Thursday, 26 February 2015

Fascist C-51: Feet on the Street Time

I started collecting links on C51, aka the Jihadi Terrorists Under Every Bed Bill, a while back, but I was too appalled/depressed to blog about it.

The terrifying Angus Reid poll showing 80% approval of it.

There’s rarely been a bill before Parliament that was more popular. The public Conservatives’ new anti-terror legislation is filling a public demand for tough new measures aimed at a terrorism threat that Canadians believe is serious, and close to home, according to a new poll.

More than four in five Canadians – 82 per cent – back the new legislation to expand the powers of intelligence agencies and police, according to the survey of 1,509 Canadians conducted by the Angus Reid Institute. Far from seeing it as too sweeping, they tend to want more: 36 per cent say it does not go far enough.
And somewhat reassuringly, Press Progress's critique of the poll.

Now, a few of the myriad dissections of the bill and why it is VERY VERY BAD.

First, Legal scholars Forcese and Roach.

Three lengthy background papers by Forcese and Roach: one, two, and three.

Here is their essential website dedicated to the proposed act, where you'll find tons of useful information including an explainer video.

Unsigned Globe and Mail editorial.
Intimidation is the modus operandi. Well-documented are the smear campaigns and the undercover operations against opponents run out of the highest political office in the land.

If you think it’s bad now, be prepared for worse, as with the anti-terror legislation. The danger with ideological leaders of any stripe is that in the name of security, they can ramp up state authority without the usual degree of public challenge. It’s why we see Mr. Harper hyping the terror threats Canada faces, as opposed to allaying the public’s fears.

More fear means more power. He knows it well, and so should the opposition leaders. If they can’t build a strong case against this new kind of Canada, they should find another line of work.
The Star.

Read this by former CSIS officer Francois Lavigne and tremble (note bold).

Former CSIS officer Francois Lavigne is alarmed by the Conservative government’s new anti-terror bill.

He believes the measures proposed in C-51 are unnecessary, a threat to the rights of Canadians and that the prime minister is using fascist techniques to push the bill.

Mr. Lavigne started his career with the RCMP security service in 1983, before the CSIS was established.

“I was hired by the barn burners,” he said in an interview last week. “I went to work for the FIU unit, the foreign interference unit. And that was where the barn burners came from.”

The barn burners were the off-the-leash Mounties whose law-breaking ways led to the McDonald Commission, which led to the establishment of Canadian Security Intelligence Service in 1984.
Press Progress again on how the RCMP identify terrorist targets. (Spoiler: SUN columnists are key.)

Various luminaries of the Canadian political scene, including four former PMs, calling for greater oversight. (Yeah, right.)

Michael Geist.

And from today, Alison with lots more excellent links.

I'm not even getting into the Liberals' absolutely despicable position on it.

Because here's the point: We ordinary Canadians must get our butts out in frigid fucking February (or March) to declare THIS SHALL NOT PASS.

Who's gonna organize it?

Lead Now?

The NDP?

The Communist Party?

I don't care.

Organize it and I'll come out. And I'll bring every person I know with me.

Will you?

Image source: The anti-prorogue protest in Victoria.

ADDED: Reddit users and Anonymous and I are like this.

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Of Sex Ed and Dickheads...

On Monday the Ontario government released its comprehensive Health and Physical Education curriculum for grades 1 through 12, which includes a component on human sexuality.

Some people got sidetracked. This woman opined that her own children are too clever or savvy for the topics addressed. Though Soupcoff is a parent and a non-practicing lawyer, she lacks pedagogical training as well as an understanding of cognitive development-appropriate teaching methods. She also forgets there ARE adults who flail, fail and suffer from a dearth of basic life skills and knowledge.

Nadine Thornhill read it ALL. And she shared her observations, too.

Our friend Rick at Queer Thoughts also blogged about the new curriculum.

Premier Wynne was subjected to implicit homophobic baiting in the legislature; this is how she responded:
Bravo Kathleen, you go grrrl! we say.

On Tuesday a protest against the curriculum was held at Queen's Park, attended by upset parents, religious extremists and an assortment of right-wing nut-job misogynists, homophobes and bigots. 1800 people were expected.  Less than 200 showed up, though the exact number was disputed.  My co-blogger wondered if hundreds of school kids would get bused in, as the Catholics do for the annual March for Lies. They were not.

Speakers demanded that media not portray them as fringe religious zealots, and blamed the media for putting pressure on the government to update the curriculum (last version was 1998, way before mobile devices were available to children).  

Sadly, this is how some protesters expressed their concerns:


Oh, remember (ex)Trustee Sam?  His pathetic, delusional rantings have become testerical.

He appears oblivious to documented facts about pedophilia; namely that 68% of cases of child sexual abuse are perpetrated by family members.  The curriculum will provide kids with information about being respected and heard - a big part of consent - and what to do if adults transgress their personal boundaries.  Now why would that make Sam anxious?

Here is Nadine Thornhill again, this time providing parents with ways for broaching the issue of consent with their children. Her website is an amazing resource for parents who want to address the topics covered by the Ontario curriculum with their children, in advance of its September 2015 implementation.

And not unconnected to our provincial brouhaha, this happened in the Excited States:

Whoa! Does someone lacks basic knowledge of human physiology?  Did Republican politician Vito Barbieri attend creationist abstinence anti-sex ed summer camp? Which led someone to wonder:

As it turns out, Barbieri was only using tactical trickery, adding to the treasure trove of dumb metaphors and analogies (whoops! I said anal) that anti-abortion crusaders deploy: parrots in cages, kidneys, balloons and many many others, as catalogued here by fern hill.
"I was being rhetorical, because I was trying to make the point that equalizing a colonoscopy to this particular procedure was apples and oranges," he said. "So I was asking a rhetorical question that was designed to make her say that they weren't the same thing, and she did so. It was the response I wanted."

THIS by the way, is a very, very good analogy.  These two sketch the epidemiological effect of anti-sex Ed parents and their children on other families. This one is another take on the harmful consequences of anti-sex Ed, like anti-vaccination believers. 

The last word on Sex Ed (Ed suggestive of Edwardian) belongs to Sir Francis:

Say It Ain't So. Fake Clinics Triple in Quebec

As a feminist not living in Quebec, I guess I had an overly rosy view of how thoroughly the women of the province have shucked off centuries of patriarchy.

So this report, issued on the 27th anniversary of the Morgentaler decision -- and let us never forget Quebec's role in that victory -- shocked the shit out of me.

The Federation of Quebec for Planned Parenthood (FQPN) warns of new strategies being employed in Quebec and in particular of the alarming increase in the number of crisis pregnancy centres (CPCs).

In ten years, the number of fake clinics has ballooned from fewer than 5 to more than 15.

The tone of the report indicates that the researchers were not familiar with the standard operating practices of these gangs.

CPCs lie! The report documents the CPC stock in trade of outrageous lies -- about abortion causing breast cancer, infertility and mental health and substance abuse problems.

CPCs manipulate and shock! Here are some quotes presented in the report.

"Are you really ready to live with the decision to have killed your child?"

"Foundations for the protection of animals give grants to laboratories to use aborted fetuses instead of rats. They also use it to manufacture cosmetics. "

"You know, I know women who have had abortions and sank into depression, drugs, and hate men."

This must be all rather unsettling for a population overwhelmingly pro-choice (85% according to Leger Marketing, 2010).

And a population -- until recently -- relatively free from the machinations of the fake clinics that infest the rest of Canada.

Here's a link to the pdf of the report complete with FQPN's recommendations.

A group of dedicated volunteers is compiling a list of CPCs in Canada. Here are the known ones in Quebec. (The research is not complete. If there are errors, please let us know.)

Options Pregnancy Crisis Centre, Chateauguay

Accueil-Grossesse/Birthright, Montreal

Accueil-Grossesse/Birthright, Drummondville

Action Nouvelle Vie, Longueuil

Centre Conseils Grossesse/Pregnancy Counselling Centre, Montreal

Enceinte et inquiète, online only

Grosssess-Secours Inc., Montreal

Support familial flocons d'espoir (formerly Centre naître our ne pas naître), Montreal

Accueil-Grossesse/Birthright, Pointe Claire

Options grossesse, Quebec

Tu n'es pas seule (Paroisse Saint Thomas d'Aquin), Quebec

Options Pregnancy Centre, Sherbrooke

Secour et Vie, Sherbrooke, et Trois-Rivières, Granby

Accueil Grossesse Beauce-Appalaches, St. Georges

Accueil-Grossesse/Birthright, St. Laurent

Centre D'aide Oasis Care Centre, Verdun

Note that several of them operate under the Birthright banner. Birthright is somewhat different from the usual fundamentalist, Christian slut-shamers. It is non-religious and non-political, which perhaps makes it a better fit for secular Quebec.

The hotline Enceinte et inquiète is directly financed by Campaign Quebec Vie. Launched in 2011, its website is full of the usual bullshit about abortion's links to cancer, depression, guilt, etc.

Like other CPCs, these websites do not tell the whole story, so reporters have resorted to undercover investigations. This one from 2014 details some encounters.

Another from 2010 describes a visit to Options grossesse, Quebec, including the absolutely amazing claims that "pregnancy heals rape" and that "studies show that women who choose abortion are likely to be more violent with their other children."

Tu n'es pas seule is Catholic with a particular jones for adoption.

Quebec now even has its own umbrella organization for fake clinics, L'Alliance Ressource Grossesse (ARG) with 12 members.

I did some checking on a few of these at Canada Revenue Agency's Charitable Status division. For now at least, they seem quite small -- at least in terms of budgets.

It is to be hoped that with continuing excellent research and reporting by groups like FQPN people will become more aware of these fake clinics in their midst and learn -- sadly, like the Rest of Canada has -- what manipulative, lying scumbags they are.

**** Grand merci to deBeauxOs for help in keeping me from making a jackass of myself. ****

ADDED: Fetus Freaky Campaign Lie lists only five CPCs in Quebec. Seems pro-choice has the drop on anti-choice AGAIN in straight and full information.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Did Crossroads Clinic Cross Its Fingers?

I'm confused. Is Crossroads Clinic pro-choice or anti-choice?

Or maybe, just, um, flexible.

Here they are trumpeting their involvement in The Sexual Assault Response Network.

The Sexual Assault Response Network (SARN) is a collaboration of seven partners including the Sexual Assault Response Committee (SARC), Crossroads Clinic, Cantara Safe House, RCMP, Southern Alberta Child & Family Services (Brooks Office), Victim Service Unit, and Alberta Health Services (AHS) Emergency, Sexual Health Unit, and Social Worker Unit. These agencies have banded together to address an overwhelming need of support for an estimated 3,400 victims of sexual assault in the City of Brooks alone.

Crossroads Clinic, the lead partner, was awarded a grant by the Community Foundation of Southeastern Alberta. This grant allows them to provide training for those working with the program from the various agencies, as well as purchasing a phone and phone plan for the Support Line. Crossroads Clinic staff mans the support line during the day and Cantara Safe House operates the phone during non-business hours.

I checked at the Community Foundation of Southeastern Alberta and found that yes, indeed, Crossroads Clinic Association (Brooks Pregnancy Care Centre) got a grant in Fall 2013 of $6,048 ($1,639 for Crisis Line Phone and $4,409 for Training for Crisis Line).

Since it is the standard of care to provide emergency contraception (EC, or Plan B) after rape/sexual assault, it seemed that this disclaimer sorted rather badly with Crossroads' new role as sexual abuse counsellor.
Note: Crossroads Clinic provides limited medical services. We provide free medical confirmation of pregnancy and Sexual Transmitted Infections screening and limited treatment for women. We do not provide ongoing prenatal care, abortions, birth control or contraceptives.

Kathy Dawson asked the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services on Twitter if Crossroads were a member. Nope.

I emailed two of the legit-looking organizations in the "network," Cantara Safe House and the Sexual Assault Response Committee (SARC) of Medicine Hat, to ask a) is it true that Crossroads is a partner and b) WTF -- do they know that Crossroads is an anti-choice crisis pregnancy centre?

Then I found that SARC has a twitter account. So I asked.

They call it "options counselling," do they? And EC/Plan B too?

But but but, Plan B is an ABORTIFACIENT!!!!!! Well, according to fetus freaks it is. (Sane people understand how EC actually works.)

So, now we're wondering. If, for the purposes of reaching out to a new group of potential "patients" and/or the six thousand bucks, Crossroads has agreed to act as if it's prochoice, do its fetus-freak donors know? More importantly, does the Canadian (formerly Christian) Association of Pregnancy Support Services know?

If they crossed their fingers behind their backs when agreeing to the prochoice protocols, do the other organizations in the network know and how are they keeping tabs on them?

Crossroads, crossed fingers. . . what's the diff?

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Christian Sexual Abuse Counselling from a Fake Clinic

Hoo boy, do I ever have a lot more to say about Crossroads Clinic, a fake clinic/crisis pregnancy centre in Brooks, Alberta.

From its Services page:
Sexual Abuse Support
Is sexual trauma part of your past? 1 in 3 women have experience sexual abuse. You are not alone.

Crossroads Clinic offers a 10 week DVD series that deals with sexual trauma and sexual abuse in a safe confidential setting - Steps to Sexual Health (see below).

Steps to Sexual Health
Have you dealt with sexual trauma, abuse, or misuse? Steps to Sexual Health is a 10-part DVD series by Doctor Doug Weiss, Ph.D. that encourages sexual healing and healthy attitudes toward sexuality. Available in safe, confidential sessions for groups or individuals. Call or email Crossroads Clinic to book your session.

So, their sexual abuse support/counselling consists of plugging in some DVDs and leaving clients to watch them confidentially?

Let's find out more about this DVD series, Steps to Sexual Health (bold mine).
These 10 sessions of sexual education with Dr. Douglas Weiss includes: 1. Going for Gold Sex 2. Sexual Expression 3. Roadblocks to Sexual Success (Part 1) 4. Roadblocks to Sexual Success (Part 2) 5. How I Coped 6. Perpetrators 7. Sexual Histories 8. Healing our Histories 9. Your Sexual Guard 10. Sexual Agreement These sessions were taped in front of a live audience. This is perfect for public or private schools, churches or pregnancy centers or to train your own children. This is a professionally presented program for youth to be more prepared for life as a sexual person. Package includes is 3 DVD’s and a workbook.
Crossroads Clinic splurged $95 on it.

Now, who is this Douglas Weiss? He seems to be quack of the first order, an expert on sex addiction, with a long suit in weird coinages, like intimacy anorexia.

He is also -- SURPRISE! -- a fairly whacked out Christian.
Watch this promo for one of his books. (It's mercifully short.)

He's also a regular on the Christian chat show circuit. (I actually watched "Lust Free Living" on that page and learned I'm doing it wrong.)

OK, this is all totally lame, but what would one expect of a fake clinic trying to branch out into other areas and suck in other vulnerable populations?

Not much.

But what would one expect of a fake clinic that has unaccountably gotten itself into something called The Sexual Assault Response Network, with some other legit (-sounding) players?
The Sexual Assault Response Network (SARN) is a collaboration of seven partners including the Sexual Assault Response Committee (SARC), Crossroads Clinic, Cantara Safe House, RCMP, Southern Alberta Child & Family Services (Brooks Office), Victim Service Unit, and Alberta Health Services (AHS) Emergency, Sexual Health Unit, and Social Worker Unit. These agencies have banded together to address an overwhelming need of support for an estimated 3,400 victims of sexual assault in the City of Brooks alone.

For now, all we have to say about this is WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK?

Researches are continuing and we'd be grateful for any leads or links.

h/t to Alison for the Dr. Doug video links.

ADDED: Scroll down to see the disclaimer.
Note: Crossroads Clinic provides limited medical services. We provide free medical confirmation of pregnancy and Sexual Transmitted Infections screening and limited treatment for women. We do not provide ongoing prenatal care, abortions, birth control or contraceptives.
So, a sexual assault counselling service that does not offer emergency contraception? How is that possible?

Friday, 20 February 2015

More Harper Lies

DAMMIT JANET! should have been doing this on a weekly, if not daily basis since Harper took power.

Since 2006, his regime has perfected the art of ideological spin to an artistic apex that surely has Goebbels clapping wildly in his grave.  Here's one wrap-up of obfuscations deployed by his thousands of communications flunkeys.

Remember Vic Toews' _line in the sand_ ...?

Boy, that sure was some hugely volatile speaking point, charged with insinuations that had previously worked momentarily for Harper in the 2005 election campaign.

Only it backfired again, this time with a MASSIVE pushback.

Here's the reality with regard to the Cons' disingenuous, desperate tactic.  It turns out that Harper's government isn't really all that committed to providing the RCMP with adequate resources to investigate, gather evidence, charge child pornographers and bring them to trial.

In fact, Harper and the RCMP dropped the ball as soon as it was evident that their regime could pursue other avenues for spying upon, harassing and destroying organizations and the lives of people who didn't agree with them, or openly opposed their policies as is allowed in a democratic country.

The CRA has been directed by Harper to audit specific organizations. The RCMP has been told to focus on First Nations, Métis and Indigenous resistance movement and its leaders, as well as environmentalists.  CSIS will be empowered to disregard constitutional rights as it spies on those identified as *terrorists* by Harper and MacKay.

And now, it appears that Harper/Kenney monstrosity, the _Monument to Victims of Communism_ might allow Nazis and Third Reich officials to be remembered, since the figures cited include these people.
[...]memory squares will be embedded in a series of ascending folded concrete rows, rising 14.5 metres at their highest point. Visitors will be able to walk among the rows and touch the memory squares to “viscerally experience the overwhelming scale of the Communist atrocities,” says the winning team’s statement of design intent.
At Thursday’s announcement, Kapusta referenced Josef Stalin’s infamous statement that “one death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.”
As our friend Jay Watts III notes:

He also raises these valid points.

For the modest sum of $1000, folks who admire the work of Wilhelm Kube could have his name inscribed on one of the Memory Squares.  He is one of those "victim of Communism"... included in the statistics deployed by the Harper Cons.

The Contempt of Harper Conservative Reformists: enabling child pornographers, glorifying fascists and eventually jailing Canadians who disagree with them.

If things continue his way, Harper will be remembered for human rights abuses as egregious as those of Joseph Stalin or Robert Mugabe.

It's Baaaack: Unborn Victims Bill, C484

Here we go again. Another brutal murder of a pregnant woman and people are again braying for vengeance.

Firefighters discovered [Cassandra] Kaake’s body Dec. 11 after she was murdered and mutilated. Kaake, 31, was seven months pregnant. She planned to call the baby Molly.

Police said Kaake died from blood loss caused by severe trauma. The killer also allegedly torched Kaake’s Benjamin Avenue home with her body inside.

Matthew Brush, 26, from LaSalle, is charged with break and enter, arson causing property damage, possession of incendiary material for arson, arson with disregard for human life, first-degree murder and indecent interference with a dead body.
If found guilty, I think it's pretty safe to say that this fella will have the book thrown at him, including a very harsh sentence based on Canada's sensible notion of aggravating circumstances.

From a 2007 Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada Position Paper on "Fetal Homicide" Law (pdf):
In Canada, the judicial system routinely takes aggravating circumstances into account. In the case of an assault or murder of a pregnant woman, even though a third party cannot be charged separately with harm to the fetus, prosecutors may recommend more serious charges (such as first degree murder or aggravated assault), judges may impose harsher penalties, and parole boards may deny parole to convicted perpetrators.

Perhaps we want a new law that codifies such practices. Thirteen U.S. states have laws that simply apply stiffer punishments for murdering a pregnant woman, but do not make the death of the fetus a separate crime. Such a solution would avoid the controversy about giving rights to fetuses or interfering with abortion rights, and would ensure that women do not lose their rights while they are pregnant.
No doubt this has been explained to the grieving family and friends, but is apparently not enough. A woman named Kim Badour started a petition to bring back Ken Epp's ill-fated private member's bill, C484.
The bill would have made it a criminal offence to cause harm to an unborn child during a crime against the mother. It passed second reading in the House of Commons but was later dropped. Badour wants to bring it back.
As the ARCC quote indicates, there are tons of problems with "fetal homicide" laws, however well-intentioned they are. (We do not believe that Epp and other fetus freaks were well-intentioned. We believe they were and are crass anti-choicers preying on the grief and outrage of bereaved families in order to bring in anti-abortion legislation by the infamous back door.)

So what does Official Fetus Freakdom have to say?

Perhaps surprisingly, it is quite clear-eyed and balanced (!!!!) in its response. First the obligatory whine.

[Mary-Ellen]Douglas [spokesperson for Campaign Life Coalition] hopes a pro-life MP will take up Bill C-484 but doesn’t give it much chance of passage. “Harper stopped it the first time,” she said, and there is no reason to believe he won’t do the same again.

But next, a pretty straight account of the other side.
The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) opposed Bill C-484 then and still does, seeing it as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. While it appeals to all concerned about violence against women, according to ARCC, it really targets women’s “reproductive rights.” ARCC’s Joyce Arthur told LifeSiteNews that 38 U.S. states (and the U.S. federal government) have passed unborn victims laws or other “fetal personhood” measures that have “resulted in hundreds of pregnant women with wanted pregnancies being arrested or prosecuted, or subjected to forced interventions, for behavior perceived as potentially harmful to the fetus.”

Arthur cites a study titled Arrests of and Forced Interventions on Pregnant Women in the United States, 1973–2005: Implications for Women’s Legal Status and Public Health, and further studies by the same researchers, Lynn Paltrow and Jeanne Flavin. They count 780 instances since 1973 (380 of them since 2005) of women jailed or institutionalized by the courts either to get them off drugs during their “wanted” pregnancy or on suspicion they deliberately caused themselves to miscarry, but sometimes when women merely resisted doctors’ wishes that they deliver by caesarean section. 

None of the laws used were intended to jail pregnant women, the researchers report, and about 10 percent of the arrests fell under unborn victims of crime laws.
The piece ends with another obligatory whining flourish.
Mary Ellen Douglas countered, however: “Joyce Arthur and her crowd will do anything to avoid talking about the 4 million unborn children that have been legally aborted in Canada. They can’t face that reality.”
Here's a link to the executive summary of the study Arthur cites. It is a chilling documentation of the criminalization of pregnancy in the US, resulting in arrests, trials, and imprisonment of mostly poor, vulnerable women.

Two recent examples show the gross injustice these laws enable, both cases targetting women of colour: Purvi Patel and Bei Bei Shuai.

But however tragic these cases are -- whether they involve murder, spousal abuse, sustance abuse, or mental health issues -- there will always be the opportunists.

Like Mike Schouten of We Need a Law (Like a Hole in the Head).

It is particularly rich that Schouten with his astroturf organization -- set up by Dominionist Association for Reformed Political Action to jump on "gendercide", or the alleged MASSIVE phenom in "certain" communities of aborting female fetuses -- would attach itself to a proposed law that would target poor, vulnerable women like Patel and Shuai.

Ah well, "gendercide," "fetal homicide," criminalized pregnancies, grieving families, targetted "communities" -- what does it matter to people on a Mission from Gawd?

Here's our Minister of National Defense at ARPA's "God & Government 2014" bunfest.

(Yes, I realize that photo is irrelevant, but I like it.)

UPDATE, Feb. 25/15: Windsor Star is running a poll on whether a fetal homicide law is needed. And as commenter Anon says, people are letting their emotions get in the way of the actual threat to women's rights such a law would present.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Desperate Crisis Pregnancy Clinics: Healthcare or Counselling?

These are trying times for fake abortion clinics.

First, the old styling -- "crisis pregnancy centre (CPC)" -- has become so indelibly associated with lies, manipulation, and slut-shaming, they've taken to rebranding themselves as Options/Choice/Life/WhatHaveYou Centres.

Then they were getting dinged by false advertising claims and lawsuits.

According to an analysis by NARAL [US pro-choice organization], 79 percent of the crisis pregnancy centers that advertised on Google indicated that they provided medical services such as abortions, when, in fact, they are focused on counseling services and on providing information about alternatives to abortion.

In response, they began vociferously denying they were medical facilities.
"We aren’t a medical facility,” explains [Lambton Crisis Pregnancy Centre's executive director Kim] LeBlanc.  “We don’t refer people to pediatricians and we don’t refer them to abortion clinics. We aren’t qualified.”

So what then to make of fake clinics acquiring medical equipment and advertising "healthcare services"? Here we reported that we'd found only one such ultrasound-enhanced CPC in Canada.

Now, spurred by a virtual brown envelope over the transom, we report on another, Crossroads Clinic in Brooks, Alberta.

From its Services page:
More than just a pregnancy care center, Crossroads Clinic is a medical facility focusing on all aspects of sexual [!] health.
It lists the usual "Pregnancy Options Counselling," "Abortion Recovery," "Pregnancy Testing" (drugstore pee-on-a-stick type), but also includes "Sexual Abuse or Trauma Recovery" and "STI or STD Testing."

(Anyone ever heard of a CPC offering sexual abuse counselling? Let us know.)

We accessed its charitable status to check on its funding. It reports government funding running at 4-5% of total revenue for the past four years. (No specific sources given.)

Canada Revenue Agency asks its lucky participants to inform them of "new services" and in 2013, Crossroads reported one such.
HEALTH CARE SERVICES ==> Medical professionals provide pregnancy test and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing and treatment.
Okey-dokey, now they provide healthcare services and indeed ask that "patients" bring their Alberta Health Care number and a photo ID. (Maybe a DJ! reader would like to undertake a query to Alberta Health over that oddity.)

So, beyond aiding patients' peeing on a stick, what do these services entail?

A magic ultrasound machine!
Women come to Crossroads Clinic both to confirm pregnancy and review their options. Having an ultrasound scan by trained medical professionals gives a client the accurate and timely information she needs to make educated decisions about her pregnancy and her future.

We are so blessed to have ultrasound technology on-site.

Blessed, indeed. While its website is all very secular and professional, its Facebook page is way more jesus-y.

As of course it should be since Crossroads is a member of Canadian [formerly Christian] Association of Pregnancy Support Services (CAPSS), whose "core documents" (well worth the read for the Bible verses alone) can be downloaded here.

Regular DJ! readers might remember that it was the affiliation with CAPSS that got the above-mentioned Lambton Crisis Pregnancy Centre stripped of the second part of its Trillium Foundation grant, according to the Sarnia Observer.

Upshot: no matter how they style themselves, what services they try to offer, who they associate with, CPCs in Canada are on the ropes.

And here ends, for now, DJ!'s survey of fake clinics in Alberta.

But we're on a mission here at DAMMIT JANET! We want to see the closure of all fake clinics in Canada.

And we'll do whatever we can to effect that.

Up next, British Columbia, and perhaps more surprisingly, Quebec.

UPDATE: From Jaden Fitzherbert on Twitter: the fake clinic in Fredericton offers ultrasound.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Sanctioned Doctor, Outmoded Abortion Protocol

The good news: An incompetent Ontario abortion provider, Dr Michel Prevost, was compelled to resign after documentation of poor practices.

The details (we'll get to the bad news in a minute): Because Health Canada is about 30 years behind the rest of the world in approving the "gold standard" of medical abortion, mifepristone, or RU486, doctors are forced to use the less effective protocol of combined methotrexate and misoprostol.

Methotrexate is used not just for abortion but also for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases.

The dosage needs to be calculated.
Methotrexate is given by injection the amount of which is individually calculated by each woman’s weight and height. As the medication takes effect, MTX interferes with folic acid and stops fetal cell duplication, and disrupts pregnancy at the stage of implantation in the uterine wall. When given early in pregnancy, it is effective in ending the pregnancy. (If a pregnancy were to continue after taking this drug, the fetus has a high risk of deformities.)

Which is where Prevost screwed up.
"He displayed a lack of judgment and patients were exposed to harm or injury in his failure to properly screen patients for medical terminations, in his failure to calculate doses of methotrexate on the basis of his patients' respective body surface areas, and in his failure to follow up with patients, including when he was aware that patients had ongoing gestations after the administration of methotrexate," the decision said.
Despite Prevost's treatment, two pregnancies went to term with fetal anomalies -- anomalies whose cause(s) were not investigated by the College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Now for the (totally predictable) bad news. The fetus freaks are doing wild happy dances in celebration of "botched" abortions resulting in harm.

See? See? See? they're SHRIEKING. Abortion is terrible.

And people wonder why we oppose RU486.

It's one thing to have an RU486 abortion in a big city. In a remote location, it can carry far greater risks…
Two teensy problems there. 1) The drugs used were NOT RU486. 2) The supposed "remoteness" of Almonte, ON (46 km from downtown Ottawa), had nothing to do with the outcomes.

But for the mis- or uninformed, the sanctioning of this doctor will be seen as a blow to medical abortion in general and the as-yet unapproved (and uninvolved) RU486/mifepristone.

In January 2014, the Canadian Medical Association Journal published a commentary, titled "Medical abortion in Canada: behind the times."

In it, the authors specifically address the difference between the method Prevost -- and all other Canadian practitioners -- have no choice but to use and the "gold standard".
Unfortunately, Canadian women who want a medical abortion (assuming they can find a provider) must resort to a more cumbersome method that uses the cytotoxic drug methotrexate, followed 5–7 days later by misoprostol. Although the methotrexate–misoprostol approach provides a nonsurgical option, it is the second-best method. If allowed to take its course, the regimen is as effective as mifepristone and misoprostol for abortions at up to 7 weeks’ gestation, but its time course is longer and less predictable, with some abortions delayed several weeks after administration of methotrexate. Because methotrexate is teratogenic, the World Health Organization does not recommend it for abortion because of its association with serious deformities in the infant if the abortion fails and the pregnancy continues.
Takes longer, is less predicable, associated with serious deformities if the abortion fails.

Yup. And in the hands of a lesser practitioner, prone to fucked-up outcomes.

On Twitter the other day, I asked Dr. Jen Gunter, Canadian-trained, San Francisco-based OB/GYN, whether such outcomes would be less likely using RU486/mifepristone.

She was a tad busy at the time, dealing with her characterization by Heather Mallick as the dismissible "rural doctor" in The Star's flustercluck over the "dark side" of Gardisil.

She had time for only this reply.

Upshot: Far from being a condemnation of RU486/mifepristone, this sad episode should serve as an incentive for Health Canada to hurry up and approve the 21st-century medical abortion protocol.