Thursday 19 February 2015

Desperate Crisis Pregnancy Centres: Healthcare or Counselling?

These are trying times for fake abortion centres.

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.

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