Sunday, 30 November 2014

Public Funds for Anti-Choice, Anti-Sex Religious Organizations (an ongoing series)

[Open letter to Mayor Rob Makin, Hinton, Alberta, by Kathy Dawson*. Background here. Links added.]

Dear Mayor Makin, Town of Hinton,

Your grant information indicates that groups that advance a specific moral or religious point of view are ineligible for your Quality of Life Grant. Can you explain why West Yellowhead Pregnancy Care Centre (Hinton) was given $10,000 of public money?

West Yellowhead Pregnancy Care Centre (Hinton) is a religious based mission, an affiliate of CAPSS and bound by CAPSS Core documents (which can be found here (pdf)). They are a Christ-centred mission that is known for opposing reproductive rights and providing religious interference in the choices of pregnant women.  CAPSS prevents them from counselling or referring people for contraception. I have been personally present at a CAPSS affiliate abstinence based sexual health presentations (in a public school no less) and can attest that it excluded LGBTQ, shamed sexually active people, and provided no useful information on how sexually active teens can avoid pregnancy and STIs. In Canada, we have the right to access contraception, protection, abortion and quality sexual health information free of religious bias. It is shocking that the Town of Hinton would provide money to support groups that oppose basic reproductive rights.

I would appreciate a response at your earliest convenience.


Kathy Dawson
Sexual Health Education Advocate


*Kathy Dawson guest-blogged here recently and has a proven record of activism.

If you'd like to help chivvy an answer out of the responsible people, here are two Twitter accounts: @HintonVoiceInc (town newspaper) and @Hinton Parklander (local Sun franchise).

Friday, 28 November 2014

New Brunswick Happy Dance

First, the news that New Brunswick is entering the 20th century on women's rights.

Next, some celebratory media releases from groups that worked their butts off for this:

Reproductive Justice New Brunswick,
Sexual Health and Rights, and
Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada.

And a sample of the predictable and ridiculous foot-stomping from the Fetus Freaks: LifeShite and Fetal Gore Pr0n Gang.

Here at DJ!, where we like to think we helped a little, the main take-aways are:

1. This is a grand success for a new generation of reproductive justice activists. It looks good on them and must feel fabulous and empowering.

2. The mouldy old men and their antiquated views on women are finally succumbing to the reality of modern pro-choice Canada, or as this writer puts it, we may be entering a more enlightened time on women's issues.

Of course, while Premier Gallant addressed his promise on access surprisingly quickly and with minimum fuss, there's more to do, principally to take abortion out of the exclusive purview of hospitals and widen access by funding the procedure in clinics and doctors' offices.

One quick and easy way to widen access -- not just for women in Atlantic Canada, but for all Canadian women, especially those in rural and remote areas -- is for Health Canada to stop dragging its feet and finally approve the "gold standard" of medical abortion.

While lamenting the general state of access in Canada, this Canadian Medical Association Journal article seems hopeful on the issue.

And here, Vicky Saporta may be tempting the Goddesses.
The drug is currently up for review by Health Canada, and some close to the process believe a ruling will be made in January 2015, according to Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation.

So, with a loud KNOCK WOOD, here's our happy dance.

Next, PEI.

UPDATE: Contributed by DJ! pal trapdinawrpool:

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

UPDATE to "Without Going into Details"

I just about broke the blog trying to update the post on reaction to the partial defunding by Ontario Trillium Foundation of a fake clinic. I have no idea what I did but I undid it and am trying this instead.

Our Number One Fan, in addition to stalking, runs a sideline in conspiracy theories, shared by SUZY ALLCAPS.

Here's what SHE quoted from his blogpost:
Andrea Cohen Barrack [CEO, Ontario Trillium Foundation] just “happens” to be the Chair of the International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region!

Plain text for the usual reason of juvenile redirects on hyperlinks:

Sooooooo. You see what that means, don't you?

Our pal Balbulican clearly did.
Wow! What a scoop! Obviously evidence of...uh, a highly skilled, active and much sought after woman who's active in not-for-profit Canada?

Just so you know, my conspiratorial little friend, Andrea is also a senior adviser to the mildly conservative C.D. Howe Institute, Vice Chair of the Roger's School of Management at Ryerson University, a lecturer at U of T.

And indeed, Ms Barrack is a hella accomplished gal.

Goddess bless Balbulican for his futile but funny interactions with Canada's BIGGEST Fetus Fetishist.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Public Funding of Alberta Fake Clinics, Part 3

In our series, Hinton Crisis Pregnancy Association is last of the three fake clinics in Alberta that have received public funds from the Alberta Lottery Foundation.

(The others are Medicine Hat and Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre.)

Hinton CPC seems to be doing business as West Yellowhead Pregnancy Care Centre; the address is the same on its Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) annual filings.

The first thing to know about Hinton is that it's pretty small, with a population of 9,640 souls as of the 2011 census.

Another thing about HInton is that it has a photo radar system, the proceeds of which are doled out to deserving community organizations. More on that in a bit.

And now we've run out of things to say about Hinton.

The fake clinic seems a bit shy for these sorts of organizations. Its website is under construction and its Facebook page is rather desultorily maintained.

It is a member of the Christian Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services, the umbrella organization that the Ontario Trillium Foundation had an "issue" with.

I found a profile of the outfit in the local paper from 2007.
The pregnancy centre is a faith-based organization made up of volunteers from various Hinton churches. Church members also make up the board that operates behind the scenes.

The centre is made possible by donations from churches, local businesses and the United Way. In addition, the centre does three fundraisers per year including a banquet in October, a baby bottle campaign and usually a spring fundraiser. . .

Giffin said that his organization hasn't had much luck obtaining government grants, but that they are going to try again.
Now to the CRA filings.




Expenses and revenue seem to run at around $100K a year. That's pretty impressive considering that costs at the Medicine Hat fake clinic, with a population six times Hinton's, run about $60K. (Maybe Medicine Hat has competition? Maybe the sluts in Hinton are extra slutty?)

And hey look, the Hinton fake clinic has been successful in getting the government money they were coveting back in 2007.

Some of that would be from the Alberta Lottery Foundation. From 2009 to 2012, it received $50K from ALF or more than half of all such funds given out to fake clinics in the province.

But the really genius part is that it has tapped into another source of public funds -- the aforementioned photo radar tribute.

In April this year, the local paper reported that it had done rather nicely.

Quality of Life grants were doled out last week, with a total of $97,116 for 18 local community groups.

Town council approved the grants at the April 15 meeting. Nineteen applicants had requested $281,068 in funding, which is nearly triple the $100,000 available. Recommendations to council on how to award the available funds were made by the Grant Funding Advisory Committee, which has five voting members. Quality of Life grants are allocated from photo radar fees. . .

The West Yellowhead Pregnancy Care Centre received the largest amount of core funding applied for ($10,000).
So unsuspecting Albertans have TWO ways to contribute involuntarily to the fake clinic: through their lottery tickets and their traffic tickets.

If one is of a religious, anti-choice, misogynist bent, it's beauty. One can say: Well, sheee-it, I didn't win the lottery/I got a damn speeding ticket, but at least the money is going to a Christ-fearing, slut-shaming, human rights-denying outfit.

Of course, if one is not of a religious, anti-choice, misogynist bent, one might say: Well, sheee-it. WTF?

You gotta admire these Christers though. Tricksy with pregnancy/abortion information, tricksy with fund-raising.

h/t to Kathy Dawson for the photo radar link

"Without Going into Details" *snerk*

We had been wondering why Fetus Freak Media and its running blog lackeys hadn't done its usual shrieky foot-stompy hissy fit routine over the partial rescinding of an Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) grant to a fake pregnancy centre.

The fake clinic itself responded on its blog in a rather tight-lipped manner citing "philosophical differences" with OTF while accusing an unnamed blogger (ahem).
One particular blog has been making false allegations regarding our Centre and is taking credit for the rescinding of the OTF grant.  This same group has been making allegations against other Pregnancy Centre’s [sic] in Canada.
And that seemed to be it for reaction from the zygote zealots.

Well, silly us, we were googling terms like "Lambton Crisis Pregnancy Centre" (the defunded Sarnia racket), "Ontario Trillium Foundation," "crisis pregnancy centres" and, we admit, "Dammit Janet!" and even "fern hill."


It appears that Fetus Freak Central has decreed that we are to remain "anonymous evil blogger" and the clinic itself is not to be named either. "Crisis Pregnancy Centres" seems now to have fully morphed into pregnancy options centres.

Quite by accident, we ran across this yesterday by our old pal Mike Schouten, aka Creepy Dominionist Guy. It's a reprise of a blog post at his site, We Need a Law [Like a Hole in the Head].

Here it is in its full goddy glory (my bold).
Christians who strive to live by the Scriptures will know that the two greatest commandments are to love the Lord with heart, soul and mind, and to love their neighbours as themselves (Mark 12:30-31). 

Follows of Jesus desire to live selfless lives and this is characterized by putting others [sic] needs ahead of their own. I bring this up in connection with the work of faith-based pregnancy care centres. These centres are for the most part staffed by volunteers who give up much to come to the aid of those in need. 

The volunteers provide compassionate help to women experiencing unplanned pregnancies, post abortion grief, domestic violence, and sexual assault. They are on the frontlines of assisting some of the most vulnerable people in society and regularly help women make informed choices that set them on the path to a better life. The care they offer extends well beyond the moment of birth or abortion. In very practical ways they come alongside people in need and so enable them to continue living productive and joy-filled lives as they transition into motherhood. And right now, pregnancy options centres need our support. 

As we documented* just over a year ago, pregnancy options centres are increasingly under attack by abortion advocates. Yes, there are Canadians who are so excited about the fact that a woman ought to be able to kill her own child that they simply cannot fathom the thought that some women choose life for their pre-born child. 

Without going into details we want you to know that these attacks have intensified in recent weeks. We ask that you do what you can to support a pregnancy options centre near you. This can be done through donations (see here for a list of centres across Canada). You can also help them by offering words of encouragement and prayer for those on the front lines. They are daily engaged in the culture seeking to show love to those in need. 

We can do better and we can certainly show those who oppose helping pregnant women that they have a skewed sense of social justice. Let us not be characterized as a country that let's [sic] its citizens flounder in depths of despair.
(*That "documentation" goes to a previous protracted hissy fit over Joyce Arthur's exposure of fake clinics in BC, published in 2009 for hevvinsake. [And what is it with these people and apostrophes?])

Onto their game, we looked some more and found amateur statistician Patricia Maloney's foot-stomper and its follow-up. And while she refers to me as a "fake person," she has at least the good bloggy manners to link to my offensive "potty mouthed" blogposts.

Things have since escalated. I tweeted at Creepy Dominionist Guy on twitter and got this.

They're playing the martyr card again and I'm now a bully. In addition to being fake and potty-mouthed.

Note though they have NOTHING narsty to say about the organization that actually yanked the funding when asked (nicely) to justify the grant. The nice rich foundation that might yet be bullied convinced of the error of its ways.

Nope. They're attacking a wee blogger.

In other words, without going into details, they got nuthin'.

We, on the other hand, have MASSIVE giggles.

UPDATE: DJ! hits the (fetus fetishizing) Big Time! LifeShite weighs in.

MORE UPDATE: Over here our personal stalker one-man fan-club seems, like most of his tribe, unable to distinguish between politics and rights.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Shocker! Responsible Abortion Reporting from National Post!

Crazy busy, but a quick post because I want to encourage responsible reporting about abortion. Here is the National Post's story on a report about abortion access in Canada. [Spoiler: Access needs a lot of improvement.]

Because people either don't know or forget from one abortion story to the next, the NP piece includes this de rigueur statement.
There is currently no federal law governing abortion in Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada struck down the country’s previous abortion law as unconstitutional in 1988.
Clear on that, are we?

Here's the new and admirable bit.
Abortion is governed by guidelines adopted by professional associations. The vast majority of elective abortions happen before 12 weeks, according to data collated by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. It’s virtually impossible for women to access the procedure past 24 weeks without a compelling medical reason.

Note the change from this piece of bullshit from new Walrus editor Jonathan Kay in February 2013.

The fact is that Canada is the only nation in the Western world without any abortion law. It is perfectly legal in Canada to have or perform an abortion — for any reason, or no reason at all — at 20, 25, 30 or 35 weeks gestation. This is a disturbing state of affairs.

What's disturbing is that a self-proclaimed "national" newspaper continued for so long to try to stir up Da Base on the settled matter of legal abortion. (Access, as the links above show, is another issue altogether.)

Maybe, just maybe, the powers that be are wising up to the notion that demonizing abortion is in direct conflict with the views of the majority of Canadians who are decidedly pro-choice.

So, provisional "yay" to Natty Po! We'll be watching to see that you keep up the good work.

Bonus: Graphic accompanying the NP story. Useful information.

UPDATE: From King Rat in the comments: According to Live-Action News, Canada is Abortion Heaven. Or, every stupid lie about abortion in Canada in one conveeeeenient POS.

Respectability vs RESPECT: Part Three

So.  Sex work.

I shared some personal history in that regard, but not everything.

On the street where I grew up, there were few stay-at-home mothers.  It was a working poor neighbourhood. Franco-Ontarians. Lebanese and Portuguese immigrants. Everyone worked. Dads. Moms. Kids too, when we turned 14.

A lovely and very elegant lady moved into a small 3 et 1/2  in the building next door to our rented house.  She was a widow with her daughter. They lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment.  Francine* and I were 12 years old; we became fast friends.

Unlike my Mom who worked at several part-time retail jobs, Madame L.  had her hair done every week and wore beautiful new dresses.

Madame L. was a "kept" woman. She had fixed appointments with different men friends who would take her out to dinner then on to a hotel. Although she didn't bring her clients back home, my Mom would never let me spend the night in Francine's home.

One day Madame L. asked my Mom if Francine could stay with us while she went away for a week in Florida with her "boyfriend".  (My father had seen this man arrive in his car, wait for Madame L. while she finished getting ready then drive away with her.  He knew that this man was a married police officer.)  My mother was aghast.  She told me that Francine's mother was immoral and that I couldn't be friends with her.  I disobeyed of course.  Francine and I stayed friends, but secretly.  Soon after that, she and her mother moved to Montréal.

My parents, in fact the whole neighbourhood where everyone knew everybody's business, did not consider Madame L. to be respectable.  She had a child.  She wasn't married.  She had sex with different men.  They "gave" her money; in reality they paid her for sex but nobody expressed it thus.  If only she had exclusively "entertained" one man and advanced the illusion that she was his mistress. But she was a call girl, a profession that was in the news of the era because of George Hees, Pierre Sévigny and Gerda Munsinger.

I have no idea if Francine also became a sex worker.

Many, many girls grew up in families where women, consensually or grudgingly, explicitly or implicitly, had sex with men - husbands, other family members, neighbours, landlords, storekeepers, employers - for benefit.  It's a wonder we're not all sex workers - or perhaps we are, and should recognize to what degree we might be, in order to obliterate the stigma attached, as it is with abortion.  Patriarchy certainly games the system to encourage girls and women to engage with men in such manner.

As I pointed out to a jerk on Twitter grousing about women _using_ men, if you're NOT trying to attract women who see you as a wallet attached to a penis, don't act like a prick with cash to burn on a pretty woman ... if she's _nice_ to you.

And, don't forget to send your letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne, with regard to the vile sexwork re-criminalizing law the Harper government passed.  If you need inspiration, here's @kwetoday's own letter.

*Francine is not her real name. 

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Happy, happy!

To everyone who makes DAMMIT JANET! such a slice, but especially for my co-blogger and co-founder of this here joint, fernhilldammit:

Happy birthday to us, toots!

That by the way is the sans-pareille Betty Bonifassi.  You can hear and see her here, too.

Does Your School Have an STD (Standard Teaching of Dogma)?

[Guest post by Kathy Dawson.*]
First of all, do not be ashamed. It happens to many nice local schools. With proper treatment and education, a cure is possible.

What it is
STD (Standard Teaching of Dogma) refers to anti-choice missions that are using shame and fear to scare your teen into “never having sex until marriage”. This includes a ban on masturbation or even thinking about sex (thought police)! It is almost always accompanied by a heavy dose of “religious dogma” that masquerades as science based facts. Don’t be fooled! Turning your back on this leads to further infections of sexism, homophobia, attacks on non-traditional families, limiting of reproductive rights and keeping students in total dark about their own sexual health.

How does this happen?
These infections come in free glossy packages affiliated with heavily funded anti-sex league multi-nationals. Egg obsessed missionary hens are accompanied with great qualifications such as “preacher recommend”, “commitment to not counsel or refer contraception” and most importantly a commitment to protect eggs (fertilized or not) at any cost, even if it means financial ruin or death of the “incubators” (the slutty sluts that could not keep their legs closed).

These infections happen in secret. Schools do not like it when parents know there is an infection, it makes things a little crab itchy uncomfortable. It is important to ask every teacher, every year: WHO is teaching, WHAT is being taught, and what is Google’s opinion. Tell your child to watch out for specific lying liar agencies. Nothing wrong with a little sound or video evidence, difficult to get but clears infections immediately. A vocal membership on the parent council will strengthen protection.

Symptoms May Include (but not limited to):
• Abstinence because they told you so.
• View that youth are too idiotic to correctly use contraception or protection.
• Attack of the killer STI/STD.
• Slutty sluts should watch what they are wearing because boys are crazed sex demons with no control
• Soulgasms – mind blowing orgasms brought on by wearing a wedding ring.
• Mention of fetus or eggs brings on glassy looks and moans of “My Precious”.
• Allergic reactions to the mention of clitoris (also known as the Devil’s Doorbell), masturbation (ringing the doorbell), sexually active people (aka slutty sluts), and LGBTQ2S (or anything to do with rainbows).
• How to crochet a hat for your 16 cell zygote because they are fully formed.
• Adoptions are happy time for everyone because teen parents raise criminals.
• Facts can be found here.

Here is a general "how to" when trying to clear up an STD (Standard Teaching of Dogma) in your school. Do not attempt this alone, you will need to call in other stakeholders to help especially if the infection has spread through the entire district. The system is known to shut down and annihilate attempts to clear infection with the process: “you are the only parent, in the only school, in the only board that ever had a problem with it”.

Start gently as some infections are easily cleared up with a little exposure to sunlight. Interactions should be respectful and everyone should focus on what is best for the students. Steps must be taken in a specific order as school systems are very hierarchical and the infection may dig in deeper.

1) Playgrounds can be unforgiving. Protect your child throughout the process.
2) Educate the educator: Try to resolve the issue with the teacher first.
3) Educate school administration: Arrange a meeting with the principal and the teacher.
4) Gather Resources, People, and Research:
    a. Has this issue happened before?
    b. Identify applicable board policies, regulations, curriculum, legislation, etc.
    c. What is the impact on the children? Focus on children’s needs.
    d. Have your talking points (key issues) ready.
    e. Discuss the issue and get support from other parents
5) Educate the Superintendent: provide a copy of your concerns and arrange a meeting.
6) Educate the Board:
    a. Have other stakeholders and yourself attend and speak at board meetings.
    b. Use talking points and be mindful of time limit to get points across.
7) Educate the Minister of Education
    a. Caution: this will automatically start the circular shutdown process. Expect to hear:
         i.“Not our problem it is their issue”. This will rinse and repeat until the media gets involved. Like musical chairs, whomever is left standing will answer to media.
    b. Do not expect “what is good for the students” to be mentioned (that will be your job) as the infection will be trying to survive.
    c. Do not worry, this step is a formality anyway. The next step is critical.
8) Educate the World:
    a. Connect with others stakeholders & organizations:
         i. Comprehensive sexual health providers
         ii. Feminist, Pro-Choice, LGBTQ2S
         iii. Science and/or secular groups
    b. Write letters to the editors
    c. Use social media
    d. Use a petition to connect with interested parties and increase visibility and pressure.
    e. Contact local media and arrange interviews
9) Last resort:
    a. Human Rights: time sensitive, lengthy process. Grounds may be: family status, marital status, gender, orientation, religion (includes non-belief). Check provincial Acts.
     b. Lawyer: Lawyer Referral Services can get you a free consult.
10) Helpful Resource Links:
      a. Alberta Health/Education Teaching Sexual Health website:
      b. Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada supports sexual health education:
      c. Public Health Canada Guidelines for Sexual Health Education:
      d. SIECUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States) Community Action Resources:

* Kathy Dawson has been active on the sex ed front in Alberta as reported here. Follow her on twitter, @KathyDawson.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Alberta Fake Clinics Sponging Public Money, Part 2, Medicine Hat

To continue our investigation into Alberta fake clinics sucking off the public tit (Part 1 on Central Alberta Fake Clinic here), let's look at the Medicine Hat Pregnancy Support Society.

It doesn't seem to have its own website and does not belong to Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services, the organization that the Ontario Trillium Foundation had a problem with.

It does have a Facebook page, which consists mainly of announcements of holidays on which they'll be unavailable to help any crisis pregnancies. For fun, here's its very goddy newsletter.

Things get interesting however, when we look at its finances. A site named CHIMP gets its information from the same place we do, the CRA.

This pie chart is fascinating, though. WTF does that mean?

But Chimp reports the 2013 data correctly. In 2013, Medicine Hat Haters spent 90% of their dough on management and administration, with 3% going to the "charitable program."

Note that they report 0% "government funding."

Now have a look at their filing for 2012. Then, they spent 95% on the charitable program and 5% on management, again reporting no government funding.

In 2011, again 95% went to the charitable program with no government funding.

Now, go back to the Alberta Lottery Fund and nose around a bit, you'll find that Medicine Hat scored government/pubic money as follows:

2012/13: $4500
2011/12: $6300
2010/11: $9300
2009/10: 0
2008/09: $4500
(figures are rounded to nearest hundred)

Two questions here:
1. Why are they not reporting government funding?

2. How the hell did they go from spending 5% on admin to spending 90%?

Honest mistake?

No flags were raised?

We will continue to ask questions.

h/t to Niles in the comments for the FB, CHIMP, and newsletter links.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Crisis Pregnancy Centres: Alberta Fake Clinics Get Public Money

As promised, we're taking a look at other crisis pregnancy centres (CPCs) in Canada that apply for and receive public funding.

Back here in our how-to identify and expose fake clinics getting public money, Kathy Dawson found that the Alberta Lottery Foundation (ALF) does indeed funnel money to CPCs.

Alberta Lottery Foundation is like the Ontario Trillium Foundation. It redistributes the province's ill-gotten gains to "worthy" community assets. (Or does it?)

It's got a ton of dough to hand out -- $1.486 billion in 2013-14 alone.

The website has a handy search function. Kathy used the search term "pregnancy" and look what she found.

Since 2008, ALF has given $93,200 of "involuntary" donors' -- i.e. Alberta's gamblers' -- money to three "pregnancy"-related groups: Medicine Hat Pregnancy Support Society, Hinton Crisis Pregnancy Association, and Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre Society (Red Deer and Olds). Most of the funding was for operations and all of the funds were doled out under the Community Spirit Donation Grant Program.
The Community Spirit Donation Grant Program supports the generosity of Albertans with a matching Donation Grant Program and the Enhanced Charitable Tax Credit.
There's not much information on this program on ALF's site, but it seems that not only are public funds involved in the grants, but Albertans fork out again in forgoing taxes on the donors' contributions in the form of "Enhanced Charitable Tax Credits."

Let's have a closer look at Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre. It's interesting for a few reasons. First, it's pretty rich for these kind of operations.

From its mandatory filing at Canadian Revenue Agency, in 2013, it reported revenue of just over $450K, with "government funding" $68,690 or 15%.

In 2012, it reported revenue of $442K and government funding of $95,879 (22%).

"Government funding"??????????????????

It was also the target of an undercover investigation in 2000 by CTV, which exposed the usual lies, manipulations, and misleading information. I can't find any of the original stories but I found an interesting "rebuttal" by Fetus Freak Media outlet The Interim.

The Central Alberta fake clinic can also boast of the fact that one of its founders is Valorie Day, Stockwell Day's wife.

Here is its mission statement:

The Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre is a Christian charity dedicated to upholding the sanctity of all human life. We help women, their partners, and their families to explore all pregnancy options; giving access to accurate information and the space and time needed to make a well informed decision.

The Centre does not perform, refer, or advocate for abortion. However, we are committed to unconditional acceptance of everyone we serve, regardless of their choices.
It is also a member of Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services, you know, the umbrella organization that the Ontario Trillium Foundation had a "philosophical" issue with.
The decision came after pseudonym-using blogger Fern Hill reached out to OTF Oct. 29, confirmed Thomas Chanzy, vice-president public affairs.

“The issue that was raised when we looked into that grant more deeply was the affiliation with CAPPS, the Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services,” he said.
So, if you live in Alberta and buy lottery tickets, you are willy-nilly supporting these lying liars. If you live in Alberta and don't buy lottery tickets, your tax dollars have to stretch just a bit farther because you are underwriting donations to them.

Later, a look at the other two publicly funded fake clinics in Alberta.

Saturday, 15 November 2014

False Witnesses: A Rogues' Gallery of BAD Scientists

Everyone who writes or cares about reproductive justice, women's rights, science, etc. should bookmark this amazing feat of research, Reproductive Health Reality Check's False Witnesses project.

Here at DJ! we have an abiding interest in BAD science in general but in particular as it is applied to abortion and women's health.

"BAD" stands for biased, agenda-driven, or science-for-hire. And it is everywhere.

Here's RH Reality Check's explanation.
First Big Tobacco, then climate change denial, and now, the anti-choice movement.

The issues might have changed, but the techniques now widely used by conservatives to distort science and, with it, public policy, remain the same.

They create nonprofits, staffed with die-hard ideologues, and set about producing and promoting bogus science, to build the illusion of dissent or doubt over conclusions drawn by peer-reviewed scientific or medical research. They develop their own “research findings” to suit their ideological views. Then they deploy scare tactics, all with the goal of passing laws that suit their agenda.

And anti-choice has been at it for decades now. They've even got "institutes" and sciencey-sounding "research groups." Some we've tried to profile here but RH Reality Check has really dug and got the goods.

In the False Witnesses Gallery are 14 "scientists" for hire, some familiar to us, some not so much. They're mostly USian. Click on their photos to find out more.

The format for each profile is fabulous. Each is divided into sections: "Signature Falsehood," "Setting the Record Straight," "Role Within the Anti-Choice Movement," and "Blatant Errors," as well as their connections, credentials, and the amount of dough they've raked in with their obligingness. And they are all connected, all cite each other's publications.

In short, hours of fun reading.

And while there are no Canadians among them, these liars regularly show up at Canadian anti-choice events and venues.

Like Martha Shuping, who caused a fuss recently when she was invited to speak at Memorial University, and Angela Lanfranchi, who is Maurice Vellacott's go-to gal for bullshit on the "abortion causes breast cancer" canard.

Very gratifying for us here at DJ! is the inclusion of our fave Perfesser of Home Economics and Slut-Shaming, Priscilla Coleman, whose work has been so thoroughly and utterly dismantled it's a wonder she has the gall to show her face. Here's the RH Reality Check research on her.

We have one addition. There is a disreputable gang of Canadians operating under the banner of the Deveber Institute. Small and pretty lame, but all ours.

So, bookmark and browse.

And congratulations and grand merci to RH Reality Check.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Philosophical Differences versus False Allegations: Defunded Fake Clinic Responds

Yesterday (November 13/14), Lambton Crisis Pregnancy Centre announced the rescinding by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) of the second instalment (amount unknown) of a $83,800 grant.

Here it is.
Due to a fundamental philosophical difference the OTF has decided to rescind the grant.  This means we received funding for one year’s operation but will not receive further funding for the second year. 

. . .

One particular blog has been making false allegations regarding our Centre and is taking credit for the rescinding of the OTF grant.  This same group has been making allegations against other Pregnancy Centre’s [sic] in Canada.
Hilarious, yes?

They claim to have "fundamental philosophical difference" with the once and future (?) major granting organization, but throw "false allegations" at a wee (unnamed) blogger.

The CPC in question seems to have set a stalking horse on us in the person of commenter and self-proclaimed videographer Nathan Colquhoun who takes issue with my post about inappropriate medical equipment at the Lambton outfit here and here.

He claims to have no dog in this fight but his profile shows him to be some kinda xian pastor.

Okey-dokey then.

Are they laying the groundwork to sue us?

In its blogpost the Lambton Liars refer to a paper supposedly refuting Joyce Arthur's damning report "Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in BC".

When a couple of those fake BC clinics tried to sue Joyce for defamation over her report, it did not end well for them.

Lambton CPC's argument, of course, should be with the Ontario Trillium Foundation, not moi.

But, hey, this is totally typical behaviour for bullying liars. Take on the small fry while kissing the big kahuna's ass.

What I find mysterious -- and OTF must find relaxing, at least for the moment -- is the total disinterest by mainstream media over what seems to me (ahem) to be a fairly Big Story.

Major Grant Foundation (All But) Admits Error in Funding Prolife Liars!

OK, that's probably not the headline they'd go with -- but that's the story.

Stay tuned. . .

UPDATE: The Sarnia Observer reports. It seems that OTF doesn't have a problem with fake clinics as such but rather a particular problem with Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services (CAPPS). That's a Christian (the "C" used to represent Christian) umbrella organization with 70 fake clinic members across Canada. Good enough for me. For now.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Donor Beware: Ottawa Senators' Fake Clinic Charity Re-Visited

'Tis the (ever earlier) season when you'll be hit up by various good causes. In light of the revelation that unbeknownst to Ontario gamblers they were helping to fund a religious anti-choice fake clinic, let's revisit the grandmother of anti-abortion trickery stories in Canada.

I was reminded of it by commenter Sub-Boreal, who reports a similar situation.
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.

For the holidays of 2007, the wives and girlfriends -- known as the Better Halves (awww) -- of the Ottawa Senators sponsored a charity dealie with three worthy charities the intended recipients of funds extorted exhorted from loyal Sens fans.

Planned Parenthood raised the alarm that one of the charities, First Place Pregnancy Centre, now rebranded (as they are wont to do) First Place Options, was a lying-liar outfit of the first order.

Before DJ!, deBeauxOs and I blogged at Birth Pangs. We were all over the story as were other bloggers, notably JJ at Unrepentant Old Hippie.

CBC got on it in the person of Heather Mallick. (Her original story has vaporized, as has the re-issue at rabble.)

I found a link to the meaty bit of the story -- her phone conversation with the Senators Foundation prez as they went through the links on First Place's website.
I had an initially cheerful phone interview with Sens Foundation president Dave Ready, who said the Better Halves, when asked to choose three charities, chose: First Place, Kids Help Phone [and] Harmony House (a women's shelter).

First Place was “in line with our mandate,” he said. “We did due diligence and checked that it's a charity.”

“You went to the website?” I asked.


“Did you check on the links?”


We went through the First Place site links together. There's a standard disclaimer but First Place hopes we'll find them “helpful.” I told Ready that some of the news headlines appeared to be libellous, particularly the ones linking corporations that make birth control drugs to the Jewish Holocaust and one drug itself to Nazi death camps. Others were grotesque: “One baby in 30 left alive after medical abortion” turns out to be an absurd, unsubstantiated anonymous “news story” in a British entertainment magazine.

You're also guided to a donation page for the American Life League, a hardline group based outside Washington. There's a shop, admittedly very funny, that sells “Abortion is mean” T-shirts for two-year-olds.

They offer booklets explaining that abortion is wrong even in the case of incest. They tell members to scare away raped children outside abortion clinics. They call RU-486 “the anti-human pesticide.” They offer sample letters to the editor to send to outlets that employ, I imagine, columnists like me. One begins: “Planned Parenthood is not 'a good guy.'”

Ready gets more and more quiet as we track this. Soon he is desperate to get off the phone. He will not let me talk to a Better Half, who might well explain that she hadn't known that First Place is financed by the Bethel Pentecostal Church (external - login to view) in Ottawa and its mission — declared on the Bethel website but nowhere on the First Place site — is not just anti-abortion but anti-birth control.
In short, the Sens' Better Halves had stepped in some deep doo-doo.

Sens fans were wondering WTF? Pro-choicers (especially of the Leaf Nation variety) were pointing and laughing.

And bloggers were having a ball.

But before things could get any poopier, the lying liars pulled out. (This was characterized as a "gracious" move by the Fetus Freak Media. Ha. Right.)

We never learned how the Better Halves chose that charity. Was it an inside job? Were they duped?

There was one more move. First Place sued Planned Parenthood for "defamation over comments that the Centre is 'anti-choice'." As that blogger points out, it was pretty odd for one charity to sue another, and likely to be very expensive for both.

We don't know what happened there either since some kind of settlement was reached.

For us, it was lots of fun, especially as we were dubbed by LifeShite Vicious Abortion Crusaders, a title we wear with pride to this day.

But there's another more important takeaway: When someone asks you for dough, ask for details.

(It also explains why fake clinic websites don't link to their more lunatic, racist fellow travellers anymore. In public at least. We know from undercover investigations that they still spew the most outrageous nonsense once they have a live vulnerable woman in their fake clinics.)

Happy giving season!

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

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Poking the Trillium: CPC Grant Rescinded!

Last week DJ! reported on public funds from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) being given to a religious anti-abortion group, specifically the Lambton Crisis Pregnancy Centre.

I also wrote to OTF and tweaked them on Twitter. And got this quick response.

A further response on Twitter directed me to OTF's website where one can download a PDF called Policy Suite*, dated October 30, 2014 (!). I was directed to the anti-discrimination section.

On page 37, we find this.
Funding of grantees
OTF will not fund organizations that discriminate, or that seek to limit the legal rights and activities of people.
Which is a quite succinct description of crisis pregnancy centres.

My email to OTF was passed along to Thomas Chanzy, Vice-President, Public Affairs. I had linked to the relevant DJ! blogposts and informed them that I intended to blog on their response, so they should consider themselves on the record.

Here's part of what he said in his first email:
Thank you for your email and thank you for raising this issue with us. I appreciate your interest in ensuring that our funds are a good use of public money, and we are taking your comments very seriously.

As indicated on twitter, we, as a public funder, do not condone discriminatory practices and we have an anti-discriminatory policy in place to ensure that our grants do not fund such practices. In addition, our program guidelines clearly states that we will not fund advocacy activities.  

We acknowledge that the lines can be blurry between advocacy and non-advocacy activities in the nonprofit sector. That’s why we are committed to always improving our granting practices. We have recently revised our anti-discriminatory policy as part of our ongoing review process. In particular, our revised policy now explicitly prohibits the funding of activities that seek to limit the legal rights and activities of Ontarians.

I note that you have specific questions about our grant to the Lambton Crisis Pregnancy Centre. Let me consult our program staff on this particular grant and we will provide you with an answer by the end of this week.

And he did. It's full of careful (and very good) bureaucratese, but it's about as straightforward as this sort of communication can be. I was impressed. I'll post the whole thing if people are interested. For now, here are the relevant points.

I had three questions.

Question 1. What due diligence did OTF conduct to assure itself that the Lambton CPC was a legitimate community asset and not a religious organization with a clear agenda of dissuading women from accessing a legal medical service?

The answer: OTF uses local decision making and volunteers do the work. Then matters go up the chain and staff assesses "the organisational eligibility of the applicants, and the feasibility of the projects for which funding is sought."

Here's the good part.
Our process relies on assessments by individuals, and all act in good faith. It is not fail proof.
Then, more on process and overseeing committees, blahblahblah.

Question 2. What measures are being taken/will be taken to ensure that no money is ever given to such groups again?

We acknowledge that no system is fail proof. That’s why we are committed to always improving our granting practices. 

As already noted, our revised policy now explicitly prohibits the funding of activities that seek to limit the legal rights and activities of Ontarians.

Not quite "mistakes were made" but pretty darned close, eh?

Question 3. Under what circumstances might a grant be rescinded? I note that the grant to Lambton CPC -- a sizeable one of $83,800 -- is to be delivered over 2 years.

And now the WOOHOO! part:
We have reassessed the grant made to this organisation and have rescinded the remainder of the grant.  We have informed the organization that no more funding will flow. We have a clear policy on rescinding grants; several grants are rescinded annually, for compliance, financial and risk management purposes.

No more funding will flow.

Now DJ! would never ever take credit for something that wasn't totally merited, and despite Mr. Chanzy's assurance that "several grants are rescinded annually," we say again:


We must commend OTF and Mr. Chanzy for their quick and responsible response. I'm not a gambling gal, but I am reassured that Ontario's ill-gotten gains are being returned to communities as well as possible.

When I told Sweetie the news, he wondered about the legality of picking (on) a trillium. I looked and found this.
…despite what most Ontarians think – it is not always illegal to pluck or otherwise annoy the trillium.

UPDATE: Oh lard. I had Mr. Chanzy as Vice-President, Pubic Affairs. Now corrected. Sorry (mostly), Mr. Chanzy.

MORE UPDATE: You can do it too. How to Defund Crisis Pregnancy Centres.

UPPITY-DATIER (November 14, 2014): Lambtons Crisis Pregnancy Centre responds.
Due to a fundamental philosophical difference the OTF has decided to rescind the grant.  This means we received funding for one year’s operation but will not receive further funding for the second year. 

. . .

One particular blog has been making false allegations regarding our Centre and is taking credit for the rescinding of the OTF grant.  This same group has been making allegations against other Pregnancy Centre’s [sic] in Canada.
Taking a wild leap here and assuming that DJ! is the unnamed blog, I'd suggest that the Lambton CPC direct its complaints to the Ontario Trillium Foundation. If my allegations are false, then OTF has made a terrible error, eh? One they should be answerable for, yes?  

Amusing innit that the CPC has "philosophical differences" with the granting agency, but has no problem calling me a liar?

*UPDATE: (July 9/16) That link no longer connects with the PDF. Here is OTF's anti-discrimination policy.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Lambton CPC: Nuthin' to Hide?

Recently, DJ! nosed around and found that some crisis pregnancy centres in Canada do indeed have ultrasound machines believed by fetus fetishists to have the magical property of dissolving women's will for autonomy.

Which is odd, considering that they claim NOT to be medical facilities, but, just, you know, counselling and information centres with sidelines in mom-n-tots drop-ins and baby clothes.

In fact, in Ontario, the Ministry of Health does not fund these fake clinics or regulate them specifically because they are not medical clinics.

What to make then of this promotional video from the Lambton Crisis Pregnancy Centre, the fake clinic that recently received $83,800 of public funds from the Ontario Trillium Foundation?

The video shows many jolly babies, new mums thrilled to have a place to drop in and chat, some jeezus talk, but at about the 4:30 mark it gets interesting.

During a tour of the facilities, we are shown one of their "counselling rooms." Here's a still.

What's that chair-like thing that appears fleetingly in the background?

It looks to me like an ob/gyn chair, rather like this, taken from an assortment of such medical equipment here.

I wanted to be sure so I asked a professional pal to have a look. Here's the judgement:

Well I looked at it frame-by-frame between 4:36 and 4:42 - - the videographer was supposed to avoid the bottom of the chair with the pale blue cushioning.

Shot angles before and after make it clear that they wish to give the impression that they are providing a comprehensive survey of the interior (Nuthin' t'hide, here) when it's pretty clear at 4:36 - 4:37 that they don't want you to see that chair.

What that chair is, specifically, I cannot say - - they have been successful with selective camera angles.  Sorry.

Point, videographer.

Also odd is the woman's comment from that room that clients can "exit out quietly without going through the reception room."

Why would clients want to exit out quietly if they're just having a jolly conversation about prenatal vitamins?

And WHAT THE FUCK is a piece of medical equipment doing in there? Are they conducting obstetrical examinations? Are they performing non-medical ultrasounds?

Enquiring minds....

UPDATE: November 14. 2014. A commenter named Nathan Colquhoun claims to be the videographer in question. He says the video is hosted on his YouTube account, but I didn't see it.

He says the chair-thing is in fact a baby's high-chair. Okey-dokey.

He also takes issue with the tone of this blog. Okey-dokey.

I'll have more to say, but for now have a look at the webpage connected to his profile. He's some kinda Xian pastor. When I tried to go to "The Story," which appears to be the name of his "ministry," my anti-virus software wouldn't let me, and who am I to argue?

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Crisis Pregnancy Centres in Canada: Now with Ultrasound Machines

Doing some research for our ongoing series on public funding of crisis pregnancy centres (Part 1 and Part 2), I ran across some information about ultrasounds in Canadian fake clinics.

First, regular readers know that DJ! has a fascination for the fetus fetishists' um, fetish for ultrasounds used to somehow magically connect abortion-minded women to their blobs and immediately reverse any desire for self-determination.

In the US, the fancy-dress army of the Vatican Taliban, aka the Knights of Columbus, has a huge fundraising project to buy the machines for as many fake clinics as they can. Despite the fact that ultrasounds do NOT dissuade women from abortion, howevermuch the fetus freaks lie about it.

I wondered what the situation on ultrasounds in fake clinics in Canada was. So I looked.

I found a lengthy discussion from 2013 in The Interim, which bills itself as "Canada's Life and Family Newspaper." It details the magical properties of ultrasounds and the efforts to equip USian fake clinics with them. Then it goes into the situation in Canada.

Crisis pregnancy centers in Canada looking to use ultrasounds to convince women to keep their babies face regulatory obstacles that their American counterparts often do not.

Regulations regarding ultrasound facilities differ throughout Canada. In Ontario, diagnostic clinics must acquire an Independent Health Facilities License, which will be granted, according to the 2005 guide, to clinics operating in "under-serviced" areas. The nature and cost of the service will also be considered. Under the Independent Health Facilities Act, each clinic must have a quality advisor and an advisory committee to advise the quality advisor. The Healing Arts Radiation Protection Act of Ontario requires each diagnostic facility to have a radiation protection officer (a role that may be assumed by the quality advisor). British Columbia has a temporary moratorium on diagnostic services and will license private office obstetric/gynecologic ultrasounds with accredited radiologists that have proven there is a need for their services. 

Ultrasound facilities are also monitored by the provincial colleges of physicians and surgeons. In general, ultrasound exams in Manitoba, Ontario, and Alberta must be conducted by certified sonographers and there must be a sonologist or a physician accredited in diagnostic imaging available for consultation, supervision, or review of exams during operating hours. In Alberta, there must be a medical director, who is also a physician, as well as a consult physician. Manitoba has ergonomic standards, requiring "properly designed" scanning chairs, support cushions, as well as adjustable stretchers and footrests.

Canada's CPCs do not have in-house ultrasounds like their counterparts in the U.S. Linda Baartse, director of the Pregnancy Care Centre in Toronto, told The Interim that financing ultrasounds is "not the area of first priority" for her organization. She said that there are better ways for her group to spend the money that would otherwise be involved in the high cost of starting up and running ultrasound services. The PCC prefers, instead, to provide mothers with material support, opening new locations, and raising awareness. Rather, the Pregnancy Care Centre has a referral list of physicians that could help the woman access medical services such as ultrasounds.

Juergen Severloh, executive director of the Crisis Pregnancy Centre of Winnipeg, told The Interim in an email interview that the centre unsuccessfully tried to buy a used ultrasound machine from the hospital in 1997. Currently, CPC of Winnipeg provides clients with cards that entitle them to a free ultrasound and DVD at Babymoon, a third-party ultrasound business. Severloh believes that a "pregnancy centre should become linked to the ultrasound services of local pro-life physician's offices," it may pay for the set up costs and supplies in exchange for medical expertise, avoiding liability, and immediate service for clients.
I found that reassuring. Good old Canada has rules and regulations about gangs of nutters running totally unnecessary diagnostics on people in order to manipulate them.

But then I looked further. It seems The Interim is not quite up to speed.
In April 2012, it was reported that the Edmonton Pregnancy Crisis Centre had scored one of the magic machines.
The Edmonton Pregnancy Crisis Centre has qualified counsellors, informative brochures and educational videos for its clients. Recently the centre introduced its new tool to help prevent abortion.

A total of 33 Knights of Columbus councils from in and around Edmonton donated money for an ultrasound machine. It is a diagnostic method using high frequency sound waves to obtain images internally.
A sonographer has volunteered her time to operate the unit at the centre. She comes in according to need.
More looking revealed that the anti-abortion gang in Fredericton also has one.
In addition to your pregnancy test, an ultrasound scan may provide you with precise and helpful information about whether you are pregnant and, if so, how far along you are. Our ultrasounds are performed by a certified nurse-sonographer. We are pleased to offer you this as a complimentary service.
Interesting, no?

We're now wondering if there are more fake clinics in Canada subjecting women to this humiliating and coercive non-medical procedure.

If you know of any, please leave details in the comments.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Crisis Pregnancy Centres in Canada (part of an ongoing series)

There is no disagreement about what a crisis pregnancy centre is.

A crisis pregnancy center (CPC), sometimes called a pregnancy resource center (PRC), is a type of non-profit organization established to counsel pregnant women against having an abortion.

In fact, so notorious are CPCs for their anti-choice agenda they are rebranding themselves with variants of the words "life," "choice," "options" and so on in their titles. The subject of a recent blogpost on public funding for CPCs in Ontario is known both as Lambton Crisis Pregnancy Centre and as The Pregnancy Options and Support Centre.

We've had some response from the granting agency, Ontario Trillium Foundation, and we'll get to that in future post.

For now, let's take a look at what CPCs actually do.

First off, what they do is significantly different from what they say they do.

They say they offer counselling and education about "crisis" or unplanned pregnancies. They say they offer non-judgemental support for all options. They say they provide accurate and complete information about all aspects of pregnancy and possible outcomes.

That's bullshit.

What they do has been documented in countless undercover investigations and revelations from former workers and volunteers.

Here's a recent investigation from the US on How Crisis Pregnancy Centers Lie to Women to Stop Abortion. Here's another from BC in 2012 and a recent one from Texas. Google "undercover crisis pregnancy investigation." There are tons of them.

Here's an undercover report by The Star on a fake clinic in Toronto from 2010. And here's another of the same clinic from 2012.

The reason undercover investigations are necessary is because CPCs have gotten a lot smarter about what they reveal in their online presence, particularly after the 2007 brouhaha over the Ottawa Senators hockey team support for such an outfit in a Christmas charity. (We have a blogpost in the hopper revisiting the highlights of that schmozzle. I'll link when it's up. Link.)

No longer do their websites include links to bogus organizations claiming that abortion causes breast cancer, abortion causes addiction and mental illness, abortion causes infertility, et fucking cetera. All of those lies have been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked, so CPCs do not publicly link to them anymore.

But in the actual clinic, with an actual live, vulnerable pregnant and possibly already shit-scared woman there, those lies come burbling back up.

In fact, some "counsellors" can get very creative in the crap they spew. (Some undercover investigators report finding it really really hard not to burst out laughing.)

They lie, they distort, they manipulate.

Because their only purpose is to stop abortion. All the rest is window dressing.

After the 2010 Star investigation, a reporter contacted the Ontario ministry of health to ask what the heck officials intended to do about this abuse of patients' trust.
The provincial health ministry has no immediate plans to crack down on pregnancy resource centres that often use misinformation to discourage women from choosing abortion without always disclosing their pro-life perspective.

“We don’t fund them, so we don’t have a lot of oversight on them,” said Andrew Morrison, a spokesman for the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. “As with these types of things that are sort of outside the ministry purview, it is ‘buyer, beware’ and a matter of people doing a bit of homework.”

A Star investigation published Aug. 7 found that charitable organizations called crisis pregnancy centres often give out misleading or untrue information about the physical and psychological risks of abortion under the guise of options counselling to women facing unplanned pregnancies.
Beyond the purview of the Ministry of Health because they don't FUND them.

A comment from a pro-choice advocate in the article:
“These people are accountable to no one,” [Maria Corsillo, manager of the Scott (abortion) Clinic] said of the pregnancy centres, which often have codes of ethics but are not subject to any oversight beyond what is required of registered charities.
Ethics? Ms Corsillo is being overly kind there, but she hits the nail on the head.

Charitable status. That's all that's required to get tax-free dough from their supporters. And, it seems, FUNDING from the gambling population of Ontario courtesy of the Ontario government's Trillium Foundation. (I'll link when that post is up. Link.)

Odd, innit? No oversight from the Ontario Ministry of Health because no FUNDING. But FUNDING from Ontario Trillium Foundation despite no oversight.

We have more to say.

UPDATE: Ontario Trillium Foundation responds to our questions about the Lambton Crisis Pregnancy Centre grant. Upshot: grant rescinded!