Posts Tagged ‘counseling’

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

Friday, September 30th, 2011

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.

Via BACORR:

“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

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Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Teams Up With Supervisor Malia Cohen to Battle Bogus “Crisis Pregnancy Centers”

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

[UPDATE: Heather Knight has some useful details, particularly about a woman who named her child after a book from the Old Testament / Torah. OK fine.]

San Francisco City Attorney and mayoral candidate Dennis Jose Herrera held a presser this AM along with District 10 Supervisor Malia Cohen, District 3 Supervisor and mayoral candidate David Chiu, and District 8 Supervisor Scott Wiener regarding Malia’s new legislation about “crisis pregnancy centers.”

All the deets are below.

But you make the call:

What the Hell is this?

And check this photo from famous Steve Rhodes.

And guess who was there at City Hall this morning? Some Catholic League types, or Catholic reporters, something like that.

(It will be interesting to see how a few particular Supes vote on this one…)

Click to expand

Cohen, Herrera take on S.F. ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ for deceptive marketing tactics

Proposed ordinance, City Attorney demand letter target misleading advertising by centers that push hidden agenda for ‘abortion free world’

SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 2, 2011) — Supervisor Malia Cohen and City Attorney Dennis Herrera today announced joint legal and legislative steps to halt deceptive marketing by so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” in San Francisco, which purport to offer non-judgmental abortion services and counseling to women with unwanted pregnancies, but that instead push an anti-abortion agenda on those seeking constitutionally protected medical services. Cohen and Herrera announced their initiatives at a City Hall press conference this morning.

Cohen’s legislation, which she will introduce at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting, is entitled the “Pregnancy Information Disclosure and Protection Ordinance.” 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. While some crisis pregnancy centers openly acknowledge their pro-life advocacy, many misleadingly target women in search of abortion services though false advertising — and then employ manipulative and fear mongering tactics on their visitors to dissuade them from obtaining abortions. Crisis pregnancy centers commonly offer few services other than anti-abortion rhetoric, but the proliferation of Internet search engines has given anti-abortion centers an effective way to misrepresent themselves as bona fide clinics, offering prominent paid links in response to search queries for “abortion” and related terms within their region.

“One of the most serious threats to reproductive rights today comes from so-called ‘crisis pregnancy centers,’ which misrepresent themselves as non-political medical providers, but that push anti-abortion propaganda and mistruths on unsuspecting women,” said Cohen. “The legislation that will be introduced today would prohibit these limited services pregnancy centers in San Francisco from misleading the public about the services they perform. It’s a measured, thoughtful approach that balances the free speech rights of anti-abortion activists with constitutionally protected reproductive rights for women. I appreciate City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s office working with me to craft a policy to protect women in San Francisco, while minimizing possible legal risks.”

In tandem with Cohen’s legislation, Herrera took a first step today toward a possible legal action under California law against San Francisco’s most egregiously misleading crisis pregnancy center, First Resort, Inc. Herrera’s demand letter to the anti-abortion crisis pregnancy center in the medical building at 450 Sutter Street expressed serious concerns about the veracity of the center’s print advertising and Internet marketing, which imply to prospective clients that First Resort offers abortion services or referrals to abortion providers — when it in fact does neither.

Herrera’s letter notes that First Resort has purchased paid Google advertisements to secure top placement in search results for abortion providers in San Francisco. Moreover, the letter details several of First Resort’s public representations to prospective clients that are false and misleading, and which contrast starkly with the organization’s stated purpose — as revealed in its state licensing documents — to achieve “an abortion-free world.”

“First Resort is certainly entitled to advocate for ‘an abortion-free world’ to anyone who wants to hear it, but the center is breaking the law by misrepresenting itself as an abortion provider for the purpose of luring women with unwanted pregnancies to its office,” Herrera said. “This is an insidious practice that victimizes women who are, in some instances, already victims. It’s especially problematic because the delays these centers can cause interfere with women’s time-sensitive, constitutionally protected right to reproductive choice. I’ve taken this step to demand that First Resort clarify its purpose in accordance with state law. Moreover, I applaud Supervisor Malia Cohen for her leadership to further tighten restrictions on this unethical practice here in San Francisco.”

And see what NARAL Pro Choice California has to say about all this after the jump

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Senator Leland Yee Introduces SB 220, A Bill Requiring Coverage for Tobacco Cessation

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Senator Leland Yee is today proposing a law that would require health insurance policies to include coverage for tobacco cessation services. He made the announcement today at San Francisco General Hospital along with all these people:

Supervisor Eric Mar
Dr. Mitch Katz, San Francisco Department of Public Health
Serena Chen, American Lung Association
John Hanley, San Francisco Firefighters
Dr. Dexter Louie, California Medical Association
Gail Maderis, BayBio
Dr. Steve Fugaro, San Francisco Medical Society
Karen Licavoli-Farnkopf, Breathe California

District 2 Supervisor Eric Mar talked about his parents, who both “smoked like crazy.”

Click to expand 

All the deets:

Bill Introduced to Require Insurance Companies Cover Tobacco Cessation. Senator Yee and Supervisor Mar team-up to sponsor legislation to fight cancer
 
SAN FRANCISCO – According the US Surgeon General, tobacco use is the single greatest cause of disease and premature death in America today and is responsible for more than 435,000 deaths annually, including nearly 40,000 in California alone. 

In an effort to fight this epidemic, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) today teamed-up with San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar, the American Lung Association, doctors, and firefighters to introduce legislation that would mandate health insurance policies include coverage for tobacco cessation services such as patches, nasal sprays, inhalers, gum, prescription medications, and counseling.

“The societal costs of tobacco-related death and disease approach $96 billion annually in medical expenses and $97 billion in lost productivity nationwide,” said Yee.  “More then 70 percent of all current smokers, however, have expressed a desire to stop smoking.  By ensuring that health plans cover the cost of quitting, more Californians will be able to kick this bad habit, medical costs will be reduced, and most importantly, lives will be saved.”

In 2006, as part of its universal healthcare program, Massachusetts began covering most expenses for smoking cessation counseling and prescription drugs for Medicaid recipients. The result has been an astonishing drop in the population of poor people who smoke — from 38% to 28%. There is also evidence of a parallel reduction in hospitalization for heart attacks and treatments for asthma.

“Smoking disproportionately impacts those in economically disadvantaged communities,” said Mar, who is sponsoring a resolution in support of Yee’s bill.  “Requiring health care providers to include coverage for smokers who would like to quit smoking creates a healthier California and protects the public’s health.”

About 20 percent of adult Americans currently smoke, and 4,000 children and adolescents smoke their first cigarette each day.  According to the California Department of Public Health, the adult smoking rate in California is 14 percent and there are approximately 3.8 million current adult smokers in California.

“It’s time to make it easier for the nearly four million Californians who smoke, to quit,” said Jane Warner, President and CEO of the American Lung Association in California.  “Because, right now, we’re failing these people as highlighted by the ‘D’ grade earned in Cessation Coverage by the state in the American Lung Association’s recent State of Tobacco Control Report.”

“SB 220 takes another important step in the long journey of providing Californians the support and incentives they need to quit using tobacco products,” said Brennan Cassidy, M.D., president of the California Medical Association, which represents 35,000 physicians across the state. “Requiring health plans to cover smoking cessation treatment is a no-brainer. We know that when a person quits smoking it saves the health care system immensely by significantly reducing the chances of heart disease, lung cancer and other life-threatening diseases that require intensive, expensive treatment.”

“Smoking cessation is more cost-effective than other common and insurance-covered disease prevention interventions, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol treatment and routine cancer screenings,” said Yee.  “Consumers need and deserve this treatment option.”

With SB 220, California would become the 8th state to mandate coverage for tobacco cessation services.  In addition to the American Lung Association, Yee’s bill is supported by the California Medical Association, California Psychological Association, San Francisco Firefighters Local 798, San Francisco Medical Society, National Council of Asian & Pacific Islander Physicians, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO.

Straight Out of Emeryville – AMTRAK’s So-Called Train From Hell and Its Whiny Passengers

Monday, January 11th, 2010

How much would you expect from Amtrak if you paid $145 to board the California Zephyr in Emeryville, CA on January 3rd, 2010 with the expectation of getting to Chicago in a day-and-a-half? Well, what if your fellow passengers called this ride the “Train From Hell” or something?

How did it get that name? Well, the train arrived in Illinois almost a day late a few days back due to it hitting a truck abandoned on the tracks(!) and encountering snowdrifts  higher than an elephant’s eye  in Nebraska and other typical travel issues.

The number of deaths and injuries continues to be reported as zero. So how does that earn this particular Zephyr the sobriquet “Train From Hell” or whatever?

Amtrak’s CZ on a happier day: 

via Patrick Rasenberg

Perhaps Amtrak’s riders took a lesson from the whiny passengers of Flight 1549, famously piloted by CoCo County’s Captain “Sully” Sullenberger? Those particular airline passengers are getting at least $15k-$20k, plus free traumatic stress counseling sessions, plus a refund of their ticket cost, plus upgrades to first class on other flights  for the past year, etc., and yet some of them are still whining.

Sometimes when you travel, Things Happen.* Please make a note of this.  

Lower your expectations and you’ll never be disappointed… 

*People used to die on jetliners – not Beechcrafts nor Cessnas oh no, we’re talking about your Boeings, Airbuses, Lockheeds, McDonnell Douglasseses – people would board and then die, it happened all the time. But how many passengers have died due to jetliner crashes in America since 2001 (which was a bad year, of course)? That’s a Big Fat Zero.

So count your blessings the next time a flock of birds or a pickup or a snowstorm or an Act of God or an Act of Gaia wettens your iPod and/or delays your Journey Through Life.