If you want an abortion in Canada, there’s no need for counselling or a referral. You simply go and get one and this happens for about one in four pregnancies in Canada today.
If, however, you are experiencing conflict about an unplanned pregnancy, you may decide to get help from a Crisis Pregnancy Centre. These are the only places that pay attention to you, help you think through your decision and offer support. These centres are under attack these days because they don’t refer for abortion, which honestly, if you are in a CPC you already knew you didn’t need an abortion referral (and the other side likes to talk about how pro-lifers do not trust women). So some people want them to be shut down.
Pat Maloney of Run With Life has written a rebuttal to some of the more egregious attacks. It’s here.
If we pretend to be pro-choice in this country, then we need to defund abortion and ensure that this kind of counselling remains available. Until we defund abortion, we are not pro-choice–we are placing an economic incentive on abortion and making it easier/more accessible. Some people need counselling and benefit from it, and to borrow a phrase from the pro-choice movement, “if you are against this kind of counselling just don’t go get it–ha!” (And no, not every centre is perfect; they are staffed by human beings, after all. But they offer a service to their communities and countless times I’ve been happy to refer to our local centre, First Place Options.)