In disbelief at first, I checked out the site (I clicked the ad which I immediately realized was a mistake, should have just typed the URL in myself but oh well). At first they just seemed to be specializing in adoptions, but years of reading left leaning articles assured me that looks can be deceiving.
So I dug a bit further, navigated away from Natalie, first onto the homepage. The site (which I’m sure has great SEO) makes great strides to comfort the visitor. Facing an unplanned pregnancy is scary as hell and the people at I’mPregnant know that. Topics include “How Do I Know?” and “What Should I do?” on the bottom, letters from prospective adoptive parents with photos (presumably of the letter writers) of white heterosexual couples swipe across the screen. On the right, you can watch a video from “16 And Pregnant” and “Teen Mom” stars (their word, not mine) Catelynn and Tyler share their adoption experience (as a fan and one time avid watcher of “Teen Mom” i can tell you they did better then many of their…erm…”costars”). Catelynn and Tyler stand under bleachers – Tyler wearing a huge crucifix – and discuss how much Bethany Christian Services helped them and they encourage other pregnant girls (or any girls, Catelynn says) to call them up for a chat. Another video from Dawn, a counselor (whom I’m 99% certain was Catelynn and Tyler’s counselor) talks to you about the great things at Bethany Christian Services and how they’ll help you for free. She also refers to the fetus in question as “your child.” Ugh.
I’m not against adoption – obviously- but this website is starting to raise the needle on my shady meter. I don’t like that the letters address the reader as “Birthmother” or “Birthparent” and the dawn talks about a child. Using language like this is dangerous because it subtly reinforces the idea that you are ending a life – not just a life, but your child’s life – were you to choose abortion.
This site, in fairness, could be a lot worse. Their FAQ section on Abortion leaves out some important truths (if you can’t afford an abortion many places have funds available, while there are risks with abortion they are relatively minor when done legally) they don’t seem to be straight up lying about anything. They remind young women that no one can legally force them to have an abortion but they devote the next paragraph to how to convince your friend, girlfriend, wife or daughter to not have an abortion.
All in all, this site is not as bad as it could be. What bothers me, however, is that Facebook decided to show it to me. Way back in 2008 when my then boyfriend and I broke up and I changed my Facebook relationship status, the powers that be flooded the sidebars of my newsfeed with ads for Plenty of Fish, sites on how to get him back and, naturally, tips on how to lose weight in order to win him back. Way to pour salt on the wound, Facebook. I’ve gotten a host of other weird and/or annoying stuff in that right hand column of ads usually relating to whatever sites I’ve recently been visitng in the same browser. Which really concerns me. As I stated, I am an informed woman but were I some terrified 16 year old who just saw a + on her EPT and spent the evening Googling “what to do if I’m pregnant” seeing that ad for Natalie, at such a vulnerable time, could really make an impact. And this imaginary pregnant teen should be informed properly about abortion (and parenting, and adoption). I’m worried what Natalie would say. I briefly considered posing as a pregnant teen to see what she would say but I don’t think that’s a terrific idea.
I am very confused as to why Facebook advertised that to me. Not only do I never search for anything even remotely baby or pregnancy related, the things I do look at and post are always far-left pro-women pro-choice etc etc. So what the actual fuck, Facebook? It shouldn’t be there, period. It shouldn’t be shown to me and it CERTAINLY shouldn’t be shown to vulnerable, confused pregnant teens. I clicked the little X next to the ad and told Facebook not to show it to me anymore because I find it offensive. And I do.
As abortion gets eroded by legislatures all over the country, there is this other force at work. This force of the faux helper, the mother figure trying to convince you to carry your unwanted pregnancy to term. Trying to help you but not giving you all the facts. I was never a pregnant teen but I was a teen, and it’s a confusing time no matter what, this added hidden agenda bullshit doesn’t help.
For real abortion answers, check out Planned Parenthood.
Safe. Legal. Rare.