Thursday, 5 October 2017

Moving the Media on Fake Clinics

Lost in all the Rachael Harder/Status of Women Committee brouhaha is a very important shift in media reporting on abortion, specifically on what criteria is used to designate someone as anti-choice.

From Global News, a rather blithe statement.
The issue of who would lead the committee came to a head last week when Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer chose to nominate Rachael Harder, an Alberta MP with an established record against abortion rights.
"Established," eh? By what measure?

Several measures: A thumbs-up (since qualified) from Campaign Lie. Her voting record.

And this from Macleans:
Harder granted $11,681 to two pregnancy clinics in Lethbridge to hire summer employees in 2016, using money that MPs were given to create local jobs. The clinics have mandates suggesting that every child has the right to be born.
The author cites the grants as evidence of Harder's unfitness, but shies away from calling them fake clinics or using terms like "anti-choice" or "anti-abortion."

Global News gets a little closer.
Rachael Harder isn’t just anti-choice in some abstract, philosophical way. She has received an endorsement from Campaign Life Coalition, has stated that life begins at conception, doled out close to $12 000 to pregnancy care centres that refuse to refer to abortion providers, and has committed to pass and introduce legislation to protect “unborn children.”

Four criteria there:
• endorsement by fetus fetishists
• statement of belief
• campaign promise

AND
Enabling federal grants to fake clinics.

Let's see how CBC covered it.
Last summer, Harder handed out some $12,000 in federal job grants to two pregnancy care centres in her Lethbridge, Alta., riding that refuse to refer patients to abortion providers.
Still not actually calling the fake clinics "anti-choice" but again using the fact as evidence of anti-choice stance.

Now iPolitics, the outlet that "broke" the story of Summer Jobs grants being given to anti-choice operations, using research by Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada. (My bold.)
According to a breakdown of federal funds distributed under the 2016 Canada Summer Jobs Grant program, Harder allocated a total of $11,681 in the form of two grants to the Lethbridge Pregnancy Care Centre and the Lethbridge and District Birthright Society last year.

The Lethbridge and District Birthright Society got $3,383 of that total to create one job, and according to its website believes that “it is the right of every pregnant woman to give birth, and the right of every child to be born.”

The largest chunk of that, or $8,298, is listed as creating two summer jobs at the Lethbridge Pregnancy Care Centre, which is affiliated with the international anti-choice groups Heartbeat International and CareNet, and which states on its website that it does not perform abortions or make referrals to abortion services.

It is also an affiliate of the Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services (CAPSS), which describes itself as a “Christ-centred national ministry dedicated to providing support for life and sexual health by partnering with Pregnancy Centres across Canada,” and is linked to the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada.

The description of such centres as ‘pregnancy care centres’ has long been an issue of concern for pro-choice groups, which suggest the name is misleading for women who may come in unaware of the religious or political affiliations of the centres and then be actively persuaded against choosing abortion through emotional manipulation or inaccurate medical information about abortion procedures.
More from iPolitics:
As iPolitics reported earlier this summer, Harder allocated nearly $12,000 in federal summer job grants to two anti-abortion groups in her riding last year.
One more, with a humungous typo in it (now corrected), from Metro News:
As an MP, however, she gave money to two Alberta clinics that [do not]support the right to abortion.
As readers of this blog must know, one of our aims here at DAMMIT JANET! is to defund and disrupt the operations of fake clinics, aka crisis pregnancy centres.

It appears this aim is a little closer to realization when media organizations are now calling fake clinics "anti-choice/-abortion" and, more importantly, citing support of them as an indicator that one has an "established record against abortion rights."

Pro-choice has been having so many WINs lately, I didn't want this one to get lost in the victory dances.