Pols Pressure Pregnancy Clinic over 'Anti-Abortion' Tactics

SF city attorney claims clinics bait-and-switch women who are considering abortion.

By RJ Middleton
|  Monday, Aug 8, 2011  |  Updated 11:02 AM PDT
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Pols Pressure Pregnancy Clinic

Some heavy-duty San Francisco politicians believe a local network of pregnancy clinics has an underlying, anti-abortion agenda and they want the clinics to be clear and upfront about their practices.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera claims that the First Resort Clinic -- with offices in San Francisco, Oakland and Redwood City -- uses tactics like forced ultrasounds, tales of botched abortions and other methods to dissuade women from considering abortions, according to a release from the attorney's office.

Herrera is pairing with San Francisco Supervisor Maria Cohen in an attempt to prove the clinics are not in compliance with a law that states businesses must be honest about the services they provide.

First Resort's 'Welcome' page on their site indicates that their services are free (due to donations via their 501(c)3 status), and that they've been operating for 25 years. They also provide:

 

Complete and accurate information is shared on all your options confidentially, in a supportive, non pressured environment. We believe in the empowerment of women through informed choices, confidentially, as they weigh all their options. Only you can decide what is best for you. Talk to our counselors for support and empower yourself.

 

Herrera spokesman Matt Dorsey told the Redwood City Patch.com, "It is clear there is a complete disconnect from what the clinic is trying to bill itself as, and what its practices are. It's an insidious practice."

The pols want First Resort to change the language on its website about exactly what services it provides by the end of August.

First Resort, according to Patch, sent a response: "(We) reject in the strongest possible terms any representation that our advertising misleads women. We treat women with dignity and respect their right to choose."

First Resort did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A 90-second video about First Resort has been removed by the user from their site.

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