Women deceived by fake ‘pregnancy counselling’ services
Thursday June 08th 2006, 10:46 am

Stop Australian Government funded deception of womenIt’s a new game in Australia, but it’s been played in the US for many years. Australian anti-choice activists are running fake ‘pregnancy counselling services’ which mislead women into believing they are going to get abortion services- when nothing could be further from the truth.

These fake counselling services not only don’t provide abortion services, but deliberately spread mis- and disinformation about abortion, up to and including telling women that abortion will increase their risk of breast cancer, mental illness and infertility- all of which are patently false.

Worst, these ‘services’ are funded by the Australian Government!

The government has even awarded the ‘Order of Australia’ medal to anti-choice activists posing as ‘pregnancy counsellors.’

An automobile dealer couldn’t legally tell you that flying instead of driving a car could cause cancer, but these sham ‘counselling’ services can get away with it because there is no regulation of the scam ‘crisis pregnancy counselling’ industry.

GetUp Australia is running a petition which seeks to halt government funded deception of women in crisis. Sign it- then write your MP telling him or her that the Australian Government should not be funding disinformation campaigns which victimise women.


22 Comments so far
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I love this bit from their philosophy:

Staff and volunteers share a common belief… that the disruption of the maternal response by abortion is currently not being addressed by the community at large

Yeah, because unless a Christian pro-life lobby group stick their grubby noses into a woman’s business they’ll never be capable of surrounding themselves with a chosen support group of family, friends and/or trusted professionals.

Comment by Ed 06.08.06 @ 12:23 pm

Sorry about the double comment, but just read this bit and got really angry:

It is well recognised that some women are particularly vulnerable to pressure from family members or partners

Who the f*** do these people think they are? Holier-than-thou elitist bastards.

Comment by Ed 06.08.06 @ 12:25 pm

Good piece, Weez, thank you. I’ve been unable to get anything coherent up, and you’ve summarised it all perfectly.

Comment by tigtog 06.08.06 @ 2:26 pm

Ed, I don’t mind toll roads as long as the public roads around them are not closed by the government so as to funnel traffic to the pay-for-play laneways.

The government equally has no business in funding the belief-based agendas of the religious right. Women should not be gerrymandered into the fundamentalist Christian means of reproductive behaviour. That the Howard goverment can fund disinformation campaigns, providing utter falsehoods under the guise of medical advice is gobsmacking.

We’re rather used to Howard disinformation in other arenas like IR, interest rates, Tampa/SIEV-X/Children overboard. Mind, those disinfo campaigns haven’t been nearly as personalised as are the paid liars at the ‘crisis pregnancy’ anti-choice noise factories.

TT, thanks. I’ve been watching the number of signatures on the GetUp site as the day has worn on- they’ve been getting ~1000 signatures an HOUR.

Comment by weez 06.08.06 @ 3:35 pm

Awesome post. I have now signed up to GetUp!

Thanks man

Comment by Mikey 06.08.06 @ 9:56 pm

I don’t know which peak body auspices these ‘counselors’, but I am certain that their complete disinterest in the self-determining rights of the client and the importance of worker neutrality would exclude them from the AASW!

Comment by suki 06.08.06 @ 9:57 pm

As Bill Hicks said: “Boy, I’ve never seen an issue so divisive. It’s like a civil war, isn’t it? Even amongst my friends, who are all very intelligent; they’re totally divided on abortion. It’s unbelievable. Some of my friends, for instance, think these pro-life people are annoying idiots. Other of my friends think these pro-life people … are evil fucks. How are we going to come to a consensus? You ought to hear the arguments around my house: ‘They’re annoying, they’re idiots.’ ‘They’re evil, they’re fucks!’ Brothers, sisters, come together! Can’t we once just join hands and think of them as evil-annoying-idiot-fucks? I beseech you.”

Seriously though, how are you supposed to make an informed decision about YOUR body when your “Counselor” is telling you things like “foetus is Latin for ‘little one'”… What the hell does that have to do with anything? That link that you provided Weez isn’t even a counseling service, it’s a blatent anti-choice op-ed. I smell the Abbott once again – does that smell ever wash out?

Comment by Dave 06.09.06 @ 9:03 am

Dave, all I want is for the government to stay right out of me & my partner’s pants (and our bedroom). Not a big ask.

Bullshit is one thing; government funded, official bullshit is quite another.

Comment by weez 06.09.06 @ 9:32 am

Indeed, not a big ask at all. Yet, they insist don’t they?

Comment by Dave 06.09.06 @ 10:00 am

Dave, someone here has totally lost the plot. Government exists to serve the people, not the other way around.

The US Constitution specifies a separation between church and state for very good reasons- and there couldn’t be a brighter illumination of those causes than this matter.

I object more to imposition of Christianity via official government policy in the US & Australia than I do to sharia law in Islamic republics. We’re supposed to be above that sort of crap.

This matter is absolutely no different to sharia. Government funded advocacy of the Christian wingnut position is, without question, religious policing.

Comment by weez 06.09.06 @ 10:38 am

[…] Weez over at mgk has done a great post on unethical counselling practices when it comes to government funded pregnancy couselling as highlighted by the GetUp! action for Australia group. On 1 June 2006, Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja, an Australian Democrat, posted this media release: […]

Pingback by Evidence-based counselling » Suki Has An Opinion 06.09.06 @ 11:55 pm

A choice at killing a human being? You want to be able to choose?

Comment by Crazy Jim Smith 06.12.06 @ 7:00 am

Crazy Jim Smith, how apt your name is!

The right to choose refers to a woman’s ability to determine what happens to her body.
Abortion does not involve killing a human being, as a foetus is not determined to be a human being.

You would do better using your energy to research what impacts on a woman’s decision to terminate a pregnancy. You would find that it is most commonly a lack of support, be that financial or personal (read progenitor).

Comment by suki 06.12.06 @ 10:38 am

Well if you think a feotus isn’t human then that’s your problem luv!

To me it is killing a human being!

And you want a choice in it?

Comment by Crazy Jim Smith 06.12.06 @ 7:30 pm

Killing is unethical too you know!

Comment by Crazy Jim Smith 06.12.06 @ 7:32 pm

So, Jimbo, you’re in charge of other people’s bodies? And you’re the scientist in charge of defining anatomical nomenclature?

I guess that’s why they call you ‘crazy,’ innit?

Comment by weez 06.12.06 @ 7:55 pm

Killing is Killing!

I’m not in charge of anything! I don’t want to be in charge of anything.

Is killing ethical? Is this artical ethical?

And by the way….what’s wrong with adoption?

Comment by Crazy Jim Smith 06.12.06 @ 8:31 pm

Aha! The little light comes on.

You’re indeed not in charge of other people’s choices. If you oppose abortion, don’t have one.

Nothing’s wrong with adoption- if the woman wishes to bear a child. If she doesn’t, she can terminate the pregnancy.

All without your interference.

Now, don’t you feel relieved since you no longer have the responsibility of making reproductive choices for others?

Comment by weez 06.12.06 @ 9:09 pm

Bad public policy requires deception to get it past the people. Anti-choice Christian crusaders who wish to be appointed to be the Australian Religious Police are pulling out the stops to manipulate public opinion.

Failing being able to force their religion on Australian women via public law, you can count on anti-choice deceivers to ‘astroturf,’ or create fake grass-roots support for their position.

Reproductive Choice Australia has caught out anti-choice liars Nicholas Tonti-Filippini and Melinda Tankard Reist representing themselves as pro-choice, when absolutely nothing could be further from the truth.

Have the anti-choice astroturfers come to the comments threads on mgk & SHAO? I have good cause to suspect so. However, the astute readers around here do give me a bit of hope that the religious right won’t be flashing their Religious Police badges anytime soon. Even John Howard has the good sense not to take on the political muscle of people who defend the innate human right to free reproductive choice.

Comment by weez 06.13.06 @ 8:42 am

In the heart of the U.S. we have the same nonsense. The “counseling centers” are manned by folks with an average of 20 hours training in evangelism and counseling. They are now funded by licence plate sales.

Comment by rain 06.13.06 @ 9:26 pm

Hiya rainie, thanks for the link to the story in Nuvo. I wrote so regularly for those cats back in the 80s that I should have been put on salary.

I am not so surprised to find this sort of shit going on in Indiana; I AM surprised to find it going on in Australia.

Comment by weez 06.14.06 @ 7:54 am

[…] Since the fake pregnancy counselling outfits don’t charge for their ’services,’ they are exempt from Australian truth in advertising laws. Women calling these outfits are told all manner of falsehoods by these alleged counsellors, like ‘abortion causes breast cancer and infertility.’ Women inquiring of these fraudulent counsellors about pregnancy termination have even been told they are “sinners” and “murderers.” […]

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