A biased article in Bloomberg this week painted pro-life pregnancy centers in a bad light for offering women alternatives to abortion.
“Beware Google Ads for ‘Abortion Consultations’: Religious-affiliated groups are testing misleading mobile tools,” the headline read.
More of an opinion piece than a report, the article basically echoed the pro-abortion talking points that have been used to attack pro-life pregnancy centers for years.
The article concluded, “The bottom line: America’s 3,000 pregnancy centers are adopting online and mobile ad tactics to draw women away from abortion providers.”
While this may seem like a positive conclusion to pro-lifers, most of the article focused on abortion activists’ claims that pro-life groups are deceiving and manipulating women.
Imagine you’re pregnant, and you don’t want to be. You type “abortion pittsburgh” into Google, and the first result is the Pittsburgh Women’s Clinic, offering “free abortion consultations.” “Only you know what’s best for you,” the Google ad reads. “Same-day appointments available. Call now!” You click and come face-to-face with a photo of a smiling woman with a stethoscope. “Looking for an abortion?” she asks in 65-point font. But you won’t get one from her or from the Pittsburgh Women’s Clinic. No clinic with that precise name exists.
The website, a project of Human Coalition, directs women to a network of pregnancy centers that offer women free consultations about their options, including abortion, parenting and adoption. Pregnancy centers’ services are entirely free, and they provide resources and support that most women won’t find at abortion clinics.
Bloomberg, however, took a similar tactic as the radical pro-abortion group NARAL and accused the pro-life groups of misleading and manipulating women.
“These centers are bullies,” NARAL California director Amy Everitt told Bloomberg. “They’re sanitizing their image, but the goals and tactics are the same.”
NARAL claims pregnancy centers give women false medical information and “shame” them into choosing life for their unborn babies.
The pro-abortion group has been lobbying states to force pro-life pregnancy centers to refer women for abortions. It succeeded in California, but pro-life groups are challenging the law.
Here’s more from the report:
Pregnancy centers using SEO [search engine optimization] and SEM [search engine marketing] buy Google ads for keywords and phrases including “abortion” and “abortion clinic.” Like the Pittsburgh network, many don’t immediately make clear what they’re advertising. “The more ‘pro-life’ we are in our marketing, the more we drive away those who need us,” reads a post on Pregnancy Help News, a website for which Heartbeat International acts as the publisher. “If Jesus blurted out, ‘I am the Christ!,’ [nonbelievers] would have likely run.”
Everitt says this tactic amounts to false advertising and that her group works with Google Inc. to flag misleading search results, which violate the company’s ad policies, for removal. Pregnancy centers say their ads aren’t inherently misleading. “A lot of people search for abortion information,” says Human Coalition’s [co-founder Brian] Fisher. “It doesn’t mean they want an abortion.”
Unlike abortion clinics, pregnancy centers do not have financial incentives linked to their counseling. Pregnancy centers tend to be small non-profits, largely made up of volunteers and funded by donations. Their goals are to help women and their babies by offering emotional, educational, spiritual and material support. Often, the trained counselors are post-abortive women who want to empower other women to make better decisions for their babies.
Pregnancy centers provide free services, information and materials that many abortion clinics don’t, including ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, baby supplies, maternity clothes, and referrals for housing and medical assistance. They provide women with facts about their unborn babies’ lives and development, the risks of abortion and the support available to them if they choose life. Many offer material support both before and after the baby is born, and quite a few provide compassionate post-abortion counseling as well.
In contrast, pro-abortion groups like NARAL that call themselves “pro-choice” increasingly are pushing women toward just one “choice” – abortion – and attacking groups that offer women life-affirming choices for their babies.