Comedians Aparna Nancherla & Eliza Skinner Explain To College Students What A Crisis Pregnancy Center Truly Is
In May, California passed a bill that required crisis pregnancy centers to give women comprehensive information about reproductive health care options that include abortion. You're probably thinking, "Uh, what in the heck were they giving them before?" Because the term "crisis pregnancy center" sounds like something that's based in science or medicine, so you would assume that the services they provide to women are based in the same fields. Unfortunately, they're not. A new YouTube video shared by NARAL Pro-Choice California features two comedians who revealed the truth about crisis pregnancy centers by talking to local students at UC Berkeley.
Aparna Nancherla, who has appeared on Conan and was one of TIME magazine's 140 Top Tweeters of 2014, and Eliza Skinner, who has appeared on @Midnight and Chelsea Lately, laid down the law in the awkward, hilarious video where they ask UC Berkeley students about crisis pregnancy centers. First, they ask them what they know about CPCs, and everyone assumes that they are like Planned Parenthood clinics, with real, trained doctors and nurses. Some of the students tell Nancherla and Skinner that people who work at CPCs must just be people who want to help women who are pregnant and in a crisis. But then shit gets real when Nancherla and Skinner tell the students that the many of the people working at CPCs don't have any medical training, and, often, their offices don't even have a medical license.
Skinner really drives home the absurdity of having untrained, ordinary people give medical advice when she asks a UC Berkeley student, "So, if you break your leg, would you want a doctor to give you advice, or just a person who has opinions about broken legs?"
Then, they pull out common CPC literature given to help "counsel" woman who go into crisis pregnancy centers. And this is where it gets weird. Skinner holds up a pamphlet that reads "What Girls Don't Know About Sex," and then shows another student a pamphlet that lists the "possible side effects of abortion." This escalated so quickly!
Skinner reads from the "What Girls Don't Know About Sex" pamphlet, which says "Most girls see in their future an ideal marriage with the man of their dreams," she reads, "Of course he's handsome and buff." She turns to the student and asks, "That's pretty much you, right?" and also asks, "Are you pursuing a degree?" When the student says yes, Skinner asks, "But what's your real dream?" And the student says "Finding a buff, handsome man, so I can be his trophy wife." Dammit, how did the CPC people know?
The next pamphlets say things like "Abortion raises breast cancer risk," and list "sadness, anger, guilt, emotional pain, sexual dysfunction" as the effects of getting an abortion. One pamphlet that Nancherla reads even says "Abortion is fatal."
One student tells Skinner "I think someone would just feel bad after reading this. It would just crush their self-esteem." And another student figures out the truth about CPCs: "So, they're actually spreading lies," he tells Skinner.
Another student reads more of the CPC literature's wisdom out loud to Skinner: "Here's the sad truth: Your boyfriend will probably break up with you anyway, especially if you both are young or haven't been dating long. If you get the abortion, you will always remind him of something he isn't proud of."
Skinner asks a student a funny question, but the undertones of it reveal something darker. "On a scale of one to shit your pants, how scared do you think people are when they leave one of these places?" The student obviously responds with "Shit your pants." Then, she delves even deeper into just who CPCs are scaring away from making their own medical decisions. She asks another student, "What kind of person is interested in free or low-cost pregnancy advice? Like, adults with tons of income?" Negative, captain.
Then, the comedians dig into the notion that all women love babies, which makes two things happen: First, they see them everywhere, in everything, all the time. Second, they want them ASAP. Skinner asks a student "Have you ever seen something that wasn't a baby and you thought it was a baby?" She and Nancherla are met with confused looks, so Nancherla presses harder, "Are you sure? Like, maybe you saw a pile of jackets in a stroller and maybe you thought it was a little person?"
The weird medical misinformation got even more wrong. Nancherla said one woman who went to a CPC was told that her intrauterine device, a contraceptive method known as the IUD that is inserted into the vagina, was actually her baby, just there growing inside of her.
After receiving this crazy news, one student tells Skinner, "I can't believe it's going on. I didn't think there would be organizations that blatantly lie about things this serious." And another student hits on the biggest problem with CPCs and what needs to happen: "If you're going to have an abortion, you need somebody who is going to be on your side and stand with you and not try to persuade you otherwise when you know that's the right choice for you. People should take action."
Images: NARAL Pro-Choice California/YouTube (11)