II. Other Erroneous Allegations
Arthur's report is replete with words like, "misinformation", "deception", "misleading", and "inaccurate" when she discusses what CPCs do, and the information they provide women. I counted at least 48 occurrences of these words in Arthur's report. Please keep this in mind as you continue to read my report.
Next I'd like to provide you with what some of what CAPSS and Birthright say about themselves on their websites, keeping in mind Arthur's use of these four words mentioned above to describe CPCs.
(These values and services identified below from CAPSS and Birthright are pretty standard across all crisis pregnancy centres. These two groups – CAPSS and Birthright – make up the bulk of the CPCs in Canada.)
This is what CAPSS says about their member centres:
“CAPSS has 67 affiliated centres which includes satellite centres.
Affiliation with CAPSS requires that they agree with our statement of faith and our Christian values.
They also commit to the core position that Clients are served without regard to race, colour, religion, creed, national origin, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, lifestyle or other arbitrary circumstances.
We encourage centres to be consistent in all of their communications. How they share their Christian foundation may vary depending on each independent board and governing decision makers.
They [all centres] are advised to be very clear about this [that they are not medical clinics].
If they do offer medical initiatives there is an expectation as per #12 [in our Commitment of Care and Competence, CAPSS Core Documents]:
“Medical services are provided in accordance with all applicable laws, and in accordance with pertinent medical standards, under the supervision and direction of a licensed physician.”
All affiliates identify that they do not refer for abortions. This is done as part of signing the CAPSS Commitment of Care and Competence.
See #6, #7 and #8 in our Commitment of Care and Competence:
6. Clients receive accurate information about pregnancy, fetal development, lifestyle issues, and related concerns.
7. We do not offer, recommend or refer for abortions or abortifacients, but are committed to offering accurate information about abortion procedures and risks.
8. All of our advertising and communication are truthful and honest and accurately describe the services we offer.”
(Source: Personal communication with CAPSS and http://www.capss.com/)
This is what Birthright says about their 26 centres on their website:
Birthright services are always free, absolutely confidential, and available to any woman regardless of age, race, religion, marital status, or financial situation.
Our Services include:
- Love, hope, and encouragement
- Friendship and emotional support
- Non-judgmental, confidential help
- Free pregnancy tests
- Maternity and baby clothes
- Referrals to:
- Medical supports
- Financial and/or employment resources
- Legal referrals
- Education assistance
- Social assistance
- Professional counselling
- Information on:
- Pregnancy and childbirth
- Prenatal development and care
- Parenting skills, child care, and child safety
- Career development and/or continuing education
- Community programs and/or social assistance
(Source: Birthright’s website http://birthright.org/en/our-services)
Birthright will never
- ...try to scare or pressure a woman into a decision.
- ...show or discuss abortion pictures or videos.
- ...evangelize or lecture.
- ...picket or harass abortion clinics.
- ...lobby for legislative changes or engage in the public debate on abortion.
Honest, forthright, sincere, and transparent.
Part 2 - British Columbia Humanist Association
On July 10, 2016, Arthur spoke to the BCHA about her recent report that is the subject of this analysis.
Here is some of what Arthur told the BCHA (Through her podcast: https://player.fm/series/bc-humanists-podcast/joyce-arthur-crisis-pregnancy-centres-in-canada):
“CPCs are anti-choice agencies that present themselves as unbiased medical centres and counseling centres. They claim to provide unbiased information...they’re not medical facilities at all...they are generally run by untrained or very little trained volunteers...they get some biblically trained training...they do provide misleading and inaccurate information, pretty much all of them if not on their website then in their brochures and in person. They use ethically questionable counseling techniques...”
Arthur also said this:
“There was very little research in Canada on CPCs...we looked high and low for anything and everything on CPCs in Canada and we didn’t come up with too much. One recent academic study on Ontario CPCs, one I did on CPCs in BC, 2 in Quebec, 4 media investigations exposés, I uncovered one very good unpublished thesis, now published on our website. All show without exception that CPCs tend to mislead.”
So Arthur tells the BCHA that she searched “high and low” for studies on CPCs. She stated similar sentiments in her report:
“Only a small number of studies or investigative reports have been done on Canadian CPCs, but with similar results – all showing that CPCs tend to mislead and deceive, and sometimes put women’s health at risk. All known Canadian studies/reports, including media exposés, are listed below by date….” (Source: Page 6 of Arthur’s 2016 report)
What Joyce fails to inform or acknowledge is that in follow-up stories on all the reports below, all of them used limited sources or were retracted, or found fraudulent (e.g. Arthur’s Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in BC, 2009) or penned by pro-choice writers with a partial axe to grind.
Here are those studies she refers to:
The Pretenders (CTV 2000; W-Five).
Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in BC (Arthur 2009).
Deception Used in Counselling Women against Abortion (Smith 2010a; Toronto Star).
Are Anti-Choice Crisis Pregnancy Centres Targeting Female Students on Ontario University
Campuses? (Tilley 2011).
Campuses? (Tilley 2011).
Surrey charity gives dubious abortion advice: investigation (Woodward 2012; CTV).
Phony Abortion Clinics In Canada Are Scaring Women with Lies (Khandaker 2013a; VICE).
Enjeux éthiques de l’intervention auprès de femmes vivant une grossesse imprévue au
Québec (Gonin et al. 2014).
Québec (Gonin et al. 2014).
Mieux comprendre les ressources conseil grossesse anti-choix au Québec (FQPN 2014).
Toll free but not judgment free: evaluating postabortion support services in Ontario (Laroche
and Foster 2015).
and Foster 2015).
Notice how every one of these studies/reports is derogatory towards CPCs, as can easily be seen by their titles. What Arthur doesn’t tell either the BCHA or the readers of her 2016 report is that there are other writings out there that contradict these “known” writings. Arthur doesn’t divulge that piece of information to her listeners of the podcast, or to the readers of her report.
One could say that Arthur is misleading, misinforming and deceiving both her readers and the BCHA.
There is at least one study that Arthur clearly doesn’t want anyone to know about, including the BCHA. This 55-page work titled Crisis Pregnancy Centres in British Columbia: A Respectful Rebuttal to a Disrespectful Report is a very detailed report that thoroughly rebuts allegations Arthur made in her 2009 report, including numerous factual errors in that report.
In the rebuttal, it says:
In 2009, an abortion activist posted online a report titled, Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in British Columbia. The report is replete with inaccuracies and false allegations. (Source: Page 3 of CAPSS rebuttal report: http://christianadvocacy.ca/news-events/crisis-pregnancy-centres-in-british-columbia-a-respectful-rebuttal-to-a-disrespectful-report/)
Here are just a few sample quotes by physicians concerning the accuracy of the medical content in the CAPSS rebuttal report, which was vetted by dozens of Canadian medical ethicists and practitioners nationwide. For example:
“I have reviewed ‘A Respectful Rebuttal to a Disrespectful Report’. I find its content to be consistent with the medical literature.” – Dr. Dan Reilly, MD, FRCSC, MHSc (Bioethics)
“Women and their partners deserve accurate information when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. This comprehensive rebuttal helps to ensure inaccuracies previously reported [by Joyce Arthur] in ‘Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in British Columbia’ are clarified and corrected.” – Dr. Monica Langer, MD, FRCSC, Pediatric Surgeon
I can assure the reader that Arthur did see this rebuttal report, because CAPSS sent it to her. And just to be sure that Arthur did receive it, CAPSS also sent it to all the leadership people associated with Arthur’s own organization.
I have also written extensively about Arthur’s 2009 report and its allegations on my own blog. Apparently none of my writings showed up either in Arthur’s “high and low” searches either:
Let me tell you some things I learned about that 2009 report Arthur wrote, the one CAPSS rebutted.
In 2004, Arthur received a grant from the federal government to write that 2009 report called Exposing crisis pregnancy centres in BC. I learned of this grant money through an Access to Information (ATIP) request I made to the Status of Women Canada. One of the requirements for receiving that $27,400 grant from Status of Women Canada was to publicly acknowledge the grant. Arthur never did that.
And this was not just an oversight on Arthur’s part. On her application form for the grant money, under the heading called Declaration and Undertaking, the applicant [who was Joyce Arthur] makes the following promise:
"I am authorized by the organization to sign this application. I am taking responsibility to ensure that the organization agrees to the following declaration and undertaking...The organization agrees to publicly acknowledge any financial or other assistance provided by SWC." (emphasis added)
Arthur didn’t publicly acknowledge the money like she promised to do: deceptions and misinformation.
Part 3 – CAPSS rebuttal to Joyce Arthur’s 2009 report Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in BC
So let’s talk a little bit about the CAPSS rebuttal to Arthur’s first report, the one she doesn’t tell BCHA or her readers about.
There were many things CAPSS could have taken issue with in Arthur’s dishonest 2009 report, but since time is finite, Brian Norton, a board member of CAPSS, decided only to detail and refute eight of what he called “serious allegations” of that report, along with 12 less serious allegations of that report, and a bunch of actual factual errors of that report (I have already covered Abortion Procedures and Risks in section I).
In the CAPSS rebuttal, Brian Norton asked Joyce Arthur a total of 17 times (seventeen):
“We respectfully challenge Ms. Arthur to publicly disclose [the allegation] and to provide any evidence of the same.”
I asked Norton if Arthur ever responded to his many requests for evidence of Arthur’s allegations in her 2009 report. Norton’s response was:
“Ms. Arthur did not. Not surprisingly. Knowing this would probably be the case, we also individually forwarded the rebuttal to each of Joyce’s organization’s board members. Not even an acknowledgment of receiving our rebuttal. Not by anyone.”
I suggest that the CAPSS rebuttal to Joyce Arthur’s many false allegations about crisis pregnancy centres did, in fact, add to the “body of knowledge” on CPCs. But Arthur withheld this information from the BCHA and her readers.
In the next section, I will identify only a couple of those allegations. The reader will learn a lot about what CPCs actually do from reading the CAPSS rebuttal in its entirety. I encourage anyone who wants to know the truth about CPCs to do the same.