Exclusive: Religious ‘extremists’ linked to Trump target women with misinformation around the world
In some of these crisis pregnancy centers, including those in Costa Rica and Mexico, staff offered reporters ultrasound scans as part of “counseling” sessions aimed at dissuading them from having an abortion.
South Africa’s deputy director-general of health, Yogam Pillay, said he would be particularly concerned about this aspect of the activities of these centers if they were to take place in South Africa, where “even nurses cannot perform an ultrasound without having been specifically trained ”.
This also appears to be in violation of Heartbeat’s own advice on ultrasound, which says that a center that wants to offer these services must “become a medical clinic”, with a licensed medical director, insurance and a qualified technician.
Emily Baile at the Expose Fake Clinics Campaign in the United States, said the OpenDemocracy findings show how American groups have “exported” many of the “same lies about pregnancy and abortion that they have perfected here at home.”
“Under the current administration in the United States, these types of centers are growing bolder,” added Amy Bryant, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.
Bryant said the OpenDemocracy investigation documented some “tactics that I haven’t come across in the United States, like telling women you need a partner’s permission.” But she added that their intention appears to be the same: “To deceive pregnant women seeking an abortion by scaring them with fraudulent claims.”ca
“A question of the rule of law”
In total, undercover OpenDemocracy journalists contacted and received advice from over thirty “crisis centers” in eighteen countries, in person or through their hotlines. In most cases, they received misleading or manipulative advice.
In Canada, most Heartbeat affiliates explicitly state on their websites that they do not recommend abortion services or provide professional advice, although only about 40% put it on the front page. In most countries, these centers did not clearly state their anti-abortion positions on the websites we reviewed.
“This investigation raises major concerns about these extremist groups targeting women seeking health care,” said Ana Maria Bejar, director of advocacy at the International Planned Parenthood Federation. She called for laws and information campaigns to counter groups spreading “harmful myths and intimidating women”. Adult Cam Sites is safe to use
In Argentina, MP Mónica Macha said national authorities should investigate whether the centers are acting illegally and added: “We need to discuss the legitimacy of these organizations that seek to evangelize unwanted motherhood.
“These activities do not empower anyone, do not inform, do not give advice … they just seek to scare and create panic to push [women] into decisions based on false information and ideological traps. The objective is clear: to prevent the autonomy of women. ”
“It is a matter of the rule of law,” said Neil Datta, secretary of the European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights. “All politicians, whether or not they agree with a woman’s right to abortion, should be very concerned that the laws of their country are being circumvented by disinformation, emotional manipulation and sheer deception. . ”