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Andy Harris' dubious charity

9:00 AM EDT, October 9, 2013

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After his vote to shut down the government in order to defund the Affordable Care Act, House anarchist Rep. Andy Harris offered in an interview with WBAL-TV's Debra Weiner to donate his salary. When asked which organization would receive the donation, Mr. Harris designated the Crisis Pregnancy Center, which counsels pregnant women against having abortions.

Centers like CPCs that qualify as medical clinics may provide services such as pregnancy testing and sonograms. But the vast majority are not licensed and provide no medical services. CPCs are known to routinely disseminate false medical information about the risks of abortion.

They are typically run by pro-life Christians, they often look like abortion clinics and even are intentionally located near them. They are known to use graphic videos, religious proselytism and false advertising to spread their dubious information, failing to mention that abortion can be up to 12 times safer than childbirth in some cases — although they often cite the opposite as being true.

They have told clients that women who have abortions have a 50 percent to 80 percent greater chance of getting breast cancer, or that there is a link between abortion and mental health or trauma, both of which are breathtaking lies. These are just a few examples of the religious zealotry that typifies the 2,500 CPCs in the U.S, examples which are supported by a variety of objective sources.

I'm happy that Mr. Harris is foregoing his salary for his lunatic vote, but his disregard for women and the poor has been typified by his vote striking down the Violence Against Women Act and his charitable choices, for starters. But we have a choice: Send him back to Cockeysville in 2014.

Richard Calkins, Tilghman