Sunday 2 November 2014

Crisis Pregnancy Centres in Canada: Now with Ultrasound Machines

Doing some research for our ongoing series on public funding of crisis pregnancy centres (Part 1 and Part 2), I ran across some information about ultrasounds in Canadian fake clinics.

First, regular readers know that DJ! has a fascination for the fetus fetishists' um, fetish for ultrasounds used to somehow magically connect abortion-minded women to their blobs and immediately reverse any desire for self-determination.

In the US, the fancy-dress army of the Vatican Taliban, aka the Knights of Columbus, has a huge fundraising project to buy the machines for as many fake clinics as they can. Despite the fact that ultrasounds do NOT dissuade women from abortion, howevermuch the fetus freaks lie about it.

I wondered what the situation on ultrasounds in fake clinics in Canada was. So I looked.

I found a lengthy discussion from 2013 in The Interim, which bills itself as "Canada's Life and Family Newspaper." It details the magical properties of ultrasounds and the efforts to equip USian fake clinics with them. Then it goes into the situation in Canada.

Crisis pregnancy centers in Canada looking to use ultrasounds to convince women to keep their babies face regulatory obstacles that their American counterparts often do not.

Regulations regarding ultrasound facilities differ throughout Canada. In Ontario, diagnostic clinics must acquire an Independent Health Facilities License, which will be granted, according to the 2005 guide, to clinics operating in "under-serviced" areas. The nature and cost of the service will also be considered. Under the Independent Health Facilities Act, each clinic must have a quality advisor and an advisory committee to advise the quality advisor. The Healing Arts Radiation Protection Act of Ontario requires each diagnostic facility to have a radiation protection officer (a role that may be assumed by the quality advisor). British Columbia has a temporary moratorium on diagnostic services and will license private office obstetric/gynecologic ultrasounds with accredited radiologists that have proven there is a need for their services. 

Ultrasound facilities are also monitored by the provincial colleges of physicians and surgeons. In general, ultrasound exams in Manitoba, Ontario, and Alberta must be conducted by certified sonographers and there must be a sonologist or a physician accredited in diagnostic imaging available for consultation, supervision, or review of exams during operating hours. In Alberta, there must be a medical director, who is also a physician, as well as a consult physician. Manitoba has ergonomic standards, requiring "properly designed" scanning chairs, support cushions, as well as adjustable stretchers and footrests.

Canada's CPCs do not have in-house ultrasounds like their counterparts in the U.S. Linda Baartse, director of the Pregnancy Care Centre in Toronto, told The Interim that financing ultrasounds is "not the area of first priority" for her organization. She said that there are better ways for her group to spend the money that would otherwise be involved in the high cost of starting up and running ultrasound services. The PCC prefers, instead, to provide mothers with material support, opening new locations, and raising awareness. Rather, the Pregnancy Care Centre has a referral list of physicians that could help the woman access medical services such as ultrasounds.

Juergen Severloh, executive director of the Crisis Pregnancy Centre of Winnipeg, told The Interim in an email interview that the centre unsuccessfully tried to buy a used ultrasound machine from the hospital in 1997. Currently, CPC of Winnipeg provides clients with cards that entitle them to a free ultrasound and DVD at Babymoon, a third-party ultrasound business. Severloh believes that a "pregnancy centre should become linked to the ultrasound services of local pro-life physician's offices," it may pay for the set up costs and supplies in exchange for medical expertise, avoiding liability, and immediate service for clients.
I found that reassuring. Good old Canada has rules and regulations about gangs of nutters running totally unnecessary diagnostics on people in order to manipulate them.

But then I looked further. It seems The Interim is not quite up to speed.
In April 2012, it was reported that the Edmonton Pregnancy Crisis Centre had scored one of the magic machines.
The Edmonton Pregnancy Crisis Centre has qualified counsellors, informative brochures and educational videos for its clients. Recently the centre introduced its new tool to help prevent abortion.

A total of 33 Knights of Columbus councils from in and around Edmonton donated money for an ultrasound machine. It is a diagnostic method using high frequency sound waves to obtain images internally.
A sonographer has volunteered her time to operate the unit at the centre. She comes in according to need.
More looking revealed that the anti-abortion gang in Fredericton also has one.
In addition to your pregnancy test, an ultrasound scan may provide you with precise and helpful information about whether you are pregnant and, if so, how far along you are. Our ultrasounds are performed by a certified nurse-sonographer. We are pleased to offer you this as a complimentary service.
Interesting, no?

We're now wondering if there are more fake clinics in Canada subjecting women to this humiliating and coercive non-medical procedure.

If you know of any, please leave details in the comments.


Anonymous said...

I see no problem in such clinics/centres having ultrasound machines.
Abortion is no walk in the park, just ask the women who went through it to tell you about all the emotions and even depression they go through after the procedure.
Plus, if I am about to walk into a clinic to have an abortion, I don't want it to be on desperation, I need to think it through. And if I request (the service is complementary, not obligatory), I will have an ultrasound before I choose to end my pregnancy. Or I would simply ignore it. It's the mom's choice anyway.
It seems that people fear that the women will choose to keep their babies if they have an ultrasound. Since when this is other's people problems?
Abortion is legal in Canada, and there are clinics just for that. Walk in and you're done. Or if you need to, you can also walk into another type of clinic that offers other resources, options (including abortion itself) and care, pre or post abortion.
Let's stop the hate.

fern hill said...

I'll type this slowly, Anon, on the off-chance you return and read.

First, these are not medical clinics. They have no business conducting medical procedures. Here is the Society of Gynecologists of Canada's statement on non-medical ultrasounds.

Second, abortion clinics provide ultrasounds either as part of the clinical diagnosis or on request. These would be medical ultrasounds.

Third, seeing ultrasounds does not change women's minds, so there is no "fear." Pro-choice people actually trust women to make up their own minds based on their own situations.

Fourth, the whole point of these fake clinics is to dissuade women from exercising, as you point out, a legal right. They lie, distort and manipulate to try to achieve that goal.

The provision of an unregulated and unnecessary non-medical non-service is a tool fake clinics should not have.

Interesting that you would say "since when this is other's people problems?" (I get the meaning though the syntax is mangled.)

We prochoice ask that very question of the slut-shamers and panty-sniffers: Since when is whether someone else has an abortion or not YOUR problem?

But thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is a woman's right to choose abortion, just like it would be her right to choose any other medical procedure/surgery. But you know that, even before the most minor of surgeries, doctors are legally required to explain every possible risk (physical and psychological) not matter how small it may be? The problem in our society is that so called "pro-choice" people preach abortion as a "quick fix" that carries with it no possibility for long-term consequences, and they ignore the thousands of women who carry the weight of regret and guilt/shame of their past abortion.

Why are "pro-choicers" so afraid of women making fully informed decisions? If an abortion minded woman will not change her mind having an ultrasound, then why is it wrong to give her one? At least then she will be making a fully informed decision and know exactly what is going on inside her body before having the procedure. Doesn't she have the right to know all the facts before she makes her choice? The ultrasound isn't lying to her or manipulating her -- it's showing her what's going on insider her body.

I personally know women who went for their abortions without having learned anything about fetal development. They didn't learn what had been going on in their bodies until after the fact. For some of them, learning this didn't change anything . . . and yet for others it sent them into a whirlwind of regret and emotional bondage. If those women had known the facts beforehand, they (by their own admission) would have changed their minds. And why is that such an awful thing? Why is it awful for a woman to keep her baby?

These same post-abortive women are angry that they weren't given all the facts about abortion or about their other options. They simply found out they were pregnant, panicked, called the abortion clinic, went there and had it done. Get it, get out. Get on with it. No one told them what was going on in their bodies. No one empowered them about the other options available to them.

I have met woman who said that when they went for their abortions they were given an ultrasound and then not permitted to see the image. I personally know women who went in for their abortion and felt uneasy at the last minute. So she told the abortion nurse and doctor that she was feeling unsure and wanted to leave. But they did they listen to her? No. They simply injected her with a sedative, instructed her to lay back and said "Just relax. It will all be over soon." Now that is appalling. How is that empowering to women? This sort of thing happens all the time in abortion clinics. Perhaps you should spend more time researching that. You clearly are not knowledgeable on this topic and are carelessly spouting off your "opinion" in order to accomplish your own brand of manipulation.

I have never met a mother who regrets her decision not to abort. I don't meet women who, after deciding to keep their babies say "Yeah that was stupid. I wish I had just aborted. I totally regret my child." But I have met countless woman who regret their abortions. Think about it.

I am also curious - have you yourself ever had an abortion?

You seem to have a problem with the idea that women are being "dissuaded" from having abortions -- as if giving women the facts is a form of manipulation. But yet, you are somehow in favor of "dissuading" woman from keeping their babies by concealing the facts from them? That's pretty hypocritical.

Let's just call a spade a spade. Pro-choice has simply become the politically correct term for "pro-abortion." And you guys think that "pro-life" means "anti-choice." What a fallacy. I am far more pro-choice than you. I want a woman to be fully informed and make her own decision. I will support her whatever she chooses. I will even be there to listen and care for her if she does need support following her abortion.

fern hill said...

@Anonymous (assuming this is the same Anon): First, I find it amusing that you want to add my information to your vast and ultra-scientific database of women who have had and, naturally, regretted abortions. Sorry to frustrate your prurient, er, noble curiosity.

Next, your SHRIEEEK-fest about "informed consent" is very old news. Here's a better-paid shill than you humping that camel.

Frankly, dearie, we are bored by this one. So are all the rational, or as we call them, pro-choice people.

Here's a pdf from the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. Check the sections on "Counselling" and "Informed Consent."

We rational people are strongly in favour of full and factual information being given to everyone undergoing any kind of medical procedure.

What we object to is lying and manipulation performed by god-botherers who are sure they know better than a woman and her own chosen counsellors.

I do commend you on the appropriation of much of the language of the rational people. Well, after all, you losers have have nearly 30 years of lawless abortion in Canada to polish it up.

To save time though, I must inform you that I'm done with you and your talking points. Don't waste your time replying. It will not be published.

Thanks, though for reminding our readers how truly brainwashed fetus freaks are.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for stopping by. I may be late in joining this, but I don't want to make any points pro or against this issue. I have a couple of tips for you, since you have a blog and will be writing about issues that are important to you. For you to have more credibility, maybe you should refrain to use demeaning terms to describe people who don't agree with your point. Brainwashed fetus freaks, god-botherers, losers...If your argument is strong enough, why resort to that? Writers are judged by how they present the information and the more unbiased, level headed and respectful they are of the opposite opinion, the more credible they become. That's the case in any scholarly discussion. Focus on the issue, not on the people. Cheers and good luck :)

fern hill said...

I'm sorry you stopped by too.

In your stopping by, did you by any chance notice how long this blog has been around? How many stories we've broken? How many legit and credible people enjoy and comment on our blog posts?

Yes? Well, then, there's your answer. People enjoy what we do here and we enjoy doing it this way.

No? Then fuck right off and take your tips with you.

fern hill said...

We intend to. Thanks. :)

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