Sunday, 9 November 2014

Defunding Anti-Choice: A How-To

After DJ!'s involvement in the rescinding of a grant of public funds to a crisis pregnancy centre, aka fake clinic, we've been asked how to go about it.

First thing to know -- it's not difficult.

Second thing -- the ferreting part is tedious.

Third thing -- it's immensely gratifying. And FUN!

While we at DJ! despise crisis pregnancy centres, we don't deny their right to exist. What we do want to deny is access to public funds.

We chose Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), which distributes gaming proceeds to Ontario communities and groups, because it is a huge granting organization. We're not aware of other public granting bodies in Ontario. There may be some in other parts of Canada.

So, gaming/lottery-related organizations seem a good place to start.

Outside of Ontario, there seems to be two main lottery gangs: Western Canada Lottery Corporation and Atlantic Lottery Corporation. Atlantic Lottery Corporation seems to fund only events, but that may bear more investigation.

(I'm leaving Quebec out, because it's highly unlikely any similar granting body there would have any truck with forced birthers.)

Provinces seem to run their own grant programs with different criteria.

British Columbia




Kathy Dawson, @blueskies366, did a little investigation in Alberta and found this.

So, in Alberta at least, pubic money is going to the lying liars at crisis pregnancy centres.

In Nova Scotia, all proceeds seem to go to "problem gambling." But again, this needs more looking into.

Here's the tedious part. Get into the databases. It's public money -- they have to account for it, if not for their fucked-up justifications.

Nose around. Key words: crisis pregnancy centres, pregnancy centres, pregnancy resource centres, pregnancy options, choices, alternatives, life.

Crisis pregnancy centres have become so notorious for lying and manipulation, they're rebranding themselves, using other words in their titles.

A very large nation-wide franchise (?) is called Birthright.

Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada has done a lot of work on fake clinics. For example, here's a PDF on "Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in British Columbia". Visit ARCC's website for more help.

The granting organizations make a big deal out of getting credit for their largesse. Searching local newspapers and media outlets for the name of the foundation might be useful.

Similarly, the grantees must acknowledge funding. So check their websites. Also check local news -- they like to brag when they've scored public money. (Although that might change [*snerk*].)

If you find something, write to the granting gang to ask their rationale for the award.

DJ! blogged and tweeted about our discovery at this point. We don't do Facebook, but some pals posted the story there too. Public organizations are getting more and more sensitive about their social media presence.

If you don't blog, DJ! will help.

We were lucky or blessed with an unusually responsible granting foundation. Our story stops here. OTF replied (see top link) and rescinded the problem grant.

Your mileage. . .

What follows is speculation, not experience.

Local media generally like stories about unresponsive bureaucracies. They also love a whiff of impropriety in public funding.

Women's organizations probably have connections and networks to help put pressure on the foundation or to solicit media attention.

In short, get out the activist toolbox and rummage around.

Again, DJ! would be pleased to help.

It's estimated that there are about 200 fake clinics in Canada. Let's make their lives a little more difficult, shall we?

UPDATE: In the comments, Joyce Arthur offers wannabe defunders ARCC's list of 178 CPCs. Email for a copy: joyce at


Sub-Boreal said...

And it's not just lottery funds that end up funding the fake crisis centres. Example: I was horrified to discover a couple of years ago that my credit union gave a few thousand to a local centre after polling members on how to divvy up a fund among some charities. I hadn't been a very attentive member, so I'm not sure how the shortlist of charities had been compiled, but I'll be much more vigilant the next time any similar process gets announced.

The example of your success is a great inspiration!

fern hill said...

That reminds me, Sub-Boreal, that I've been meaning to revisit the Ottawa Senators debacle, my first foray into defunding anti-choice. The wives were running a holiday charity fund-raising dealie and one of the three designated recipients turned out to be a CPC. It didn't end well. :D

So, yeah, any time someone asks you for dough for a "good cause," ask questions.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

More news from south of the border. And it's not good.

choice joyce said...

Thanks fern, great stuff! :-)

There's 178 'crisis pregnancy centres'. ARCC has an up-to-date list with all the names, cities, and websites. It's not public but we can send folks a copy if they are working on the de-funding angle.

fern hill said...

@ifthethunderetc. I know. That NYT article is absolutely horrifying. The US continues to provide us Canadians with cautionary tales. Pretty tough on you guys, though. :(

fern hill said...

Hi, Joyce. It's a subject close to both our hearts, I know. It feels so good to go on the offensive once in a while. And as ifthethunderdontgetya says, just look south to see what happens if we take our eye off the ball.

Beijing York said...

Some more bad news from south of the border:

I wonder if the United Way sends funding to some of these 'crisis pregnancy centres'. The organization may be a charitable umbrella group but they certainly have an in on practically forcing civil servants of all levels of government to contribute directly and indirectly by participating in on-the-job fundraising events - all part of their Annual Appeal campaigns.

fern hill said...

BY's link.

That's an interesting idea, BY. And a nice fat target. :)

Anonymous said...

Alberta has a clinic 'the Back Porch'.

They claim at 4.5 months (~18 weeks), the fetus can feel pain.

The consensus now is if the fetus DOES feel pain its at ~24 weeks.

Which means they are shy 6 weeks (1.2 months).

They are lying to their patients, how should I proceed?

fern hill said...


Here's the link for The Back Porch.

1. They are not patients; they are misguided and/or gulled, but definitely not patients.

2. Back Porch is lying about everything. So, gee, I don't know how to proceed. Put them out of business, maybe?

3. Fetal pain is a pile of codswollop.

Thanks for stopping by.

DJ! is going after Alberta crisis pregnancy centres next, BTW.

Anonymous said...

The cattiness was uncalled for.

We are on the same side.

fern hill said...

@Anon: Really? On the same side? You need to work on your language and your acceptance of bogus science.

And again. "Cattiness"? Really?

NathanColquhoun said...

And by dissuade I mean persuade. :)

fern hill said...

@NathanColquhoun: This comment seems misplaced. I think you meant it to go here.

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