Who knew?
Heartbeat International

openDemocracy has a post this month titled: Exclusive: Trump-linked religious ‘extremists’ target women with disinformation worldwide. They are referring to crisis pregnancy centers. The aim of these religious establishments is to coerce women, using guilt and misinformation, into not getting abortions.

Another tactic is to cause a woman to delay getting an abortion beyond the point when an abortion is still possible. The people who operate these centers believe that it is perfectly acceptable to lie to vulnerable women if they can stop an abortion.

According to openDemocracy journalists Claire Provost and Nandini Archer:

In the first investigation of its kind, openDemocracy sent undercover reporters posing as vulnerable women with unwanted pregnancies to centres affiliated with the Ohio-based Heartbeat International in eighteen countries. Our investigation uncovered:

  • women being falsely told abortion increases risks of cancer and mental illness; that a woman needs consent from a partner to access
  • abortion; and that hospitals will refuse to treat medical complications from abortion
  • staff encouraging women to delay abortion and emergency contraception
  • training materials claiming that “condoms do not do a good job at preventing pregnancy”
  • claims that abortion increases women’s risks of abusing their children
  • suggestions that abortion can ‘turn’ a woman’s partner gay
  • misleading advertising, including some centres that present themselves online as pro-choice support groups – or abortion providers
  • staff at some centres offering ultrasounds without medical qualifications

One reporter was told that having a baby can cure serious illnesses including leukaemia. Another reporter was given an article that claimed that after an abortion a woman is “144% more likely” to physically abuse their children. Reporters were told that no hospital will treat serious complications from abortion.

A reporter who said she was a survivor of domestic abuse was told by staff: “Now, you’re a victim, but getting an abortion would make you part of that violence.”

The journalists at openDemocracy do not provide details pertaining to exactly how it is explained that abortion causes the woman’s partner to become gay. I cannot even come up with a sarcastic rationale.

Although …, it seems perfectly logical for those gay genes to be activated in protest. No? I wonder how much time, subsequent to the abortion, is required for the effect to be realized.

Enter Brian S. Brown’s little hate group

International Organization for the Family, an anti-LGBTQ hate group, has a pretentious blog called International Family News. Brown claims that his organization is relevant because, according to Brown, it has been targeted by George Soros who likely doesn’t know that IOF exists. “George Soros” is also code for evil Jewish influence.

At the IOF blog an Italian professional Catholic, Andrea Morigi, offers up Soros targets pro-lifers. Here is how Mr. Morigi explains Heartbeat International’s deceit:

Heartbeat International is an organization which openly helps women in distress in not interrupting their pregnancy and the children they bear in their womb to be born. It provides them informations [sic] on voluntary abortion consequences, not hiding that it is a murder and not a right.

Yeah, well, the problem is that the “informations” is inaccurate. Returning to the piece at openDemocracy:

Materials from a … webinar show how Heartbeat teaches incorrect medical information. For instance, it says that abortion can increase women’s risks of getting cancer and mental illnesses. There is no credible medical evidence for these claims, which have been repeatedly refuted by global health bodies.

“Murder” is a legal — not medical — term. Murder defines the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another. Abortion is legal in all of the countries with clinics that openDemocracy reporters visited. Therefore, it is not murder and most certainly is a right.

Are you still curious about the gay part?

A few days later, openDemocracy published: ‘You could die and turn your husband gay’. How I learned to talk women out of legal abortions.

Other claims were more original. For example: After a woman has an abortion, the trainer said, her partner can “experience homosexuality.” It’s not clear in the webinar where she got this from. But most medical experts agree that nothing can ‘cause’ homosexuality; gay people are born gay. (And, being gay isn’t a bad thing either.)

I was really hoping for an in-depth explanation so that I could warn others. Perhaps — oh, never mind.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.