May 18, 2016 - The
Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada has published
a study that examined all of the websites of
"crisis" pregnancy centres" in Canada. The study shows
that most websites either present misinformation on
abortion or sexual health issues, and/or fail to disclose
their anti-choice or religious agenda or that they are not
View the study here (Abstract and
Conclusion reproduced below):
Review of "Crisis Pregnancy Centre" Websites in Canada (PDF, 51 pages)
Read our press release here:
Study Finds Misinformation and Deception on Websites of Anti-Abortion "Crisis Pregnancy Centres" in Canada
View the Excel spreadsheet with data on all CPC websites (opens in Excel).
Joyce Arthur, Rebecca Bailin, Kathy Dawson, Megan
Autumn Reinhardt-Simpson, Meg Sykes, and Alison Zimmer.
Special thanks also go to our team of 19 volunteers listed on page 4.
Arthur J, and Bailin R, Dawson K, Glenwright M, Reinhardt-Simpson A, Sykes M, and Zimmer A. May 2016. Review of "Crisis Pregnancy Centre" Websites in Canada. Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada. (http://www.arcc-cdac.ca/CPC-study/CPC-Website-Study-ARCC-2016.pdf)
For more info, contact
New: January 11, 2017 - Anti-Abortion Agencies Get Millions in Government Funding. CPCs have received millions in government funding over the last five years, ARCC has discovered. We examined the online tax filings of 112 CPCs that are registered charities. Of those, 58 received about $3.5 million in government funding from 2011 to 2015. Also, since charities don’t pay income tax on any of their other revenue, and also issue tax receipts that reduce donors’ taxable income, it increases the tax load for all Canadians by draining federal tax coffers of at least $5.7 million, with provinces also facing losses.
Links: (documents sent to CRA, except #9)
ARCC’s Dec. 1 letter to Canada Revenue Agency, requesting audits on 34 CPCs
1 – Complete CPC Listing (lists all CPC
charities in our study including business numbers)
2 – Listing of CPCs with reporting
discrepancies (lists CPC charities
that underreported or did not report government funding on
their charity return)
3 – Listing of grants received by
CPCs (listing of grant name/type for each of the
4 – Gifts to Qualified Donees (listing of yearly
amounts reported by CPC charities for Qualified Donees)
5 – Detailed data sheet for reported CPCs (data pulled from government websites and CRA returns)
8 – CPCs Should Not Have Charitable Status (position paper with background)
9 – Grant discrepancies with
graphs (Excel file with all data,
and graphs and pie charts that clarify and summarize the
New: Federal Summer Jobs - Google Drive – reports of federal grants received by CPCs (2011-2015) from the Summer Jobs Program run by Service Canada.
“Crisis Pregnancy Centres” (CPCs) are anti-choice agencies that present themselves as unbiased medical clinics or counselling centres, and whose ostensible goal is to provide women with non-judgemental information on all their options when faced with an unintended pregnancy. However, CPCs are not medical facilities, most are Christian ministries, they generally will not refer clients for abortion or contraception, and many promote misinformation such as the existence of “Post-abortion Syndrome,” which is not a medically recognized condition. CPCs in Canada are not currently regulated.
This study by the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) identified 180 CPCs across Canada. Of those, 166 had websites. As some CPCs shared the same websites, 100 unique websites were reviewed to determine what the centres were advertising online, and to look for misinformation or indications of deception. The findings reveal that a large majority of the 166 CPCs do one or both of the following on their websites: 1) spread misleading or inaccurate information about abortion, contraception, sexually-transmitted infections, sexual activity, or adoption; or 2) present themselves deceptively, such as by not disclosing that they won’t refer for abortion, or hiding their religious stance from prospective clients. We recommend that CPCs in Canada be regulated to require them to be transparent and medically accurate, with the goals of protecting public health and respecting the rights of patients seeking healthcare.
Our evaluation of the websites of 166 CPCs found that:
Conclusions and Recommendations:
This study supports the need for more transparency and professionalism by CPCs in Canada, because they purport to help and advise women on healthcare, yet often provide dangerous medical misinformation while deceptively presenting themselves as unbiased centres that assist clients with all options. This may require regulation to address, as most CPCs are unlikely to voluntarily reform themselves because of their religious anti-abortion ideology.
In two related reports on CPCs in Quebec (Gonin et al. 2014, pg. 144; FQPN 2014, pg 39-40), the authors recommend a government-created website that would provide impartial guidance and scientifically sound information on abortion, thereby serving as a central reference tool for women and practitioners. This could help reduce the reach and negative impact of misinformation provided by CPCs. Further, the authors of the Quebec reports recommend that online training be developed and provided to volunteer counsellors who advise women with unintended pregnancies. This would help establish minimum professional standards and protect public health.
The findings of our study lead us to the
following recommendations – with the caveat that they
do not necessarily apply to all CPCs: