Wednesday 26 October 2016

The Uberization of Charitable Giving

Like most "disruptive" new ideas, at first the "100 Who Care" movement -- if it can be called that -- seems marvellously simple.

There's a good cause in your community. It needs a dose of cash. Call a few friends, who call a few friends, you get the idea. All get together and each writes a cheque directly to the worthy cause and BAM!


That's what a woman named Karen Dunigan did.

The first 100 Women Who Care group was formed in November 2006 by Karen Dunigan of Jackson, Michigan, USA. At their first one-hour meeting, the Jackson 100 Women Who Care group raised $10,000 to buy 300 new baby cribs for an organization in their city! Their membership has now grown to nearly 300 members and many other cities across the United States and Canada have formed groups as well.

Indeed, now there's an alliance of these 350 loose groups.

While it started with women, now there are men who care, kids who care, and people who care groups.

Here is an account from the Star on 100 Women Who Care Toronto.

In describing the meeting, the writer says: "Think Dragon’s Den meets crowdfunding."

Local charities -- they must be registered charities for the tax receipts -- are nominated by members. Three charities are chosen at random to make their pitch to the assembled group. They vote, one is chosen, and they all whip out cheque books and BAM! $10,000 (or $100 times the number of members) is raised.

Direct, efficient, laudable.

But there's a problem. We call it the uberization of charitable giving.

By cutting out vetting, oversight, and ethical guidelines, and relying solely on the charities' pitches -- and their government-sanctioned charitable status -- these groups may achieve efficiency at the cost of responsibility and accountability.

I'm sure everyone walks out feeling great, but do they all know exactly what they're supporting?

We have identified five fake clinics, aka crisis pregnancy centres, who have benefitted from these groups.

We reported a few days ago on 100 Guys Who Share - Yarmouth County who donated $11,600 to the Tri-County Pregnancy Care Centre.

Since then, we've found four more.

Women Who Care Norfolk were persuaded by a fake-clinic pitch. (Look how the work is described.)
Outstanding!  The Norfolk Pregnancy Centre will receive $14,600 to purchase additional programming material and expand their services into Delhi. This organization provides leadership, guidance and support to young women and men as they embark on a new phase of life.  Professional volunteers are available to offer assistance on an as needed basis.
[I wonder what a "professional volunteer" is.]

Women Who Care Stouffville chose the Markham/Stouffvillle Crisis Pregnancy Centre for a windfall gift.

Sunrise Pregnancy Centre was the recipient of a donation from Women Who Care Uxbridge

And Women Who Care Ottawa picked First Place Options, also the choice of the ill-fated fundraiser by the wives and girlfriends of the Ottawa Senators.

Given that Canada is overwhelmingly pro-choice, we have to question whether all these good, generous people understood that their hard-earned dough was going to anti-choice, anti-contraceptive, religious gangs who lie to and manipulate pregnant people out of choosing abortion as a response to a "crisis pregnancy."

Revisiting the Ottawa Senators' schmozzle, under the title Donor Beware, we pointed out that people need to check out what their money is supporting.


Most people see a charitable registration number and think "OK, fine. This group has been checked out by the government. It is accountable to the Canada Revenue Agency, who monitors its activities and finances."

And they write their cheques (under a bit of group pressure perhaps).

Maybe they all did know exactly what they were supporting. Great.

But we seriously doubt it.

ADDED (October 27/16): I wrote to the 100 Women Who Care groups in Norfolk, Stouffville, Uxbridge, and Ottawa to ask about their pre-pitch vetting. The email to Norfolk came zinging back with a fatal error. We wait on the others. I'll report.

UPDATE (October 31/16): 100 Women in Ottawa kindly replied with some more information. I want to wait a bit longer to see if any of the others do too.

Sunday 23 October 2016

Taking Over Riding Associations For Life

[Alternate title from the Star link in the update below: The revenge of the so-cons.]

Remember Liberals for Life?

Liberals for Life was a pro-life advocacy group that worked within the Liberal Party of Canada during the 1980s and early 1990s. Some of its members were also affiliated with the Campaign Life Coalition, and, as such, the group was often accused of entryism.

According to its members, Liberals for Life was created after the national victory of Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservative Party in the 1984 federal election. The organization attracted little attention until the early 1990s, when it endorsed Tom Wappel in his bid for the party leadership, and gained control of several riding associations.

The Liberal Party's constitution was amended to allow the leader to appoint candidates in certain ridings in 1992. Jean Chrétien defended the change as necessary to prevent "single-issue groups" from taking over the Liberal Party. It was generally understood that Liberals for Life was the primary target of this remark.

The movement effectively dissolved in 1993 after the Liberal Party formed government.
We do.

It's a favourite tactic of fetus fetishists. And it's happening again.

Here's the mission of a gang called
Right Now.
RightNow exists to nominate and elect pro-life politicians by mobilizing Canadians on the ground level to vote at local nomination meetings, and provide training to volunteers across the country to create effective campaign teams in every riding across Canada. It is only when we have a majority of pro-life politicians in our legislatures, that we’ll see pro-life legislation passed in our country.
They admit that they're sick of losing. *snerk*

In addition to stacking nomination votes, they have a list of anti-choice laws they want passed.

All the usual anti-choice restrictions: outright criminalization, term limits, "unborn" victims of crime, defunding, parental consent, and a new one on me, a law requiring pre-abortion ultrasound. (Which might not work out the way they think. See More Ultrasounds = More Abortions.)

So, last night a 19-year-old in Niagara West-Glanbrook, named Sam Oosterhoff, stunned the Ontario Conservative Party by beating out party president and former MP Rick Dykstra to take the the nomination. (It's Tim Hudak's old stomping ground.)

The only supporter listed on his campaign page is
Dominionist MP and anti-choicer Arnold Viersen.

Sam spouts the usual blahblah about family, but we strongly suspect he is a fetus freak.

Here's Right Now's co-founder Alissa Golob crowing last night:

And Right Now's account:

And Campaign Life:

Would someone in the media please ask him about his Dominionist ties and his position on abortion and sex education?

UPDATE: The Star is on it.

“I will never waver in my support of parents as primary educators, and I will strive to ensure that parental rights are respected in education,” said Oosterhoff, echoing the concerns expressed by opponents of Premier Kathleen Wynne’s updated health syllabus that includes lessons about gender expression, same-sex relationships, and the risks of sexting.

Some of the teenager’s supporters marched with pro-life placards at voting locations on Saturday and distributed pamphlets with dead fetuses on them to suggest his rivals for the nomination backed abortion rights.

The religious right helped propel Oosterhoff, briefly a junior staffer on Parliament Hill, to victory with 662 votes to 501 for Dykstra, 245 for businessman Mike Williscraft, and 235 for Niagara regional councillor Tony Quirk, who is also a PC Party vice-president.

“It’s the revenge of the so-cons,” fumed another high-ranking Tory.

Indeed, Oosterhoff’s decisive win comes weeks after Brown denounced social conservatives in the wake of the party’s bungling during PC MPP Raymond Cho’s victory in Scarborough-Rouge River last month.

Saturday 22 October 2016

Wham! Bam!

Oh boy, we've really got to work harder to raise awareness of what fake clinics are and do.

In August this year, a group of generous community-minded guys in Yarmouth, NS, got together to bestow money on a local charity.

Sadly, the winner of the windfall $11,600 was a fake clinic, called Tri-County Pregnancy Care Centre.

Here's how it works:
The 100 Guys Who Share – Yarmouth County, is one of more than 350 similar groups located worldwide that focus on coordinating funding for local, community charitable organizations. The group gathers for one-hour quarterly meetings to hear three short presentations on local charitable organizations. Members vote then each person writes their check for $100 directly to the winning non-profit chosen for a collective, impactful donation.

The three charities that presented at the first meeting were Parents Place, South End Community Youth Garden, and the Tri-County Pregnancy Centre.

The men’s group has grown to 116 members at last count. They have scheduled their quarterly event so that combined with the women’s initiative there will be good news in the community every six weeks throughout the entire year.
Members of the group can nominate any local charity. Three are chosen at random to make presentations.

From the website of the Halifax group, 100 Men Who Give a Damn.

"Bam!" indeed.

There might be drinking involved. More from the Halifax chapter.

under 60 minutes
Start the quarterly meeting with some heroic conversation, maybe visit the cash bar and be out the door in under 60 minutes. 

We’re all about giving smarter, not harder.

we don’t exist
We are a non-organization – no bank account, no fixed address, no opinion. Everything goes to the charity. 100%. Always. 

Otherwise, what are we doing this for?
So, it's fast -- and manly.

Too bad there's no vetting to ensure that their hard-earned dough is going to a real community asset and not an operation whose sole mission is to shame, guilt-trip, lie, and manipulate vulnerable people out of asserting their human right to autonomy and privacy.

It's hard to believe that in pro-choice Canada all 116 guys are anti-choice. More likely, the majority simply did not know what fake clinics are and do.

I'm going to write to the Yarmouth group and ask them if they understand where their money is going.

I'll report.

h/t Kathy Dawson

Thursday 20 October 2016

As You Were, Troops

To no one's surprise, the Expoiting Grief to Attack Abortion Rights Bill was defefeated yesterday by a vote of 76 for, 209 against. No Liberals voted for it.

Of the Conniving Party leader hopefuls, Scheer, Trost and O'Toole voted in favour of it, as did the usual Fetus Fetishists like Warawa, Albrecht, Genuis, and Viersen the Dominionist. Bernier, Leitch and Obhrai were not present. Chong and Kent voted against, and Rempel abstained (?).

By weird or karmic coincidence, just before that vote there was a vote on another human rights bill, C-16, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code on transgender rights.

It passed handily, with 248 in favour, 40 against.

When one compares the MPs who voted "no" to transgender rights and "yes" to fetal rights, another unsurprising parallel emerges.

Anti-choicers voted overwhelmingly to deny human rights to transgender people.

Fetuses good, gender-benders bad.

I know, you're gobsmacked.

But the main take-away for fans of reproductive rights is that the menace on the political front has been beaten back again and is unlikely to arise again any time soon, if at all.

We can relax for a while.

And concentrate on improving abortion access and on impeding the work of fake clinics.

And all the other things we have yet to do to get abortion settled in Canada once and for all.

Tuesday 18 October 2016

We Do NOT Need a Law

Contrary to the foot-stomping fetus fetishists, Canada does NOT need an abortion law.

The foot-stompers shrieeeek: "Canada is the only country in the western world with no laws restricting abortion!!!!!!!!"

Well, why would we want to use a law to restrict it?

Does it need to be restricted because it's dangerous?

No. Abortion is a very safe medical procedure. In fact, it is "markedly" safer than childbirth.

Does it need to be restricted because it's over-used?

No. Abortion rates in Canada are lower than in France, Sweden, US, and UK, just to name a few countries.

Does it need to be restricted because women regret having the procedure? (Leaving aside the idiocy of legislating against something that is potentially regretted.)

No. The "Myth of Abortion Regret" has been definitively debunked, once in a study from last year and again in a new study released last week.

The first one showed that 95% of women are satisfied they made the right choice and the second showed that women "are significantly more sure about their decision, for example, than people facing reconstructive knee surgery."

(On the idiocy of legislating against regret, how about a law restricting childbearing as more and more women are feeling able to speak up about their own regret over having kids?)

Canada has no abortion law. At all.

And where would we put one? Most countries restrict abortion under their Criminal Codes. Do we want to recriminalize abortion, forcing women to seek practitioners willing to break that law? A tiny minority of Canadians do, yes.

Or maybe outlaw it as an amendment to our Constitution, as countries like Ireland do. (Irish human rights campaigners are in the process of trying to repeal such an amendment.)

Or maybe we should take a sneakier approach. Propose an amendment to the Criminal Code that appears to merely seek tougher penalties for harm done to fetuses. This is what C225, or the Exploiting Grief to Attack Abortion Rights Bill -- being voted on tomorrow -- is attempting.

The sponsor of that bill, super-duper anti-choicer Cathay Wagantall had a poll done to assess Canadians' feelings on the matter.

Oopsie! The poll found that "97 per cent of Canadians support a woman's right to an abortion under varying circumstances."

So. No. Canadians do not want any laws on abortion.

Because we do NOT need any laws on abortion.

Thursday 13 October 2016

"Pro-woman" Fetus Freaks Support Trump

Out of the bizarre spectacle that is the 2016 US presidential election, the most (darkly) amusing aspect to a reproductive rights blogger is the fetus freaks' unswerving endorsement of the misogynist self-confessed serial sexual assaulter and child-ogler as their man.

Anti-choice groups have worked hard over the past few years to re-brand themselves as pro-woman, like ProWomanProForcedPregnancy, aka the Astroturf Blog of Focus on the Family.

They contend that abortion is bad for women and, as champions of all things womanly, it's their duty to point this out to us benighted broads.

But pro-woman/Pro-Trump is a rather difficult circle to square, yes?

Let's have a look at how they're attempting this feat.

On the matter of the grab-them-by-the-pussy tape:

In a press release yesterday, Newman and his Operation Rescue colleague Cheryl Sullenger—who has spent time in jail for attempting to bomb an abortion clinic—slammed the tape release as a “gutter-level attempt by the Clinton campaign and its cohorts to smear” Trump before declaring that it is in fact Planned Parenthood that is “perhaps the largest abuser of women in the U.S.”

“It is clear that the biggest abusers of women are Hillary Clinton’s friends in the Abortion Cartel. If she is elected, women will suffer even more,” added a quote from Sullenger.
("Abortion Cartel" is a new one on me.)

Right. Planned Parenthood and Hillary Clinton are the largest abusers of women in the US.

The fetal gore guy, Van Maren, explains at LieShite, under the title The Uncomfortable [boy howdy] Truth about Christian Support for Trump.

Sure, he says, Trump was "pro-abortion" until he needed to pander to fundies saw the light, is an adulterer, has a framed copy of Playboy on his office wall, and "talks about women in ways that no Christian can accept."

And sure, Trump is playing the Xian right for the gang of mooks they are, but Hillary is worse.

Van Maren sums up:
The Left is sure that Trump would end the world as they know it. Christians fear that Clinton would turn the United States of America into a hostile nation for them to live in. And thus, the two sides will never see eye-to-eye.
Because Obama and Clinton are demons.

We look forward to the election's aftermath and the inevitable "unspinning" of the freaks' support for this "uniquely unqualified" candidate.

ADDED: The unspinning has begun. From a new poll.

Trump, however, appears to be shedding support among evangelicals, who are usually a wellspring of support for Republican presidential candidates. Monday's poll showed that Trump had only a 1-point edge over Clinton among people who identified as evangelicals. That’s down from a 12-point advantage for Trump in July.

Friday 7 October 2016

BREAKING! Fake Clinics Still Lying

Oh dear, it seems that fake clinics, aka crisis pregnancy centres, are feeling some heat.

After countless reports, exposés, and sting operations, people are beginning to understand that fake clinics are not benign volunteer granny-run operations handing out free baby clothes.

A US umbrella group called Care Net has just released a definitive report demonstrating. . . well, I'm not sure what it demonstrates. More about that in a minute.

Their motivation for the report though is clear. From the link above (bold mine):
The report comes at a time when unfounded speculation about the work of pregnancy centers has become common from abortion supporters. In contrast to the conjecture provided by critics of pregnancy centers, the information in this report is based on widely collected data, client satisfaction surveys covering thousands of people, analysis of agreed-upon standards and practices, and stories from real clients.
"Unfounded speculation," "conjecture." Yeah, right.

A quick Google of "crisis pregnancy centres lie" produces hundreds of links.

Like this PDF by NARAL Prochoice America, titled helpfully "Crisis Pregnancy Centers Lie."

How about a Vice News investigation documented in this 19-minute video titled "Misconception" from September 2014?

Or the recent ARCC study of the lies Canadian fake clinics tell?

You get the idea. It is a well-documented fact that fake clinics lie to and manipulate pregnant people in a variety of ways.

Care Net is described by Wikipedia as:
Care Net is an evangelical Christian crisis pregnancy center organization operating primarily in the United States. As an anti-abortion organization its centers seek to persuade a person not to have an abortion. Headquartered in Northern Virginia, it is the nation's largest affiliation network of pregnancy centers.
And that, in a nutshell, is what fake clinics do: seek to persuade a person not to exercise a legal, moral right.

Their report is called "The Truth about 'Crisis Pregnancy Centers'" (PDF) and it explains the quotes around "crisis pregnancy centers" thus:

The truth is that the term "crisis pregnancy center" has acquired such a stink around it that fake clinics have been desperately trying to rebrand themselves since at least 2009 when we first noticed it.

Of its 20 pages, eight of them contain "client" testimonials, i.e. glurge. The rest protest that no, they are not deceptive in their advertising or in their "co-location" scheme (setting up shop next-door to real medical clinics) and yes, they do too have "Standards of Affiliation" and a "Commitment of Care and Competence."

And they insist that they've provided more than $56 million a year worth of "free health services" such as drugstore pee-on-a-stick pregnancy tests and unnecessary ultrasounds intended to magically reverse any desire for self-determination in their targets.

The report claims to have "saved" 531,977 lives over the past 8 years.

Think about that.

Over half a million people shamed, guilt-tripped, and manipulated into continuing "crisis" pregnancies.

Or maybe not.

The report claims that "8 out of 10 women who are considering abortion when they visit a Care Net Pregnancy Center CHOOSE LIFE for their unborn children." (caps in the original)

Funny that. Using anti-choices' own data, Rewire concluded in May this year that:
Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) are billed as alternatives to abortion clinics, but new data suggests they largely fail at their mission, persuading less than 4 percent of clients to forgo abortion care.
That's a pretty wide gap -- 80% or 4%?

Our conclusion after reading the report: Crisis pregnancy centers/centres are lying harder than ever.