Caught Cybersquatting: Pregnancy Crisis Center Pulls WebsiteDigg This!
Thanks to solid local reporting, a Crisis Pregnancy Center website designed to deceive women who were looking for information about reproductive health services was taken down this week. Website visitors who typed in “fphs.com” instead of “fphs.org” were sent to a crisis pregnancy center site instead of to the family planning clinic site they were looking for.
Pat Peckham, a reporter with Wausau, Wisconsin’s weekly newspaper, City Pages, discovered the alternate site and pursued the story to its end. In this case, the end was that Hope Crisis Pregnancy Center took the website down because others might see their deceit as ‘untoward.’
Others might see it for exactly what it was.
Crisis Pregnancy Centers often set up “look alike clinics” near abortion clinics in an effort to lure women into their pseudo-clinics. There are many descriptions this month of these kinds of tactics on www.RHRealitycheck.org.
Coincidentally, a couple of weeks ago I received an email from a friend in the community. He told me that the daughter of one of their employees had gone to one of our family planning clinics. The staff prayed with her for an hour, convinced her that she was a sinner, gave her a Bible and sent her home. He asked if this was a new requirement for our federal grant. (Witty guy)
My third thought (after the ‘Someone’s had a breakdown’ and ‘We’ve hired a ringer.’) was that the young woman had visited the phony fphs.com website and been misdirected to the Crisis Pregnancy Center. We were able to contact her and she was willing to post an audio interview on our website at www.belowthewaist.org . It wasn’t that she had been misdirected by the cybersquatting, but she was very upset about what happened while she was there. She told us about her visit in great detail.
The local picture came together pretty clearly. With good reporting and a young woman willing to tell her story, we have revealed the ethical standards of this Crisis Pregnancy Center to our community.