This is an e-mail being circulated by Pregnancy Options, a BC based Christian Pro-Life counselling centre. In the e-mail they raise a number of concerns regarding an upcoming “investigative report” by CTV news. I received a copy of this e-mail from several readers over the last few days, I do not at this time know how Tuesdays “interview” with CTV, as mentioned in the e-mail, went down. If any readers can contribute updates then please do so, they will be much appreciated.
“Dear Friends and Supporters,
Because I know you love our Centre and our ministry, I wanted to share some troubling news with you about an incident that recently occurred.
On December 15th, a woman claiming to be in distress because of an unplanned pregnancy came to our Centre for help. One of our volunteer peer-counselors was able to see her immediately and they spent close to an hour talking through the woman’s concerns as well helping her to understand what choices were before her as she pretended to contemplate whether or not to have an abortion.
What this peer-counselor didn’t know, however, was that the woman had actually been sent by CTV News and that the woman was secretly recording the entire session with the hope that our peer-counselor would give false or biased information. Naturally we are very disappointed to see that CTV would use this type of tactic, particularly since the woman that came in pretending to be a legitimate client did agree to, and sign, our agreement of services which says in part: “please turn off all devices with recording capabilities prior to the session. POC Staff and Volunteers do NOT consent to any recorded conversations”.
Until this past Thursday, January 5th , we were completely unaware of this scheme. Then Mr. Jon Woodward of the CTV News called our Centre to ask some questions. He said that he had received a ‘complaint’ from one of our clients who believed we had given her false medical information regarding the risks of abortion. In a subsequent phone call he however admitted that it was not a client with a complaint. Instead this person had been sent from CTV News to the Centre with a hidden camera with the intent of exposing our organization for providing supposedly false information.
Mr. Woodward also requested that a representative of our Centre speak to him on camera and implied that to refuse this request would make it appear that we had something to hide. Our board recognized that because of the tactics already employed, we felt it was likely that our Centre would be portrayed in a negative and misleading way despite his assurance of being impartial. We therefore declined his invitation to speak on camera as we did not feel that our explanations would be accurately or objectively presented.
Unfortunately when we declined, Mr. Woodward let us know that he would simply wait in the parking lot until someone from the Centre appeared and would then ‘confront’ us with his ‘questions’, meaning that we would be filmed even though we had declined his ‘invitation.’
From the questions Mr. Woodward has posed, we believe that his story will focus on the following idea: pregnancy centres are giving out false and exaggerated information about medical complications related to abortions so that women are afraid to continue with their abortion plans.
As our friends and supporters know, the opposite is true. We are one of the few places that women can come to really hear the complete and unbiased truth about all three of the options they must choose from when facing an unplanned pregnancy. Unfortunately, there are those would like us to refrain from letting a woman know that there are risks involved. Whenever we meet women who have come to us for post-abortion peer-counseling, the common theme we hear from each one is: “I was never told about all the risks involved.” These women deserved to have had all the information prior to their abortion.
You may wonder: “where does the Centre get medical information and how do we know it is accurate?” On behalf of pregnancy centres across Canada, the Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services (CAPSS) continues to compile information on the latest medical research and consults with medical experts who have conducted studies and research in this field. We are confident that the medical information that we use with regards to pregnancy and risks of abortion are completely up to date and accurate.
To help our volunteer peer-counselors explain this information simply and easily to our clients who are contemplating an abortion, CAPSS has published a small brochure which we, and most other Canadian Centres, use as a peer-counseling tool when meeting with a client. Prior to that brochure going to print, it was reviewed and proofread by 25 professional counselors, physicians, and medical researchers across Canada. Mr. Woodward was given a copy of this brochure, yet he has let us know that he ‘disbelieves’ the studies, research, and information that the brochure cites.
On Tuesday afternoon, tomorrow, CTV News will arrive at our Centre to confront us with the secret footage taken of our unsuspecting volunteer and ask us to defend what we are doing. We do not believe that the finished story will be an unbiased one. However we rest in the knowledge that the right words will be given to us and that regardless of the outcome, our Heavenly Father will use this for good.
I am now asking most sincerely for your help.
Please, pray for our Centre. Pray for us during the interview time at 3:00 pm on Tuesday when I, along with Megan-Jane Good, our Client Services Director, will be interviewed on camera. Continue to pray as the story is edited over the next days and for when it is eventually aired.
Most of all, please pray that because of this incident, more women that need our help will find their way to our Centre and that our volunteers would be able to continue to minister to them, unafraid. Finally, pray that our friends would continue to stand with us, supporting the vital work that we do, and that nothing would deter us from continuing to be the salt and light in our community.”
Laura Lansink, Executive Director
South Fraser Pregnancy Options centre