing this topic:

http://psychcentral.com/lib/understanding-abortion-grief-and-the-recovery-process/0005945

http://www.standapart.org/index.php?route=information/blog&blog_id=5

The truth is, we don’t need studies or articles because we meet these women on a regular basis, whether it is in our center, in a store, at the salon, or elsewhere. Society has got to stop minimizing the fact that abortion negatively affects some women and give them a voice. I have yet to see a woman torn apart with grief or having suicidal thoughts over other medical procedures. I will never forget the HSU student who came to see us several years ago. She was completely undone over having an abortion. We sat outside while she cried and said she couldn’t live with what she did. We talked about forgiveness but she said she would never forgive herself. I referred her to professional counseling. We agree with Feminists for Life that say, “Women deserve better than abortion.”

We encourage Informed Choice – J. Rophe Medical offers patients the option of receiving a free ultrasound regardless of what her plan is for the pregnancy. In the past 12 months, we have provided 593 ultrasounds to the women in our community. The patient will be allowed to see everything we see during the ultrasound and may be accompanied by anyone she would like to support her. We will take the time to answer any questions she may have. Whether the patient chooses to terminate, parent, or make an adoption plan J. Rophe does not profit financially from her decision because there are no costs to the patient. We will give them pictures, if desired.

Our registered nurses are trained in limited obstetrical ultrasound and look for three things: They make sure the pregnancy is in the uterus, they observe and record cardiac activity, and they take measurements to determine dating. If they do not see what they expect to see, precautions are given. A significant number of early pregnancies end in miscarriage naturally. For some, this may be welcomed news because it takes the decision out of her hands.

Every woman deserves the opportunity to make an informed decision about her pregnancy. Through science and technology, we know more today than we did 40 years ago. We now know that the human heart begins to beat 21 days after conception (a week after she misses her period) and just two weeks later (5 weeks from conception, 7 weeks gestation) we expect to see and measure the heart rate through ultrasound. The baby is fully formed at 12-weeks and can suck its thumb, which can be seen through ultrasound as well.

We had one dad who was watching his 11-week baby through ultrasound. The baby appeared to be sleeping. We told the patient to give a little cough and the baby starting jumping and waving its arms.15 weeks The dad was shocked and said, “Wow! I didn’t even think that was possible!”

Another patient, who was considering abortion, made the comment, “I could never have an abortion now, it’s a real baby.” The thing is, it was a “real baby” before the ultrasound. She just didn’t know it.

When I was younger, and pregnant with an unplanned pregnancy, I was told it was, “just a blob of tissue.” I chose to have an abortion. I learned later I was 14 weeks along. It was a fully formed fetus. I don’t know that my decision would have changed but providing misinformation or withholding information is unethical and unprofessional. Later, when I was pregnant with my oldest son, the doctors were very open to share about fetal development. There should be consistency so we don’t feel deceived.

We are 100% Community Funded – One of the significant differences between J. Rophe Medical and our local Planned Parenthood is that we do not charge for our services and we do not receive any government funding. We are 100% community supported. We have never sought government grants or funding and never plan to. Those that support us appreciate where we stand on the issue. They are confident their support will not be used to encourage abortion. Adoption is always introduced as a probable choice in the event of an unplanned pregnancy. Recently, we had a patient who decided to make an adoption plan when she learned she was too far along to have an abortion locally. She stated that she is at peace with her decision and has already chosen a couple to parent her child.

Exit Surveys are Positive – At J. Rophe Medical, we receive exit surveys from our first-time ultrasound patients and their significant others. Patients consistently say we are friendly, professional and respect their beliefs. They also say they would recommend us to their friends, and they do! We had a patient who came to us before going to Planned Parenthood for an abortion.

Cindy profile 2

Cindy Broese Van Groenou, Executive Director of the Pregnancy Care Center and J. Rophe Medical

She said she wanted to make an informed decision and wasn’t confident she would get all the information from the abortion provider. Her exit survey was phenomenal. She still left undecided but thankful we took the time to explain things to her. She said she would definitely recommend us to her friends.

Our staff and volunteers are dedicated to excellence in community service. But don’t take our word for it. The best way to truly know what we are about, and how we serve our patients, is to come in for a visit. We are happy to meet your needs as a patient or just give a tour for those who are curious. Please give us a call to make arrangements for either.

Hopefully, people can better understand why we oppose this law. It goes against our core values and contradicts our corporate documents. We are conscientious objectors, if you will. We are merely standing by our convictions and fighting for them. Not unlike respected historical figures such as Harriet Tubman or Susan B. Anthony. At this time, our board is discussing our options with our attorneys and pursuing all legal remedies.

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64 comments

  • Don’t you have better things to due and women to take care of? Why waste time and money suing when you can just hold fast in your beliefs and help the women who want it but be a good establishment and just give out information? It’s annoying when medical personnel feel like they need to shed their beliefs on people.

    • Hey, we are women, we can multi-task. For instance, I am responding to your comment, running a non-profit, seeing patients, fighting California against an unjust law and watching my pup on a nanny cam.

      So basically, you are making a judgment that we should not stand by our convictions. Would you have said that to Nelson Mandela, Caesar Chavez, Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, or Dr. Bennet Omalu, who identified CTE in professional football players? Sometimes you just have to do the right thing.

      This suit is in response to the State of California singling us out based on an unfounded report by NARAL, Planned Parenthoods lobbyist firm. They have been taking this same report all over the country and basically changing the “state” in each one. Now, it’s California’s turn. Evidently, those that preach choice don’t want women to have a choice of where they go to get their pregnancy confirmations. They want a corner on the market.

      We are being represented by a public law firm so it is not costing us a penny. Perhaps you need to take issue with the State of California for so quickly getting on this bandwagon without verifying the information they received.

      • Yea but you judge people for their convictions, I don’t.

        • That was an ironic statement…. or, at the least, hypocritical.

          Freedom of speech includes having a right to not speak. In this age of information, people have access to information. The government should not force organizations and individuals to speak against their beliefs.

      • Why do you give any information on abortion?

      • sharpen your pencil

        The fact that you and you organization want to be compared to people who actually fought for a cause. Your fight is a being that isnt, and wasn’t created by you our the people you represent, scared teens and other people shouldn’t only be shown the options that you deem best practiced.

  • I am very disappointed in this site for the first time. I am sorry that Miss Groenou is so upset about having to hand out pamphlets explaining what their organization really does: Take scared teens with unwanted pregnancies and Jesus guilt them into having the baby. I’m so sorry you have to tell these young girls and women that your a faith based organization only pretending to help them get an abortion, when really you want to show them horrific videos and images of dead fetuses.
    Too bad that these same Right Wing Anti Abortion Christians who value life so much often vote for the death penalty and against Social Services for the poor. They’re only interested in your baby before its born, then youre on your own. I thought this site, and Kym were too smart to print this type of garbage.

    • A letter to the editor does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editor. A media source in my opinion is there to provide access to variety of viewpoints not just the ones that one happens to agree with.

      • I understand it is an editorial and you are not responsible for content, but with a subject as polarizing as abortion I just feel you are doing a disservice by not putting up an opposing viewpoint. I know you, as a small journalism blog, can’t put up an opposing viewpoint to all editorials posted. But posting no links or other viewpoints I feel is irresponsible.
        Here is a quote from Planned Parenthood “Fake women’s health clinics run by anti-abortion organizations currently outnumber licensed, professional abortion clinics 3 to 1”. I feel that this is about predatorial fake abortion clinics taking advantage of women and young girls in their most fragile state trying to pass themselves off as a benign non religious community health center. At a time when women’s access to abortion is being challenged around the country, there is no not taking sides in this fight.
        Here is a couple of intelligent articles from independant news organization about this matter.

        California Assembly Passes Bill Banning Crisis Pregnancy Centers From Misleading Patients-
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/26/california-abortion-cpc-bill-_n_7446390.html

        http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/11/04/454589142/california-law-adds-new-twist-to-abortion-religious-freedom-debate

        http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/20/the-fake-abortion-clinics-outadvertising-the-real-ones.html

        • I’m quite open to posting a rebuttal letter to the editor.

          • Thanks Kym, I really respect you and your organization. I just get heated about this particular topic. You’re still my favorite!

            • I’m actually pro choice but I’m also pro diversity.

            • You really respect Kym Kemp and her organization? Yet only say this after stating how disappointed you are in her for having posted this editorial? Way to try to guilt/shame someone into thinking like you.

              I read the article and as an unbiased reader I can acknowledge that the PCC is doing a service to the community out of free will and love — Why should she have to have the government impose a law that requires her to do something against her beliefs if she’s not receving any government funds, unlike PP.

              The only thing I see in these comments is an intolerance for faith-based organizations. You don’t have to use them if you don’t want to. Clearly they wouldn’t exist if people didn’t need them.

              Kym, I don’t know you personally but can see that this particular thread made you feel compelled to reply and justify yourself. Don’t let yourself be bullied over one person who discredits you for your work.

              • I didn’t feel bullied. I felt it was important to make it clear that letters to the editor are not necessarily my opinion. I expect though I’ll have to repeat that in the future.

    • Clearly, Mr/Ms Propaganda, you didn’t read the article and you have never visited our center. We are not required to give pamphlets out about our organization, however we are happy to do that on our own. We never tell a patient we will help them get an abortion – we are an abortion alternative. Incidentally, that is where we are listed in the yellow pages. If someone calls on the phone asking about getting an abortion, we state, “We do not refer for or recommend abortion.” We do not show graphic pictures of dead fetuses, and never have. We believe in the power of truth and that’s why we provide ultrasounds at no cost. Seeing is believing. We can do nothing against the truth, only for the truth.

      We do provide ongoing support to those who choose to continue their pregnancies at the Pregnancy Care Center in the form of maternity clothes, baby clothes and equipment, prenatal vitamins and children’s vitamins, diapers, wipes, etc. We provide parenting classes periodically and have even had cooking/nutrition classes in the past. We also give resources for community organizations in the area.

      • I wish I would have had this option or told of it when I was in high school. All we were ever informed of was planned parenthood they even came on campus. I didn’t have parents I could talk to. I was scared. I wish I would have known the truth back then. I live with a big regret and an emptiness today because of my choice to abort my baby….when you are 16 and pregnant it is scary and lonely especially without family or the fathers support. Girls need to know they are not alone, that there are people who care, and that they have other options…if only I had known. Thank you for all you and your team do Cindy.

        • Dear Sarah, You are not alone. I completely understand where you are coming from. I was also 16 when I had my abortion. I still have regrets that I didn’t put the life of my child before my concern of embarrassing my parents. When I look at my tremendously amazing children, I think, “What if?” and my heart breaks. My abortion was done over Easter vacation so every Easter I consider how my life could have been different. I too wish there was an organization like ours out there, but there wasn’t.

          But here’s the thing. I don’t know how old you are now, but I am a mature woman with grown children and grandchildren. I am looking at things from that perspective, not the perspective of a scared 16-year-old. The free-clinic worker said it was just a blob of tissue and no big deal. She didn’t discuss other options with me but I don’t know that I would have changed my mind even if she had. I felt like it was my only choice at the time. I just wanted things to be the way they were before. I ended up being 14 weeks along and it was a 2-day procedure. Over the years I have had to make a conscience decision to forgive that woman. I also know that God forgives me but perhaps the hardest was forgiving myself. I have done that and have used my experience to help other women find forgiveness and healing. We need to try to learn and grow from our experiences and not condemn ourselves.

          We don’t currently have an abortion recovery group going, but if you would like to get together, I would be happy to meet with you. Please find me on FaceBook and send a private message. That goes for anyone else who might also be needing to talk.

      • The side of your bus pictured in one of your supporters comments below shows a smiling lady and says “Am I pregnant what are my options”. Where is the asterisk that states “We do not perform abortions?” Looks like your missing an option. And don’t hide behind whatever your source of Church money is and pretend your community supported. Thats a joke!!

        • Thank you for the opportunity to share more about our organization.

          Actually, we are 100% community funded. Yes, there are about 20 churches that donate on a monthly basis. Not a lot, but they are faithful. Then we have about 100 individuals and businesses that have also made monthly commitments ranging from $10-$400 a month. Again, not many, but they are faithful. Our monthly donors contribute about 35% of our budget. Then there are others who give when they are prompted. These are considered “non-pledged” contributions. They make up about 15% of our budget.

          Then we have 3 fundraisers a year that make up about 40% of our budget. For our Baby Bottle Boomerang, we distribute baby bottles for people to fill and return. This year we gave out nearly 1200 bottles. They are returned with anything from change to checks for $500.

          For our Walkathon, walkers get donations from their co-workers, neighbors, friends and family members. Each walker has an average of 20 people making donations to them. If anyone wants to sponsor me, you can find me on FaceBook and send a private message. 🙂

          Our Harvest Banquet, held in the fall features a well-known keynote who is passionate about what we do. In years past, we have had Frank Peretti (author), Jennifer O’Neill (actress), Rebecca St. James (musician), Ruth Graham McIntyre (Billy Graham’s daughter), Allen Keyes (presidential candidate), and Carol Everett (former abortion provider), to name a few. This year, we will feature Gianna Jessen who survived a saline abortion her mother attempted when she was 7 months pregnant. She has quite a story to tell!

          So when you add up the monthly donors, baby bottle participants, walkathon supporters and banquet participants, it amounts to about 3000 people in our community who support our organization FINANCIALLY. This does not include the countless people who donate diapers, wipes, maternity clothes, baby clothes and equipment to give out to moms in need. There are only 5 paid employees between both our sites. The rest are volunteers, including much of our medical staff. The value represented in the hours they serve volunteering is tremendous.

          We are thankful for every person who sees value in what we do. Mostly, we give thanks to God for providing for our needs, in every way, through these generous people.

          • So why not make it clear on your advetising that your an anti-abortion organization?? You talk about your baby bottles and walkathons but lets be clear your organization thrives on pretending you are something you’re not. Help for pregnant girls in need includes all options which in the USA includes abortions. You may not like it, but thats a fact.
            As soon as you so called “Christians” stop supporting the death penalty and support social welfare programs I will actually believe you are “pro-life”. Until that time you are nothing but the worst kind of hypocrites. I hope you enjoy your job of lying to sad helpless teenage girls. Heres some wikipedia info on Crisis Pregnancy Centers you represent and the “free” ultrasound service you offer:

            “Some CPCs conduct free sonograms as a way to dissuade women from abortion.Proponents often say that women who visit CPCs and see their embryos or fetuses through the use of ultrasound technology decide against abortion.

            False medical information

            CPCs have frequently been found to disseminate false medical information. In some cases such information may be based on decades-old studies that have been discredited by more recent research. CPCs’ false information is usually about the supposed health risks of abortion, saying, for example, that abortion is much less safe for pregnant women than childbirth when the opposite is true.

            Another assertion is that of a link between abortion and mental health problems. CPC counselors have warned clients of severely negative psychological consequences, including high rates of depression, “post-abortion syndrome”, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide, substance abuse, sexual and relationship dysfunction, propensity to child abuse, and other emotional problems. Neither the American Psychiatric Association nor the American Psychological Association recognizes the existence of “post-abortion syndrome”, and an American Psychological Association review of relevant studies found that “abortion is usually psychologically benign.”[28] The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists finds no evidence to support an increased likelihood of abuse.[51]

            CPCs may also claim that surgical abortion is a dangerous procedure, with a high risk of perforation or infection and death. In fact, the risk of complications requiring hospitalization after an abortion is approximately 2 in 1,000 in the US.The alleged risk of perforation and infection is also part of the assertion that abortion negatively impacts future childbearing, by increasing the risk of infertility, miscarriages, complications, ectopic pregnancy, or fetal health problems.These claims are not supported by medical data.

            CPCs have also been found to disseminate misinformation about birth control methods, in particular the idea that contraception and condoms do not work or have harmful effects.[

            False information about pregnancy and the female body or about fetal development[46] may also be provided, as may misinformation about the availability of abortion in early pregnancy. and the rate of postpartum depression among women who carry to term,better source needed]

            The overwhelming majority of CPCs in the U.S. are run by pro-life Christians according to a conservative Christian philosophy. As of 2007, two Christian charities, Care Net and Heartbeat International, accounted for three quarters of CPCs in the United States.”

            • Cindy Broese Van Groenou

              Wow, you’re giving an amazing amount of credibility to Wikipedia, which can be written by “anyone” who wants to contribute information. What you shared is nothing more than a copy and paste job from the NARAL report. Nothing new there. NARAL is the lobbying group for Planned Parenthood; enough said.

              I suppose you also believe everything you read in the Lost Coast Outpost Blog as legitimate news. If they actually followed professional journalism guidelines, they wouldn’t have allowed a former fundraiser for Planned Parenthood to write articles about us. They should have deemed it a conflict of interest. They would have also posted my response so readers could decide for themselves, but they wouldn’t allow it.

              With regards to risks for abortion, there are some. There have been deaths connected with both medical (RU486) abortions and surgical abortions. Granted, it is not common but should the patient not be made aware of it? The office we now occupy used to be the office of Dr. Rog, an oral surgeon. My daughter had her wisdom teeth extracted here. I had to watch a video and sign a paper saying I knew she could die during the procedure. I personally know two women who couldn’t have children following their abortions. I know one who talked about suicide and countless others who grieve the loss of their aborted babies. I grieve with them.

              For every report or study written, you can find one on the other side. It’s clear we are at an impasse and will not agree on this issue. Can’t we just agree to disagree?

              I stand by our organization. All, yes all, of our exit surveys indicate our patients have been pleased with the services they’ve received, regardless of their intention for the pregnancy. We treat them with respect, compassion and professionalism. Again, no one is forced to come see us. It is their choice. Abortion has been legal for 43 years. Girls and women know where to go for abortions, they don’t need us to give them directions.

  • You are doing a great work, the government always wants control and more power.
    When a person`s life is a stake anything is appropriate, I have never heard of a drowning man complain about rescued.
    There is a news article out of Drudge Report, from Harvard Medical School, that a video can be seen of a spark in a human embryo when a sperm cell reaches it,
    Life is amazing.

  • I stand 100% behind your right to choose how to run your own business & I admire your stand against brute force. Thank you for explaining the conflict. You’re one of a kind in today’s Orwellian society.

  • veterans friend

    So what would you tell my son & daughter in law who just received an ultrasound diagnosis (at 7 months) of a fetus with half its brain missing. The outcome is too horrible to contemplate. To saddle two young people with a lifetime of caring for a person who cannot see, hear, or swallow is unconcienable in my view, yet you would counsel them to have this baby?
    I realize that this is a “worst case scenario” yet it is the reality that our family is facing at this very moment.
    You should obey the law & present ALL options to women who come to you for help.

    • I’m sorry for the challenge you are facing.

      As stated in my editorial, we are looking for three things in the ultrasound; making sure the pregnancy is in the uterus, making sure there is cardiac activity, and measuring for dating. We do ultrasounds between 7-16 weeks of pregnancy. Normally, the prenatal provider does an ultrasound between 20-22 weeks. This is a more comprehensive ultrasound where they should discover any fetal anomalies.

      We do share all options with our patients, unless they refuse. Many or our patients were planning their pregnancies and don’t want that information.

      Again, I am sorry you have to face this challenge. My heart goes out to you.

      • veterans friend

        That is as good a non answer as I have ever seen. Please, go back & read my question. See if you can respond without evasion or hypocracy.

        • Cindy Broese Van Groenou

          I’m sorry. Let me be clearer. Because we don’t scan past 16 weeks, we would not have seen your daughter-in-law at 7 months and because our scans are limited in scope, we couldn’t have made that diagnosis in the earlier weeks. That would have been her doctor’s responsibility at the 20-week ultrasound, where they look at the full fetal biometry.

          However, if you are asking me to answer a hypothetical question, say if I met her on the street and she shared her story with me, that’s different. I would say the same thing I said above, “I am sorry for the challenge you are facing.” I cannot possibly comprehend the intensity of their situation; I am not in their shoes. I would listen and cry with her. I would probably suggest she speak to other families who have faced similar situations. I know there have been some who have chosen termination and others who continued the pregnancy. This is a decision they will need to make because, ultimately, they are the ones who will live with it.

          We never tell patients what we think they should do. We do encourage them to hope and to not be driven by fear. We present all the options and encourage them to think through their options and make a decision they believe is right for them. God gives them free-will, should we give them any less?

          Again, my heart goes out to you and your family.

  • Medicine is not politics. And yiua re what you eat.

  • Zika Virus: Symptoms, Risk, Treatment & Prevention is why for one, they need a doctor at the wannabe clinic. I am not sure if they don’t post the literature some cant sue ,Jeffrey Blanck, for more dough for not enforcing ab775 . What is so hard following the Law. These Christians seem to me making the law meaningless. This is how serious it is.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-05/zika-virus-sparks-abortion-debate-in-brazil/7142834

    For the Tea Romans 13:1-7
    This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
    Thanks for reminding me to send a PP check to Louisiana.

  • Thank you and J Rophe for providing the other side that most women don’t get. Everyone knows you can have an abortion, but not as many know the alternatives or what a developing baby looks like. Every business and organization should have the right to choose what info they have availableto their clients.

  • lies lies lies yeah

    That’s fine but that means you don’t get any more federal funding if you won’t follow the law, especially when youre hiding behind religion.
    I have already contacted our state and federal reps asking for this group to be investigated and for their funding to be discontinued. If they wanna play with the law and feel they are above it (tho the Bible says to follow the laws of the land), then they are opening themselves to be investigated.
    The rest of us aren’t allowed to just break the law.

    I would like to see the taxes or lack thereof for thus organization, my guess is they don’t pay taxes as they run the place as faith based. Religious institutions are getting away with tax exemption to the tube of 9 billion. Scientology included.

    In this pregnancy center it’s lije the African model of conversion by christuans; read the bible and we’ll give you food. This place the only way to get help is to read their fliers and sign a piece of paper saying you did. Otherwise they won’t give you clothes, etc from their place. So in those pamphlets are a few about how horrible abortion is and how bad you are for having one. Based on that the idea they are offering any choices, including adoption, is a big fat lie.

    Personally I had an abortion and do not feel traumatized or grief strike so if you want to meet your first non-traumatuzed woman I will stop by. I do not regret it at all and am super grateful I was able to get a safe procedure.

    Let’s hope and pray this place goes away!!!!

    • Did you actually read the letter? They receive NO government funding. You are hiding behind your intolerance and hate by not posting your real name. I dare you to do this.

    • Clearly, you did not read the article. We do NOT receive government funding. We are 100% community supported. This can be verified by our 990’s, filed with the IRS, as well as the annual report we submit to the State of California.

      I also stated in my article that some women have difficulty with abortion, not all. We have met women who are fine with their decision. We are here for those aren’t. How can I condemn women for having abortions when I had one myself?

    • Clearly you didn’t read the article as they don’t receive government funding and they aren’t condemning anyone. But if you don’t like what they stand for then don’t use their services. Plain and simple. As far as you aborting your baby and not feeling any remorse you are obviously cold hearted. If you have any children now. Can you imagine life without them? And if you don’t have kids then please refrain from having any because you if you have no remorse for killing your baby inside the womb then you probably wouldn’t have any remorse killing your child outside the womb.

  • Bible says obey the laws

    Concientious objectors usually end up in jail. Stop hiding behind religion. If you break the law there are consequences.
    We live in a country that claims to hold openness to religions, yet somehow the Christians seem to think it’s their country.

    The saddest thing is these types are usually anti-abortion and anti-welfare so they really only care about the kid until it comes out. Is it really better to have a child born into poverty, drugs, abuse, then probably the foster system? We have an abundance of kids needing foster care here, why aren’t these folks helping those kids? Many of them are probably from parents who went to this place. They should havta pay for those kids to live if they talk the mom out if abortion (which they do but won’t admit)

    • And I’m sure you would obey any law that requires you to go against your personally held beliefs?

      • I obey laws which go against my personal beliefs every time I pay my taxes. I do not believe in war. I see that since this organization has claimed tax-free status under the religious umbrella, they don’t have to pay a dime!
        Oh, and I’m another one of the women who had an abortion with no trauma. A safe and legal procedure. Went on to have several children, later.

    • Prolife Foster Parent

      For the record, I became a foster parent 7 years ago because I am a non-protesting, planned parenthood going, non-church going, but deep down pro-life believer and I, like you, felt that not enough pro-lifers lived out our beliefs past birth. And from my experience, I have felt that sometimes maybe abortion would have been better because of the tragedy foster care truly is– in situations like foster care, there is never a perfect solution for anyone. But which child would I rather not have had in my life? I couldn’t choose because they were ALL loved and have a special place in my heart. Most of the foster parents I have met and all the support I have received has been from pro life individuals who were living their beliefs also. All this to say, please reconsider your opinion that pro lifers do not foster children. We surround you on all sides, just because we do not wear badges or ask for trophies or put ourselves on pedestals doesn’t mean we don’t exist. We suffer the daily battle foster care is quietly because we don’t do it for recognition, what we deal with is confidential, and honestly all our kids want is to fit in.

  • I can’t believe how far we have slipped as a society. We can see shades of gray where there is an absolute. In the Bible we can find the Ten Commandments, in which Jesus boiled down into two statements: Love God with all your Heart, Mind, Soul & Strength and then love your neighbor as yourself. So I ask, “How is abortion loving your neighbor?” It might be more convenient to end a life that would take great effort for the parents but that is not loving (See 1 Corinthians 13 for what type of Love is meant here). And yes, we are to have great respect for our government, and as a veteran myself I do have great respect for our country and it’s laws, however, when a government starts to infringe on our God given right to obey Him then I will choose God and life. This is not shoving my believes down anyone throat but it is shoving someone else’s believes down my throat to force me to go against what I believe is wrong. If the parents don’t want a child that will have special needs there is always adoption. I choose “Love” not hate, “Life” not death.

    • veterans friend

      Judge not, lest you are judged. Your christian fairy tale is anti science, anti woman, anti reason. Believe it if you wish but do not attempt to make it a basis for law or public policy.

    • veterans friend

      Judge not, lest you are judged. Your christian fairy tale is anti science, anti woman, anti reason. Believe it if you wish but do not attempt to make it a basis for law or public policy.
      The law in question here is about giving information. ALL relevant information. When you omit information, or tell a woman that it is “god’s will” that she continue her pregnancy you are being deceitful & dishonest. YOU DON’T ACTUALLY KNOW GOD’S WILL You are placing yourself in a position of power & abusing it, as people in power all too often do.

  • To veteran’s friend I’m so sorry for your son and daughter in law.the right choice will come.Bless you all.I believe are choices should be.our own after all its our life.Please folks be kind

  • They never addressed the reason that they are being asked to provide unbiased information.

    • I did respond to a comment above by Smoking Clones: “This suit is in response to the State of California singling us out based on an unfounded report by NARAL, Planned Parenthoods lobbyist firm. They have been taking this same report all over the country and basically changing the “state” in each one. Now, it’s California’s turn. Evidently, those that preach choice don’t want women to have a choice of where they go to get their pregnancy confirmations. They want a corner on the market.”

      Similar laws have been struck down and that is our hope. If, after the appeals, the law stands, we will address the issue then.

  • I have been affiliated with the PCC for many years as a volunteer. I support this organization so much that I recently returned to college after raising a family to earn my degree as an RN. I did this so that I could work alongside other RNs providing these much needed no cost services to women in our county. I now operate the Medical Mobile Unit that provides these same services to women in the outlying areas of our vast county that lack the ability to obtain transportation into Eureka. We have received glowing reviews from the women who need our support and have been helped by our outreach. For those who don’t need these services and seem obligated to share their opposition, I would say to you “Bugger off!” We would hope that you could open your mind and accept the fact that not everyone holds the same opinions as you. The one thing that makes our freedom in this country so valuable is that we have the ability to help others in ways that are meaningful to each of us as individuals or as organizations. Just like other issues like, let’s say homelessness, we all have opinions on the best approach to support those who need help. Though we don’t always agree on how to accomplish it hopefully we work together to make a difference. I hope that through the value of this informative letter some readers will understand what we do and why we do it even though they may not feel inclined to support us. I for one have the compassion to help out these women in need and will continue to serve them through this organization regardless of the nasty opinions of some renegade readers with negative opinions.

    • If only most women weren’t taught that being pregnant is a medical condition, but unfortunately the miracle of life is know lumped in with politics and B’s and crazy amounts if intervention. Obviously there are cases where medical help is necessary, but birth is a natural process and it’s a woman’s choice whethet or not she wants to see it through, plain and simple. We are animals that have lots of decisions to make, but they are our decisions and the Bible was written many many many years ago and been perverted enough by everyone who wants to have some sort of “final say ” in the matter. Religion and nature unfortunately are apples and oranges.

  • It’s hard to understand why some people are so critical of the services you provide. You aren’t forcing anyone to do anything against their will but instead are offering information and services (for free!) that they may not easily have access to. I’m grateful for your role in our community, and the love and care you give to many at a critical time of their lives.

  • It amazes me every time that all the hate full bigoted comments come from so called liberals. There are plenty of good reasons one might need to have an abortion, but I would guess if I told you so called liberals I was going to sever my dogs head with a pair of scissors or pulverize it and suck it up with a vacuum simply because it was an inconvenience to me, you would be shocked, disgusted and want me brought up on charges. You might even suggest I take the dog to a shelter to see if someone would adopt it. I doubt any of you would say hay go ahead its your right its your choose.
    I have nothing against abortion but to use it as a form of birth control, or to think its some kind of right that needs to be exercised to in power ones self is just sick.

    • Great article! You have full support of many families on the NorthCoast who believe that you should get to choose what your business does, including if it is based on biblical values. This is America! Why is it suddenly important for everyone to be tolerant of all values until it is based on Christian values?! Keep up the good fight.

  • Wonderful and informative article! Thank you, Mrs. Broese, for sharing a truthful and accurate light of a disturbing situation.

    When Planned Parenthood or other abortion centers are mandated by law to distribute information about alternative Pregnancy Care Center services then, everyone might be playing by the same game rules. That’s simply not the case with this particular law. Pregnancy Care Centers are being targeted and blatantly undermined and it must stop.

    Let’s start by respecting our Constitution and play fair on all sides. But more importantly, let no one interfere with one’s right to hold fast to a strong moral conviction. This is still America, right?

    I applaud the PCC’s across our nation in never backing down. Godspeed in all your efforts!

  • This is a Faith based business, they should not have to hang up signs ect. Supporting other beliefs. Just like PPH is non faith based in which they shouldnt have to promote other beliefs.

    Thank you for these services and to all who support this free, safe, life changing option to all who desire it.

  • I just sat here and read the article and all the replies, and I’m wondering why people are having a fight over it. I am pro-choice, which does NOT mean I’m pro-abortion, I believe in, a woman having the right to go either way she chooses, but that is neither here or there.

    The thing here is, one group of people being forced, by their Government, to advertise for another group of people, which they disagree with.

    I am a 2nd Amendment supporter, and this would be like the Government telling the National Rifle Association, to advertise on all their pamphlets for Bloomberg and his anti-gun crap, for example.

    The Government is overstepping it’s authority on a private organization and should be stopped!

    Regardless if you are pro-life or pro-choice, you should be able to seek information from whatever source you choose.

  • I met Cindy during one of the most difficult times of my life. I had taken the first pill of ru486 or the abortion pill after I was pressured at planned parenthood (at the time, I did not know they were for abortion only). I knew I made a mistake and needed help to save my baby. Planned parenthood was rude and told me my baby was already dead or deformed. Cindy was able to find a doctor who reversed the effects of the pill. She drove out to meet me in a neutral location and talked with me for literally hours. The following Monday was a holiday and J.Rophe medical did an ultrasound even though they were supposed to be closed that day. My baby was alive even though planned parenthood told me different. I continued to struggle over the choice of abortion or continuation of my pregnancy. Cindy and I kept talking over the weeks to follow, she told me nothing but the truth, and we shared stories together. I believe in having a choice which isn’t what planned parenthood gives you. Planned parenthood gives you an ultimatum without information and will not do an ultrasound if you choose to parent. That’s kind of ironic, huh? Ultimately, I chose life for my baby, even if I would be a single parent. I went to J. Rophe medical mid-abortion as a non-practicing Christian and I felt very loved with no judgement. I felt like I was finally in a safe place where my decisions would be accepted. Today, I have a 19 month old miracle who was born completely healthy and we still keep in touch with each other. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do. If it was not for J.Rophe medical, I would not have had the opportunity to be the proud mommy that I am today.

    • I don’t believe you. When you say pp “pressured” you. Sorry to call you a liar, but pp are the kindest most supportive folks around, dealing with very vulnerable women at a critical moment in their lives.

      • Call me a liar all you want. How do you think planned parenthood earns their money? Planned parenthood gets reimbursed by the state when they charge your insurance for things like surgical and medical abortions. The people at planned parenthood withhold the truth, they lied about the dating of my baby, and wouldn’t let me leave without swallowing the pill and checking the inside of my mouth. I never said that I was against a woman having a choice, I am however against planned parenthood. They are a dishonest, money hungry organization that needs to be shut down. There are other resources for women to access in their time of need. Have you ever been to j. Rophe medical? I have obviously been to both. The care provided at j. Rophe medical medical is professional and clean from kind hearted individuals who basically volunteer their time to help any woman who asks for it.

      • Cindy Broese Van Groenou

        Thankful_mommy is an actual patient of ours. She has openly told her story and allowed us to share it. We spoke with her on the phone literally hours after she took RU486. She said as soon as she took the pill, which they made her do in front of them, she regretted it. She called them back and said she changed her mind but they told her it was too late, she couldn’t change her mind. I still remember that conversation as if it was yesterday. A place that’s FOR choice told her she couldn’t change her mind?

        What I admire about her is that she didn’t give up. She got online and found http://www.abortionpillreversal.com and called them. They, in turn, called us. We had never heard of them before. Time was of the essence. We gave them the name of a local physician who might help with this patient. That physician saw her immediately and began treatment. As a result, we now have the protocol to attempt to reverse the abortion pill and a physician willing to do it. We have had one other patient referred to us but it was too late.

        This patient continued her education and graduated from college before she had the baby. She moved back to her hometown, had a beautiful baby who is the love of her life, and her family’s life, and is working in her chosen profession. We couldn’t be more proud of her. We are very thankful to have been a part of this happy ending.

  • Way to go J. Rophe Medical and Pregnancy Care Center! The PCC *does* help care for women and babies after birth by offering many resources.

  • I thought this was a very well written article! Thank you Cindy for writing it and for standing up for free speech- and I appreciate this news stream posting it for the community to read. Thank you to those women who shared their personal stories about their experience at the center- I think it was important to hear from people who received services.

  • I could never trust a company that wont follow the law. In addition we have the video made by The Center for Medical Progress https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Center_for_Medical_Progress>
    Unfortunately the southern states have not got the memo as it is a fraud made to destroy PP . They are writing new laws and are as we speak defunding PP and closing abortion clinics.

    • I could never trust a company that would bow to the government as a higher law than that of their own God-directed clearly stated, non-hidden conscience. If you really think about your statement I doubt you take your own advice. There is so much graft and corruption these days. Even Planned Parenthood doesn’t follow the law, where selling abortions and baby body parts to research is concerned. Their main profit is abortions. There are so many former directors coming out and telling the truth. You need to listen to both sides or to not take part in the discussion.

      • I do try to listen. If you could post a link to show what you are talking about. As a medical practice there are things you have to post to practice medicine it really is as simple as that. They would have to be posted no matter your position. Looking at this as two business’s ,why would one not conclude that CMP false video was an attempt to corner the market? Running a competitor out of business is how business operates after all. Maybe they are trafficking in babies? Lot of money in adoption’s not saying that the case here just a possibility.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_Parenthood_2015_undercover_videos_controversy
        I try to obey all laws. I certainly would never fabricate a lie to prove a point when the Truth does so well. My main concern now is containing the Zika Virus. How do you think it best be handled?

  • I read that some cpc’s that do ultrasounds will tell the women she is not as far along as she is and people have then went to get ultrasounds other places only to find out that they are several weeks further along than what the cpc told them. They do this so by the time you seek out abortion services it is too late and your choice is gone. Is this a practice a j rophe? I would hope not, everything else you guys are saying sounds legit I mean you shouldn’t have to tell people they can get a free abortion and all of that but reading that about the intentional improper dating of pregnancies to prevent abortions made me get the chills.

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