VANCOUVER, November 2, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The executive director of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, along with the now defunct Pro-Choice Action Network of British Columbia, are being sued for defamation in BC Supreme Court by the Crisis Pregnancy Centre of Vancouver and The Christian Advocacy Society of Greater Vancouver.
The suit alleges that a 2009 report, “Exposing Crisis Pregnancy Centres in British Columbia” created by the pro-abortion group, defamed the crisis pregnancy centre by misrepresenting its services and claiming the pregnancy centre gives out false or misleading medical information.
In the suit against Joyce Arthur and the Pro-Choice Action Network, the Crisis Pregnancy Centre of Vancouver and The Christian Advocacy Society argue that the report by the pro-abortion group not only gave false information but has harmed the ability of the pro-life groups to provide care and help to women in crisis pregnancies.
An Access to Information Request revealed that Pro-Choice Action Network received $27,400 from Status of Women Canada starting in 2005 for a project to “expose” crisis pregnancy centres, which the abortion-rights organization calls “fake clinics.”
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The purpose of Pro-Choice Action Network’s research, as described on its application for funding, was to “publicly expose the anti-woman and anti-feminist agenda of CPCs…and by doing so, work to mitigate discriminatory attitudes towards women…work to promote institutional change by ensuring that health organizations such as hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices do not inappropriately refer women to CPC’s, and instead have feminist-based alternatives to which they can refer women.”
Documents filed in court by the plaintiffs state that the medical information provided by the Crisis Pregnancy Centre of Vancouver is accurate and conforms with current medical literature, and that the focus in the CPC is on offering non-medical information about alternatives to abortion.
“A significant number of women choose to receive pregnancy information and support from the plaintiffs’ Centres rather than, or in addition to, from doctors and abortion clinics,” the complaint states. “There are various reasons for this – some women are (like the plaintiffs) pro-life in orientation; some women prefer to obtain information outside of a medical setting; others would like to hear about their other, ‘non-medical’ options such as adoption and parenting.”
According to the complaint, the pro-abortion report also falsely accused the pregnancy centre of using graphic imagery to “horrify young women about abortion,” something it called “practically a form of terrorism.”
“While certain pro-life political advocacy organizations use graphics in their political and education campaigns, the plaintiffs restrict themselves to providing information to women in crisis pregnancies,” the complaint states.
“The only photos used at the plaintiffs’ centres with their clients are those showing healthy fetuses at various stages of development in utero. No photos of aborted fetuses are shown or have ever been shown to pregnant women at either of the plaintiffs’ centres.”
Moreover, the plaintiffs say the Pro-Choice Action Network’s report falsely accused the Centre of not disclosing its religious affiliation, even though the CPC’s website and other materials state that the pregnancy centres are an outreach of the “Christian Advocacy Society of Greater Vancouver” whose advisory board includes pastors, a theologian and an archbishop.
The Pro-Choice Action Network’s report was picked up by the media and led to a CTV-BC investigative sting of the Vancouver CPC in December 2011, that was aired in January, 2012.
Maurice Vellacott, MP for Saskatoon-Wanuskewin, called the program CTV produced from its sting “a one-sided report that was notable more for what it intentionally left out than what it included.”
In May of this year the Crisis Pregnancy Centre of Vancouver sued the CTV network for “defamation, breach of contract and misrepresentation, and retractions and corrections.”