Watch out for these deceptive anti-abortion clinics
By Lauren Kelly, Graphics Manager
Pregnancy is often unplanned. Depending on the circumstances, what to do next can be an easy choice for the pregnant person, or it can be incredibly difficult. It’s the latter group who can fall victim to clinics labelled “Crisis Pregnancy Centres.”
These centres can be found throughout North America. In Canada, 70 of these centres are run by the Christian charity Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services (CAPSS). Thirteen of these centres are in BC, with four of them being right here in the Lower Mainland: Crisis Pregnancy Centre of Burnaby & New Westminster (Burnaby), Pregnancy Concerns (Coquitlam), Crisis Pregnancy Centre of Vancouver & Richmond (Vancouver), and South Fraser Pregnancy Options Centre (Surrey). CAPSS is a registered Canadian charity, and they accept donations from the public to continue their work. Their clinics can also be seen advertised on large posters in SkyTrain stations such as Lougheed Town Centre.
Crisis Pregnancy Centres promise to provide support and discuss all of the options available to help the pregnant person decide how to move forward. However, what is less clear is that they will not refer anyone to an abortion clinic, nor will they offer positive information about abortions. They focus strongly on the risks of abortion, with some of those risks being overblown, and some unsupported by factual evidence. In 2012, CTV sent an undercover reporter posing as a pregnant woman to Surrey’s South Fraser Pregnancy Option Centre, and she reported that she was shown an image of a botched abortion and informed of corelative links between abortion and breast cancer, which have never been scientifically proven. This experience echoes those of many others who have left these centres upset and hurt after expecting support and information regarding their options moving forward.
If you are pregnant or know someone who is, these centres should be avoided, even if an abortion is not desired. Many other clinics in the Lower Mainland can provide you with better, more legitimate information. The Options for Sexual Health clinics, many being located in the Lower Mainland, advertise themselves as pro-choice, sex-positive, and available to people of all ages, genders, and orientations. Additionally, many women’s centres, such as the Elizabeth Bagshaw Women’s Clinic, Everywoman’s Health Centre, and Willow Women’s Clinic, offer counselling as well as a wide array of health services. Do your research and find the clinic that fits your needs and location best, instead of one that will forward their own agenda above your happiness and comfort.