Fighting the Battle of Virtual Untruths
In this day and age of electronic communications, from email to Facebook, from blogs to Twitter, impacts (both good and bad) reverberate around the internet.
Reviews by customers are another way to impact a business or organization online. And, lately, a series of “bad reviews” have bombarded pregnancy centers. A recent article published on Pregnancy Help News states that “At least one Planned Parenthood office has found a new way to pass the time: harassing nearby pro-life pregnancy centers by posting negative Google reviews. That’s what three high-ranking employees of Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania were up to Feb. 2, targeting all four locations of Pittsburgh-based Women’s Choice Network with an onslaught of one-star reviews that were accompanied by a message pointing potential clients to Planned Parenthood (PP).” Read the full article here: https://pregnancyhelpnews.com/pp-google-reviews-feb-2017
Even Casper, Wyoming is not immune. One “reviewer” a few years ago posted this on Google regarding True Care Women’s Resource Center: “Fake clinic, lies, coercion. Don't buy into their propaganda. They seek to make a profit from your suffering. Not only in continuing an unwanted pregnancy but the pain to mother, child, and sometimes father of adoption. They aren't there for you, they're there for their agenda and pocket book.”
Interestingly this person mentions “pocket book.” True Care services are all free-of-charge to patients and the Center does not profit from a decision to make an adoption plan. Planned Parenthood, however, charges for abortion services, and the price can be steep, depending upon the type of procedure. The abortion pill can cost up to $800 while an in-clinic surgical procedure may run up to $1,500. How can this “reviewer” say we are lining our pocket book when a patient pays nothing for True Care’s services versus hundreds, even thousands, of dollars she would pay at Planned Parenthood? According to the abortion giant, PP clinics conducted nearly 324,000 abortions in 2014. If the average cost was $500 per patient, that’s $162 million dollars, which helps to pay the CEO’s salary of more than $500,000 – and Planned Parenthood is considered a non-profit. (CEOs of other “health” organizations that are also considered not-for-profit make as much and even more than PP’s leader, as noted in the chart imbedded in the article).
Jesus left a commandment for his followers: “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). True Care's staff is comprised of prayer warriors. The response to the aforementioned review was written by a staff member: “True Care is a medical clinic. Our medical director is Dr. Sam Scaling, a physician specializing in gynecology here in Casper. We have three registered nurses trained in limited obstetrical ultrasound. Our Resource Coordinator is also a registered nurse. All of our services are offered at no charge to our patients. True Care is incorporated as a not-for-profit organization.”
Online reviews, through such sites as Google, aren’t the only place for potentially fake and/or negative reviews. Facebook also allows someone to comment on goods and services provided by businesses and organizations and to leave reviews, and since nearly all non- and for-profit entities have a Facebook page, there is opportunity for fake reviews on that site as well. Again, True Care has received poor reviews from some people, likely those who don’t really know what we do or have their own agenda of keeping our target audience (the abortion-minded woman) from seeking our free services. Here are a few examples of comments on True Care’s Facebook page and the staff’s responses:
Comment: “Not a good place I dislike it highly.”
True Care Response: “We would love to hear from you if you have some constructive feedback. Give us a call so we can address your specific situation.”
Another Comment: “Yeah it isn't True women's care at all.”
True Care Response: “So sorry to hear you feel this way.”
Many of our former patients rallied to True Care’s side, telling of their experiences, including this post: “I have nothing but good things to say about True Care. They helped us so much, from the day my pregnancy was confirmed to even today. They were always there if we needed anything, and welcomed my daughter enthusiastically when we brought her in. We're eternally grateful for everything they've done for us.”
How can you help True Care and other pregnancy centers that are attacked? Write a review based on your information and knowledge of that center and ask friends or family members who have used the services of a pregnancy center to do so, too. Word-of-mouth, both in the physical sense and the virtual sense, is an influential one. By standing alongside prolife pregnancy centers, especially those that provide relevant and professional medical services with trained nurses and a medical director, you and your prolife friends can help combat the “fake clinic” posts and reviews.
Another way we can fight the battle? Doing as Jesus says – “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” True Care begins every day with prayer. We know we need to put on the full armor of God daily, and we do that through prayer and God’s strength. Join us in the fight as a prayer warrior, and let’s follow where Jesus leads.