“First Resort” is the Bay Area’s Fake Abortion Provider per the Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights (BACORR)

All right, let’s say that this is your search:

Get an Abortion San Francisco

Which link would you click on?

This one?

“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 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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5 Responses to ““First Resort” is the Bay Area’s Fake Abortion Provider per the Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights (BACORR)”

  1. Tim Conlan says:

    Wow, is this really a blow away investigation. I mean there is this voice of Amber on the telephone of the First Resort group on the 20th of September who does not really know too much about the kiind of abortions that they may do, but says call back the next day. Then the next day someone calls to say no such Amber works there. So what does all that prove? For me it just proves this is not a report that is going to convince anyone one way or the other. The next bit of information is that First Resort is on the list of groups that pro life organizations recommend. Now I don’t know that being pro-life is a violation of any ordinance. The point is that you have to prove they actually do false advertising and that is the point that is not proven here. How groups show up on the internet is not an expertise of mine. Maybe a base ball hat company shows up under athletics. I am not sure about those things, but if their advertising tells you they are do not do abortions, then what more do you want. This is a witch hunt if I ever saw one.

  2. sfcitizen says:

    I don’t know, if they don’t have abortion as an option, then they shouldn’t pay money to Google to have their name show up on searches from people who are considering abortion as an alternative, right?

  3. Marjorie Murphy Campbell says:

    I completely agree that Google should give you answers you want. But Google sells “keywords” … so, say I have a great product to help you stop smoking, Google will sell me the term “cigarette” or “smoking” or … whatever I will pay for. So, if I am trying to reach people who want an abortion or who don’t want an abortion, or who want to know if abortion is their best choice, or who want to sell abortions, or who want to provide an abortion alternative, Google is happy to sell each of those providers the keyword “abortion” for a price. And then Google decides how to sort and post in response to your search or my search “abortion san francisco” …. I think the gripe is with Google. Maybe the City should sue Google for misleading search results …. Let’s all co-exist … don’t lie about each other, offer the services you hold dear and give WOMEN CHOICE.

  4. Ana says:

    Okay, should Cadillac dealers buy the word “Honda” and when you search “Honda dealership, San Francisco” a Caddy dealer shows up? But you only find out they sell Cadillacs when you get to the lot? Fuck no!

    The stated purpose of these cpcs is to thwart women from having abortions. So why would someone who searches abortion end up at a pro-life org? I think that’s what the story is trying to say.

    It is BULLSHIT that women have to put up w/ this crap. And that’s what the legislation is saying. Go Supes!

  5. Bette says:

    @Tim – imagine if you were looking for a time-sensitive, urgent medical procedure that would affect the rest of your life….and the office you called for information lied to you about it’s services. Many California counties have no abortion provider, so if you get an answer like the one from First Resort, you waste time and money traveling to San Francisco, paying for a hotel only to find out you’ve been duped by an organization who’s goal is to prevent you from having an abortion. They’ve wasted your time and your money.

    It’s not a witch hunt to demand accurate information from businesses and protect women from fraudulent advertising.

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