Some things just need to be said...

Thursday, February 10, 2005

BC Govt Health Website links to Pregnancy helpline that is a cover for American anti-abortion group

Site encourages women to repent and shows graphic details of abortion

After the discovery of homosexuality and other sexualities were listed as mental disorders, I thought it may be a good idea to see what else lurks behind the BC Government Websites.

One would expect that when you use a BC government health site you would find non-judgmental medical information and not an American anti-choice organization. The BC HealthGuide Online offers up several support groups for women that are pregnant. The first one appears to be a helpline. The website for the helpline is not linked, the hotline is listed like this;

Pregnancy Hotline
Free, confidential information for pregnant women, shelters for women and girls, baby clothes, adoption referrals.CALL: 1-800-848-5683 (24 hr)

VERIFIED: 11/5/2003

I looked up the website and was astounded to find first of all the site was based in the United States and second, it was an anti-choice website. The possibility of a woman calling the line to find out where or how they could access an abortion in BC is real. The site is called Stop the Insanity.

Women calling the line would be shocked to hear they were talking to an American and second it was not a government funded non-profit or health line, but a US anti-choice site. That may be an acceptable practice in the United States, it isn't here in Canada.

Abortion is a medically accessible service and no woman in this province should be directed to such a site that would be judgmental with respect to her request.

The BC Government under the NDP contracted with Healthwise in February of 2001. In a press release the government stated, "The ministry and Healthwise will work together to ensure information on the site is current and consistent with British Columbia health-care practices and policies."

It is clear that with tens of millions of dollars being spent by the provincial government to upgrade websites and IT tools and support, the Ministry of Health Services has not followed through with the updates required.

The BC HealthGuide online lists other sites including a pro-abortion site and Planned Parenthood. Two other pregnancy hotlines are provide as well, both of them are anti-choice sites like the first one. In each case they are American organisations.

You have to dig to find BC information. If you just use what the guide puts up you would miss important information on abortion services in BC. It should not be an exercise in working your way through a website to find the information you need. Once you find the BC information it is good. The American hotlines should be removed from the guide and be replaced by appropriate BC and Canadian resources.

See the hotlines listed in BC HealthGuide Online for Pregnancy...

Pregnancy Hotline
Free, confidential information for pregnant women, shelters for women and girls, baby clothes, adoption referrals.CALL: 1-800-848-5683 (24 hr)VERIFIED: 11/5/2003

National Abortion Federation
Information and referrals regarding abortions. Financial aid.CALL: 1-800-772-9100 (Mon-Fri, 9am-10pm; Sat-Sun, 9am-5pm)VERIFIED: 7/14/2003

Planned Parenthood
BILINGUAL.Referrals to neighborhood planned parenthood clinics nationwide.CALL: 1-800-230-7526 (Mon-Fri, 8:30am-5pm)VERIFIED: 7/8/2003

Pregnancy Hotline
Information and counseling to pregnant women. Referrals to free pregnancy test facilities, foster and adoption centers.CALL: 1-800-238-4269 (24 hr)VERIFIED: 11/5/2003

Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry
Multilingual.Registry of women who are taking antiepileptic drugs and who are pregnant. Helps to determine which medications are associated with increased risks. Physicians are encouraged to enroll women.CALL: 1-888-233-2334VERIFIED: 11/5/2003

National Life Center, Inc.
Provides counseling and information for pregnant women. Referrals to testing sites, free maternity, baby clothes, and formula.CALL: 1-800-848-5683VERIFIED: 7/14/2003

Safe Place for Newborns
Provides referrals to locations where mothers can safely and anonymously take their babies to be placed for adoption.CALL: 1-877-440-2229VERIFIED: 11/5/2003

OTIS (Organization of Teratology Information Services)
Multilingual. Provides local referrals to agencies that provide information concerning prenatal drug, medication, chemical and other potentially harmful exposures. Literature.CALL: 1-888-285-3410 (Mon-Fri, 8:30am-4pm) (PST)VERIFIED: 11/5/2003

Check out the other support groups listed:

All 99 health support areas are American based. It is an exhaustive list, if only we were in the United States. In almost every support group I looked at, a Canadian or BC resource could be substituted.