You and I know that the abortion industry has not identified nor do they use proper ethical standards of care when serving women facing unplanned pregnancy. Not necessarily news to you is it? Because of that the likelihood of a woman being victimized by the political and financial interests of those providers is drastically increased. It is unjust and upsetting and reveals an opportunity.
And what about the Pregnancy Resource Center movement? Have we clearly identified proper ethical standards of care for medical services and counseling? For example, let’s say that your Pregnancy Help Clinic provides pregnancy testing. And let’s say a woman comes in who is seriously considering an abortion and your organization provides her with one. Assuming that it takes just 4 minutes for you to get a result on the pregnancy test you decide to ‘counsel’ the woman for 30 or more minutes about the negative aspects of abortion. This could be considered an unethical use of the trust a woman is giving you by withholding critical decision-making information while you offer her what could be considered ‘your agenda’ about what she should do. This is a grey area but could be interpreted as ‘moral entrapment.’ What is the ethical standard you are using to defend the particular way your organization delivers pregnancy tests?
Anytime a group of people interacts with a person or another group of people that interaction should be governed by practical, ethical standards of care. Those standards which could be called ‘normative ethics’ are designed to insure the person or people receiving the service from you because of their distinct need are protected from any harm that could from exposure to the selfish intentions or personal agendas of the people providing the service. You may say, “Since we are Christians and mean only to help a woman considering abortion this is not a problem for us.” To that it must be said, “Abortion providers could also say they have only the best of intentions.” And it is because of the abortion industry’s lack of ethical standards of care we have an opportunity to set a national standard for all organizations serving women facing unintended pregnancy.
But first we must identify them, agree to them, and prove that we follow them in the pregnancy resource center movement. We are not talking about ‘Commitment of Care’ documents. We are talking about something much more specific.
To learn more about developing a system that will help to insure and optimize ethical standards in your Pregnancy Center go to www.compasscaretraining.org.
Update: See Part II: Ethical Standards for Organizations Serving Abortion Minded Women.