Inform Alberta Stop Referring Fake Clinics

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The online directory "Inform Alberta", 211, 811 Healthlink and its partners must stop listing and referring anti-choice homophobic agencies.  Inform Alberta policies must be updated to ensure that Inform Alberta directory listings uphold the government obligation to support the Canadian and Alberta Human Rights protections for gender, gender identity, gender expression and orientation. Albertans are entitled to access contraception, abortion, comprehensive sexual health education and LGBT inclusive care. Continued referral to agencies that oppose the rights that women and LGBT have, exposes clients to potentially unsafe treatment that may violate accepted health protocols and medical ethics.

InformAlberta.ca is a provincial on-line directory of publicly funded and/or not-for-profit community, health, social, and government organizations and services. The directory is maintained by the Inform Alberta Partners – health zones and community information & referral services across Alberta. This directory is used by Health Link (811), 211 volunteers and others to provide service referrals to Albertans seeking information on contraception, abortion, pregnancy and other sexual and reproductive health matters. We rely on Alberta Health Services and its partners to:

1)      deliver medically accurate, evidence based health information guided by accepted health protocols & medical ethics

2)      respect the Canadian and Alberta Human Rights protections for gender, gender identity, gender expression and orientation

3)      provide accredited medical & counselling services

4)      reflect Charter Rights (Section 7) that supports abortion as a legal right to "life, liberty and security of person." (R v. Morgentaler 1988)

Inform Alberta currently lists and refers agencies that oppose abortion, contraception and same sex relationships. A search of the directory https://informalberta.ca/public/common/search.do  using key words such as teen pregnancy, abortion, contraception and sexual health education results in anti-abortion activists and centres being listed as resources. This may also be in conflict with advertising standards as these agencies do not offer referrals for abortion, contraception or comprehensive sexual health education. It is most certainly misleading to clients and volunteers to list anti-contraception, anti-choice agencies under the tags of pregnancy, contraception, or sexual health education.

 These agencies use program names that push them to the top of the referral list such as the “24 Hour Pregnancy Help Line” (operated by a pregnancy care centre).  Volunteers for Health Link and 211 may not be familiar with the agendas of anti-choice agencies and may refer them in error, putting clients at risk of unethical counselling and treatment from agencies that exist to limit their rights.

Crisis pregnancy care centres (CPCs) exist to undermine Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms through actively interfering with contraceptive use, sexual health education and abortion access. The Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) completed a cross Canada study of crisis pregnancy care centres (CPCs) ((ARCC), 2016). ARCC found that the majority of CPCs did not disclose that they do not refer for abortion or contraception. Many made unscientific claims about abortion risk and over emphasized adoption as a choice. It should also be noted that most CPCs choose celibate singleness for any of their patients that are not in a heterosexual, monogamous marriage. Most do not have medical staff or accredited counsellors. Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services (CAPSS) affiliated CPCs agree to a Statement of Principles ((CAPSS), 2014) that binds them to:

  • A Christian perspective on sexuality, prenatal development, abortion, and alternatives to abortion.
  • A belief in celibate singleness; and in faithful heterosexual marriage as God’s design for family
  • A policy that they do not recommend, provide or refer for abortion or abortifacients. (It must be noted that these organizations include the pill, IUD, emergency contraception and many other hormonal methods as abortifacients, even though abortion is not possible before pregnancy occurs.)
  • Additionally, many of these agencies offer abstinence based sexual health education. Research shows that abstinence based instruction is ineffective and may violate medical ethics by misinforming and withholding health protecting information. (Waxman, 2004)

 

Current Inform Alberta search results list agencies that oppose same sex relationships, abortion and many forms of contraception. Examples include:

1)       Teen Pregnancy (most of the listed agencies are CAPSS affiliates – restrictions listed above):

  • 24 Hour Pregnancy Help Line  - Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre:
  • Accommodation search assistance - Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre
  • Community Education on Sexuality - Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre
  • Early Bird Prenatal Class - Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre
  • Maternity Home  - Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre
  • Maternity Housing and Support Services  - Emma House Maternity Home, partnered with the Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre
  • Post Abortion Recovery Counselling - Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre
  • Pregnancy Counselling and Support Cochrane Pregnancy Care Centre 
  • Pregnancy Test and Options Counselling - Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre
  • Prenatal Classes - Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre
  • Pro-Life Educational Information Calgary Pro-life Association 

2)      Abortion (all of the below agencies are anti-abortion and will not provide referrals):

  • Abortion Recovery Centre -  Pregnancy Care Centre (Edmonton) 
  • Male Mentorship/Fathering Program -  Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre
  • Pregnancy Counselling and Support  - Cochrane Pregnancy Care Centre
  • Pro-Life Educational Information  - Calgary Pro-life
  • Project Rachel  - Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary 
  • Post Abortion Recovery Counselling  - Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre 
  • Post Abortion Recovery and Support  - West Yellowhead Pregnancy Care Centre Society

3)      Pregnancy Test (All of the below listed agencies are CAPSS affiliates – restrictions listed above):

  • Counseling and Support Options  - Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre Society 
  • Pregnancy Counselling and Support  - Cochrane Pregnancy Care Centre 
  • Pregnancy Test and Options Counselling  - Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre
  • Pregnancy Testing  - West Yellowhead Pregnancy Care Centre

4)     Contraception (Agency is opposed to many forms of contraception):

  • Pro-Life Educational Information - Calgary Pro-life Association 

 5)      Sexual health education (most of the listed agencies are CAPSS affiliates – restrictions listed above and all are opposed to many forms of contraception):

  • Calgary Pregnancy Care Centre
  • Calgary Pro-life
  • Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre
  • Pregnancy Care Centre (Edmonton)

  

Works Cited
(ARCC), A. R. (2016). Review of "Crisis Pregnancy Centre" Websites in Canada. Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC). http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/CPC-study/CPC-Website-Study-ARCC-2016.pdf

(CAPSS), C. A. (2014). Core Documents. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3knVGoGcpZkdl9MMVVwVXFWUHc/view?usp=sharing

Waxman, H. (2004). The Content of Federally Funded Abstinence-Only Education Programs. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xmVMyais_VfYIk5j-iIDW7BFRlXWre6N/view?usp=sharing

Our website is https://abprochoice.ca/

 



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