Google has agreed to remove search ads for some “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs) after admitting that the ads, which come up in searches for abortion, violate its policy against deceptive advertising.
CPCs are centers which portray themselves as women’s health clinics offering a range of treatment options for pregnant women, sometimes including abortion. But often the centers aren’t actually staffed by doctors and instead have counselors who try to dissuade women from terminating pregnancies, even telling them lies. They are frequently located near actual abortion clinics, so as to confuse women. (The HBO documentary “12th & Delaware” is a good primer on how CPCs operate.) Research by the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL-Pro Choice America) found that nearly 80 percent of the CPCs that advertise on Google claim to provide abortions and thus come up in a search for “abortion clinic,” but don’t actually offer abortions or referrals to abortion clinics or doctors in reality. Keep reading »
All Families Healthcare, the only clinic in Flathead Valley, Montana, which provides abortions as well as numerous other reproductive health surfaces to women, suffered a break-in and extensive vandalism on March 3rd.
All Families Healthcare experienced damage to its furniture, medical instruments and supplies, file cabinets, sewer line, furnace and water heater. A yellow powder also covered almost everything inside the clinic, The Missoulian newspaper reported. The clinic is run by Susan Cahill, a physician’s assistant in MT since the 1970s. In 1994, her clinic was firebombed by an anti-abortion extremist as part of a string of attacks against eight clinics that terminate pregnancies. At that time, Cahill’s clinic had to be closed for five months for repairs. Activists mobilized quickly after the most recent attack on the clinic and as of of today, an IndieGogo campaign has raised $41,000 and counting to repair the damage — and there are still 27 days left for the online fundraiser. Keep reading »
Idaho’s state senate may vote as early as today on a bill that will force women to get a medically unnecessary ultrasound before terminating an unwanted pregnancy. Anti-abortion activists say forcing a woman to have an ultrasound gives her “more information” before an abortion. Pro-choice activists and doctors say this is just another a tactic to restrict middle- and low-income women’s access to abortion, as the additional cost can be prohibitively expensive for women who already may be struggling to pay to end an unwanted pregnancy.
And guess who would love to jump in and “help” with that financial conundrum? Idaho’s so-called “crisis pregnancy centers,” which offer free ultrasounds to women but are staffed by anti-abortion activists — not actual doctors! — who will do everything, including lie to women, to stop them from terminating a pregnancy. Several cities around the country have actually passed legislation to thwart CPCs from misleading women.
So, to recap: Idaho women would be forced by law to have an ultrasound and if they cannot afford that ultrasound, the only place they could get one for free would be from anti-abortion activists.
Let’s have a big round of applause for women’s health care in America, everybody!
Keep reading »
First Resort, a so-called “crisis pregnancy center” in San Francisco, has until the end of the month to change its advertisements misleading women about abortion-related services — or else. “Crisis pregnancy centers” often look like women’s health clinics and advertise about pregnancy counseling and services; they claim to help women pay for prenatal care and give them free diapers and other baby supplies. However, CPCs are frequently run by religious organizations and don’t have actual medical professionals on staff; instead, they “counsel” women to not have abortions. Thus, the SF city attorney sent First Resort a cease-and-desist letter warning them about its ads that “appear to be designed to confuse or mislead consumers.” The SF Supervisor Malia Cohen also introduced an ordinance on Tuesday that would punish CPCs for using misleading statements in their ads that make it seem like they provide abortion or counseling for abortions. Keep reading »
Yesterday, I talked about Florida’s “Woman’s Right To Know Act,” which sounds all lovely and innocuous but is actually this Orwellian-named, anti-abortion bill that would require women, including rape and incest victims, to see an ultrasound of their fetus before an abortion. Oh. Ugh. So-called “crisis pregnancy centers” — which can also be called innocuous-sounding “pregnancy help centers” or “pregnancy care centers” — take the cake for Orwellian names. America’s 3,000+ CPCs portray themselves as “clinics” to help women with unwanted pregnancies. However, they are often run by and/or almost entirely bankrolled by anti-abortion activists or Christian groups and despite occasionally owning an ultrasound machine, have no medical professionals on staff. As Slate.com’s Explainer, um, explains, a 2006 investigation by Congress even found some CPCs tell women over the phone that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer, which a lil’ something called the National Cancer Institute says is not true. Keep reading »
South Dakota, South Dakota, South Dakota. What are we doing to do with you? Governor Dennis Daugaard, a Republican, has signed an extreme bill that will require women seeking an abortion to wait three whole days after meeting with her doctor for the procedure to be performed. This law will now be the longest waiting period in the nation. The bill also requires women receive pre-abortion “counseling” from so-called “crisis pregnancy centers,” which are anti-abortion groups that try to dissuade women from terminating pregnancies at all costs. A court challenge is expected imminently. But nevertheless, it’s a shameful day for women’s reproductive rights in America. [Reuters, NPR] Keep reading »