It was November 2007 when the Ottawa Senators Foundation, the wives and girlfriends of the Ottawa Senators (also known as the Sens Better Halves) chose First Place Pregnancy Centre as one of their designated charities in a tree raffle. First Place Pregnancy Centre is a small counseling centre located on Bank Street in the Glebe, in Ottawa. They rely exclusively on charitable donations to help women in crisis pregnancies, in offering post-abortion counseling and generally in offering pregnancy help and information.
Today First Place Pregnancy Centre sued Planned Parenthood Ottawa. Why?
When the First Wives made First Place Pregnancy Centre one of the charities, Planned Parenthood attacked. Calling First Place “anti-choice”—they raised a stink and cast aspersions on what First Place does. As a result, First Place withdrew from the fundraising opportunity. So today First Place sued Planned Parenthood for “interfering with critical funding” and for defamation.
First Place doesn’t offer or refer for abortions, but that is something they openly tell each client. They’ll give you all the information you need, but they won’t help you obtain an abortion. Last I checked, that’s not a sin.
Many women appreciate the heightened sense of awareness and empathy First Place provides: It is, after all, very difficult to be truly sympathetic to a woman grieving an abortion when you don’t believe there’s anything wrong with it. That’s something First Place does. Does Planned Parenthood Ottawa?
Which leads me to another point. Pro-life women and girls get pregnant unexpectedly too. Consider that pro-lifers believe that the unborn are people, not to be killed. In short, abortion is not an appropriate option. Should that pro-life girl only have the option of counseling from Planned Parenthood—a place where in the same room with a different client that counselor will sanction and refer for an abortion? Pro-lifers have sex, fear pregnancy, get pregnant, are further terrified and need counseling too. Must they all go to Planned Parenthood Ottawa? Or should there be other options?
Let me add at this point that all pro-lifers support Planned Parenthood Ottawa. It’s not because we want to, mind you, but because we are forced to. Planned Parenthood Ottawa is rolling in government dough. I don’t agree with what they do. But I am not able to withdraw my tax dollars.
The only choice I have available is to support other groups, like First Place Pregnancy Centre. And so can the Sens Better Halves.
First Place pregnancy centre offers another option. They do it day in and day out whether you’ve had an abortion in the past or will have one in the future. They just won’t help you get one.
I think that’s understandable. Only the most obtuse question the very idea of being pro-life. And no one’s forcing anyone to go to First Place either. Seems to me women are smart enough to choose. Seems to me that First Place offers one more choice. Seems to me that Planned Parenthood Ottawa in throwing their weight around last November, has been served a lot more than legal papers. They should serve up the explanation on why they think their choice is the only choice for all of Ottawa’s women.
Hope it’s a good one—because relying on choice mantras when you take others’ choices away sounds like a dirty trick to me.
Tanya adds: There’s a Facebook group petitioning against the Sens Better Halves and their donation to First Place Pregnancy.
One Facebook group member is on staff at PPO and had this to say as she tried to articulate what makes this organization ‘anti-choice’:
I have deep feminist intervention perspectives, and i’m a believer in the philosophy that a womyn knows best what is best for her own good. By allowing for these myths [referring to a link with breast cancer, risk of infertility, increased risk of depression, and so on] to continue, i feel that we bully womyn.
Let’s be out and open with it. What they call ‘scare tactics’ can actually be backed up credibly.
Regarding abortion’s link to breast cancer: It is a highly politicized issue, and studies have shown a variety of results. It’s irresponsible for a medical professional not to mention the possibility. Now’s a good time for me to bring this up again.
As far as infertility, even the Mayo Clinic says: “It’s possible — but very uncommon —for a surgical abortion to cause scarring on the inside of the uterus or to weaken the cervix.” Are we not to even mention this possibility?
Let’s not forget depression. We’ve covered that before, too.
Andrea adds: Thanks Tanya. That Planned Parenthood Ottawa employee lost me at “womyn.” I will attempt to ensure she gets spelling lessons soon.