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Saturday, September 2, 2023
MRC Complains Again That Anti-Abortion 'Crisis Pregnancy Centers' Are Accurately Labeled
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves to loudly complain that the media and social media websites tell the truth about so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" -- that they are virulently anti-abortion and have a penchant for misleading women in the process of coercing them into having a baby.Tom Olohan took a crack at rpomoting the approve right-wing narrative in a June 21 post, complete with hurling the sleazy "digital brownshirts" Nazi smear in his headline at the organization opointing out the dishonesty:

CNN got around to criticizing Big Tech, but only for the purpose of shaming Google for running pro-life crisis pregnancy centers ads.

CNN cited the leftist group Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) in an June 15 article criticizing Google for earning “more than $10 million over the past two years by allowing misleading advertisements for ‘fake’ abortion clinics.” In other words, abortion-obsessed CNN and the CCDH apparently couldn’t stand the fact that anti-free speech Google dared to allow crisis pregnancy centers to advertise online. The CCDH report went even further, calling crisis pregnancy centers “fake reproductive health clinics” and referring to abortion mills as “genuine clinics.” The group also linked to an earlier pressure campaign against Google and cited the abortion lobbying group NARAL when it bashed crisis pregnancy centers and claimed they were “exploiting the lack of regulation.” 

Throughout the piece, CNN writer Jennifer Korn complained that crisis pregnancy centers, or “fake clinics” as she calls them, appeared in searches for abortion mills. Lest any mothers be helped or babies be saved, Korn breathlessly warned readers. “Using Semrush, an analytics tool, researchers at the CCDH identified ‘188 fake clinic websites’ that placed ads on Google between March, 2021 and February of this year. CCDH estimates that ads for fake clinics were clicked on by users 13 million times during this period.”

Interestingly, Olohan made no attempt to rebut the claim that these clincs mislead women -- instead, he complained about the "fake clinics" terminology (odd given that he enthusiastically smeared CCDH with a Nazi reference) and repeated the usual MRC attacks agains CCDH. He also attempted a lame, context-free defense o the clinics, that consisted largely of copying-and-pasting information from clinic websites:

What sort of clinics are CNN and CCDH collaborating to smear? One of the crisis pregnancy centers cited in the CCDH report, Obria Medical Clinics, offers pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, counseling, STD and AIDs testing, health education coaching, health resources and support, referrals, and prenatal care among other services. Another cited crisis pregnancy center, Alpha Pregnancy Center, offers similar services as well as adoption referrals, supplies for mothers and infants, and parenting education. These organizations and others like them offer alternatives to abortion to pregnant women and critical care and counseling, often supplied by volunteers and donated materials.

In fact, Obria has been caught misleading patients (and the government) by suggesting that they provide contraception when they only offer instruction in "natural family planning," which involves tracking menstrual cycles and abstaining from sex instead of actual contraception (which is more effective), and it also pushes the dubious claim also made by other anti-abortion activists that the abortion pill can be reversed if the dosage is not fully taken.

Olohan also complained that "the CCDH made two absurd recommendations, that crisis pregnancy centers should be forced to devote ad space to abortion disclaimers rather than pitching their services and that Google should highlight and prioritize genuine abortion clinics in search results.” In fact, Google did just that this past January when it prioritized Planned Parenthood in search results for the word pregnancy the day before the March for Life." As we've pointed out, this was another MRC search gotcha, and the MRC did not dispute the accuracy of anything on the Planned Parenthood site they were complaining about.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:17 AM EDT

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