All right, let’s say that this is your search:
Which link would you click on?
“Abortion Info – Women’s Pregnancy Clinic | FirstResort.Org
Counseling and prenatal care 450 Sutter St, Suite 1740, San Francisco (415) 627-9175″
Get up to speed on this issue here and read a fresh release from BACORR below.
“FIRST RESORT MISLEADS IN ITS ADVERTISING, BACORR FINDS.
First Resort is well-known as Anti-Abortion in the Pro-Life Community; Misrepresents Itself & Advertises Under Abortion Services to the Non-Activist General Public.
First Resort, currently being investigated by the City Attorney’s office, misrepresents services it offers via Google advertising, in a recent Chronicle Op-Ed, and over the telephone. Over a 6 month investigation, the Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights (BACORR) has researched First Resort’s mission, ties in the Pro-Life community, and misrepresentation of itself to the general public.
This is first and foremost a consumer protection issue, not a political or religious debate.
First Resort is a Christian organization whose mission is to make an “abortion free world, “ as stated in paperwork filed with the state. However, under Google searches, “Abortion San Francisco,” “Abortion Services San Francisco,” and “,” First Resort is the second paid listing on the results page. Google is the most popular internet search engine.
After Golden Gate Planned Parenthood in San Francisco lost its charter, First Resort CEO Shari Plunkett states, “Our call volume has never been higher.” (Email to supporters, dated 4/14/2011) Though First Resort usually tells callers they do not offer abortions, recently they said yes, they do offer abortions.”
More deets after the jump
On Tuesday, 9/20/2011, a BACORR member called First Resort at 5:40 pm and asked if they provided abortions. First Resort’s representative identified herself as Amber and stated, “Yes, but I don’t know which kind, surgical or the pill. They don’t tell us that.” Amber took down the caller’s name and phone number and advised she call their other locations. When the caller did, she got Amber both times. The next day, a representative called back stating they do not offer abortions and stated no one by the name of Amber works at First Resort. Despite the representative having the caller’s contact information, she suggested that the caller must have dialed the wrong number.
First Resort is considered pro-life by the pro-life community. The 24 hour National Life Center Hotline refers women to First Resort, as part of the Hotline’s pro-life clinic referral service.
“In order for us to refer to centers, they have to be 100% pro-life, they have to be 100% free and they have to be 100% confidential,” according to the National Life Center’s administrator Joan O’Malley.
Issues4Life, an anti-choice activist organization, also lists First Resort as a resource for women. “Pregnant? Need Options? We can Help,” heads the the resource section. Issues4Life then shares a link to the dubious connection of abortion and breast cancer, as well as the National Life Center’s hotline number
In response to City Attorney’s letter to change deceptive advertising practices, and Supervisor Cohen’s proposed legislation, Pregnancy Information Disclosure and Protection Ordinance.” First Resort claims they are not deceptively advertising. If enacted, Cohen’s measure would explicitly prohibit limited services pregnancy centers in San Francisco from making false or misleading statements to the public about pregnancy-related services that the centers offer.
Within days following City Attorney Herrera and Supervisor Cohen’s joint press release in early August, First Resort San Francisco had new 5 star reviews on its Yelp business page. The Yelp Community flagged the reviews, and they were ultimately filtered, because they didn’t meet Yelp’s standard of authenticity.
Yelp was visited by over 53 million people in June of 2011, according to Yelp’s own statistics.
All advertisers must tell the truth about their services, and can not advertise a service they do not offer.
Bacorr, the Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights, paired with Change.org to create a petition directed at all Supervisors to support Sup. Cohen’s legislation for truth in advertising by Crisis Pregnancy Centers. Over 700 San Franciscans signed the petition, BACORR, Change.org and NARAL Pro-Choice delivered it to the Board of Supervisors and the City Attorney’s office on Friday, 9/23/2011. Bacorr has also assisted the City Attorney’s office with its investigation into First Resort’s deceptive advertising.”
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