Wednesday 14 February 2018

Valentine's Day

Some Valentines. (A little late, I know.)

Tuesday 13 February 2018

How to ID a Fake Clinic

What they do
Fake clinics, or "crisis pregnancy centres," exist to dissuade pregnant people from having abortions. They pretend to be medial clinics or helpful advice agencies.

They are not. They are the front line of anti-choice. Too often they are literal Christian missions out to deny pregnant people's rights, and ultimately to ban abortion.

They lie. About the stage of pregnancy ("too late to have an abortion"). About the risks of abortion. The consequences of abortion. They promise help that doesn't materialize. There have been many undercover exposés of what they do.

Because of their deception, they can be hard to spot -- which is part of their plan.

The term "crisis pregnancy centre" has acquired quite a stink. So now they call themselves "pregnancy care centres," "pregnancy support services," or "pregnancy resource centres." They often use the words "choice" and "options."

Umbrella Group
In Canada, many belong to an umbrella group, Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services (CAPSS). (The "C" used to be "Christian.") CAPSS lists its members here.

One of their tactics is to "co-locate" near real reproductive health clinics, sometimes using similar names. The hope here is that distraught "clients" might mistake the fake clinic for the real one. And people do.

Real clinics rarely advertise. Transit ads saying "Pregnant? Confused?" are from fake clinics. Ads also target men as "victims of abortion."

Check "services." The tell here is "post-abortion trauma counselling." Another tell is "self-administered pregnancy tests." Yes, the pee-on-a-stick kind because these are not medical clinics; they have no medical staff.

There may be a disclaimer. (You'll have to look hard for it.) It may say: "We do not refer for abortion or contraception." Or not.

There may be a statement about its mission: "We are a Christian organization..." Or not.

What to do
People have been known to carry sticky notes with "FAKE CLINIC" on them to slap on deceitful advertising. Similarly, "FAKE CLINIC" warning signs have been posted near their locations.

Inform your friends and colleagues. If you are at school, use handouts or bulletin boards. These outfits often target college and university students.

Check out local businesses' "partnerships." If you find a business or communal charity supporting a fake clinic, find out if the sponsor knows the real purpose of the seemingly innocuous "charity."

A US group called Expose Fake Clinics has other actions you can take. It is quite an activist group. You may not want to get so involved, but you can "like" honest reviews and report false advertising.

In Canada, Advertising Standards has an
on-line complaint submission process.

Fake clinics are deliberately deceptive rights-denying, discriminatory outfits. They need to be identified and called out for what they are.