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Women’s Care Center protested

July 29, 2018

Holding a sign saying, “This is not a doctor’s office,” Nancy Pearson and five other women stood in the parking lot of the Women’s Care Center on Saturday morning.

Two protests were organized at the 921 Coliseum Blvd. W. location this week, with one Monday and another Saturday. Both brought out a handful of protesters.

“The things I’m protesting can’t fit all on one sign,” Pearson said.

Pearson said she decided to protest outside of the Women’s Care Center because she wants to bring awareness to how the center receives its funds and how she believes it provides misleading information.

With the Fort Wayne Planned Parenthood recently closing, Pearson, who is not affiliated with the group, said she is worried because the Women’s Care Center doesn’t offer the health care services Planned Parenthood did, including pap smears, mammograms and birth control.

The Fort Wayne Planned Parenthood did not provide abortion services.

According to the Women’s Care Center website, the center offers only pregnancy testing, pregnancy verification and ultrasounds.

“None of the people in the crisis pregnancy centers are medically licensed,” Pearson said. “They trick women into thinking they’re giving real medical advice when they’re giving just propaganda.”

The protesters were also concerned about how the pregnancy centers receive their funds from under the Title X program.

In the fall of 2015, former Gov. Mike Pence signed a $3.5 million statewide contract with Real Alternatives, which partnered with local pregnancy centers to encourage women to choose childbirth.

The money for the contract came from federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Family dollars, which was approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as an alternative to abortion services programs.

Under the contract, facilities like the Women’s Care Center must support a pro-life initiative and cannot offer abortions or contraceptives.

Chelsea, a 27-year-old from Fort Wayne who requested her full name not be used, said she’s protesting what she sees as policies continuing to limit women’s choices when it comes to their health care.

“It’s really disappointing to see. Yeah, we have these Women’s Care Centers, but they don’t offer accurate medical information,” Chelsea said. “They don’t give all the choices, and whether we like it or not, abortion is a choice that we have in this country.”

Another protester, Kara Williams, said while she doesn’t know much about politics, she has become more interested as the Trump administration continues to affect women’s health.

“We’ve made it this far, and I don’t want to step back,” Williams said.

Williams, who moved to Fort Wayne from Indianapolis three years ago, wants women in Fort Wayne and across the country to be able to have a choice.

“I don’t understand why we’re still fighting that after so many years,” Williams said. “I’d like women to have a choice, and I’d like women to be able to get their health care wherever they want to.”

The Women’s Care Center could not be reached for comment.

cstefanski@jg.net

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