COLUMBUS, Ohio — A new effort to undermine and oppose pro-life pregnancy centers offering women a chance to choose life over abortion is now underway, and this time, it’s a former Planned Parenthood vice president calling the shots.
Launched in the beginning of January, “Equity Forward” identifies itself on its online “About Us” page as, a project aiming, “to ensure transparency and accountability among anti-reproductive health groups and individuals who are actively working to deny women access to services.”
Later in its “About Us” page, the group says it “exists to create a window into what opponents of reproductive health care are doing, operationally and tactically, in order to expose malfeasance, fraud, unethical practices, and false information to hold them accountable.”
Led by Mary Alice Carter, a former interim VP for communications at Planned Parenthood, Equity Forward was approvingly profiled by TheHill.com Friday. The group has already kicked off its initial investigation meant to smear the nation’s 2,700 locally funded pregnancy centers that offer peer counseling, ultrasounds, material aid and post-abortive help offered at no cost.
"Rather than going on a wild goose chase against pro-life pregnancy help, abortion activists would do far better to investigate their own industry,” Jor-El Godsey, president of Heartbeat International—which serves over 2,400 pregnancy help organizations around the world—said. “Pregnancy centers are good for women and their children. It is abortion businesses—not pregnancy centers—that routinely physically harm their patients, profit off a woman’s desperation and break the law to maximize their bottom line.
“No woman has ever died or been harmed in a pregnancy center, and sadly, we can’t say the same about abortion businesses.”
Chasing the Wild Goose
Monday evening, a licensed private investigator named Jane Ebert called and left a message on the personal cell phone of a former pregnancy center employee who now works full-time with a national pro-life group.
In her message, obtained by Pregnancy Help News, Ebert said she was working on an investigation on behalf of Equity Forward.
The message caught the former pregnancy center staffer off-guard, so she did a little digging into Equity Forward. She also reached out to her former colleagues at the pregnancy center and confirmed that Ebert hadn’t contacted any of them.
Ebert also contacted a former pregnancy center employee in another state the same day, Heartbeat International's Pregnancy Help News learned Friday afternoon.
As of Friday, Ebert had not returned a call or email from Pregnancy Help News.
Read more (here) at Heartbeat International's Pregnancy Help News.
Tweet This: "We exist to empower a woman with true choice. That's why @naral attacks us." @PeggyHartshorn
COLUMBUS, OHIO – Responding to a report released Monday by abortion advocacy group NARAL Pro-Choice America, Heartbeat International President Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., pointed to what she calls the fundamental difference between “true” and “false” reproductive health.
NARAL’s report, “Crisis Pregnancy Centers Lie: The Insidious Threat To Reproductive Freedom,” represents several years of opposition to the 2,500 pregnancy help organizations operating independently in the United States, most of whom are fully funded by local and private donors.
In its 24 pages, NARAL’s report features 107 citations. However, 92 of those (86 percent total) come from its state and local chapters, and eight more are from Planned Parenthood’s research arm, The Guttmacher Institute.
“The sole purpose of every pregnancy help organization is to provide the love and support every woman deserves in an unexpected pregnancy,” Hartshorn said. “We exist to empower a woman to make the healthiest choice for all involved. That is why NARAL attacks us with these false and flimsy allegations.”
Hartshorn, who attended the Diocesan Family and Life Congress in Manilla over the past weekend and trained Heartbeat International joint affiliation partners serving throughout the Philippines, pointed to the good work of pregnancy help organizations, both in the U.S. and all over the world.
She is author of Heartbeat International’s top-selling volunteer training resource, The LOVE Approach—first published in 1994—which teaches a truly woman-centered approach.
“No woman should ever feel so alone, coerced, or hopeless that she ends her child’s life through abortion,” Hartshorn said. “That’s why, in every corner of the globe, Heartbeat International affiliates and others provide all the facts about pregnancy—including the baby’s development and the many serious physical and psychological dangers of abortion.”
“This report is an attack on the truth and true reproductive freedom. Only a fully informed choice can be a true choice.”
Tweet This: "This report is an attack on true reproductive freedom." @PeggyHartshorn
by Jor-El Godsey, Heartbeat International Vice President
You are hated. Get used to it. Jesus knew it would be so when He said, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first." John 15:18 (NIV)
What NARAL really thinks about you – okay, well maybe not you, individually, but what you do and what you are about, confirms something we've long suspected. They are hell-bent to do whatever they can to diminish your effectiveness, even when you're operating under "best practices."
In the words of the NARAL attorney "...It does not matter if [crisis pregnancy centers] hire doctors or house state-of-the-art equipment: they are still manipulating women with lies and misleading information." This supports our long held understanding that no amount of "medicalization" will steer them from their attack. NARAL defiantly admit that medical services "conveys a seal of approval that we never want to be complicit in allowing [crisis pregnancy centers] to claim." (Emphasis added.)
So, in effect, they will never admit that the good medical practices you deploy will be enough. Ever. At all. Because they simply can't allow that kind of "seal of approval" for what you do.
After a focused effort utilizing taxpayer funds, even the County (meaning the government guy) divulges , "I doubt my colleagues or the County Attorney will be interested in pursuing a truth-in-advertising statute...[these centers] are clearly very artful at devising strategies to avoid violating the law."
What was that? Oh, that's political speak for "they are following the law."
But wait there's more. Don't miss it.
NARAL goes on to encourage the County to drop their current legal attack in favor of a list of other ways they intend to attack PHOs.
[Read about NARAL and Montgomery County's planned attack on pregnancy help organizations here.]
Let's be clear. While in the midst of an orchestrated attack that is failing, they point to other attacks that they feel might work.
Tweet this! We need to understand that NARAL's new attack list is not fool-proof.
We need to understand that NARAL's new attack list is not fool-proof. The NARAL-inspired local ordinance attack waged on several fronts - Montgomery County, City of Baltimore, State of Maryland, NYC, Austin, etc. - have not survived legal scrutiny.
Certainly, NARAL's attack strategies reminds us to sharpen our policy and procedure, retrain on key practices and remain vigilant about upholding our Commitment of Care and Competence. But let us be careful not to over-react to them or over-state the threat to PHOs. Just like Jesus forging ahead in His mission despite the world hating him, we need to have confidence in our mission and our Master.
In addition, this whole episode reminds us not to be afraid of lawsuits. As is often the case in God's economy, He turned the attack against the attacker of God's people. Their own lawsuit to denigrate the work of PHOs resulted in revealing the failing of their strategy and the wonderful news that we know how "to avoid violating the law" (meaning we are doing things lawfully).
For more about why NARAL hates PHOs, read Heartbeat International President Peggy Hartshorn's article on LifeSiteNews.com.
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