Wednesday 20 August 2008

Rogue agency forced to change name

Rogue crisis pregnancy agency the "Women's Resource Centre" has been forced to change its name following a sustained campaign by Choice Ireland.

It has emerged that the rogue crisis pregnancy agency the "Women's Resource Centre" has taken out full-page ads in the new issue of the Golden Pages under the new name "Abbey Counselling Centre". The agency, previously known as "Alpha" and "British Alternatives Pregnancy Service", has been forced to change its name several times following exposures of unethical activity, provision of false medical information and intimidation of women seeking information on abortion services. The agency, then known as the "Aadams Agency", was also named at the centre of an illegal adoption scandal in 1999.

The change in name comes in the wake of a one-month series of demonstrations mounted by Choice Ireland highlighting the activities of the agency, which operates from its base on 50 Upper Dorset Street. The agency also operates a number of "outreach" centres from private homes around Ireland.

Commenting, spokesperson Niav Keating said, "The Abbey Counselling Centre is a new cover; however, the number advertised is that of the Women's Resource Centre. While we can work to expose this agency and its practices each time they reinvent themselves, it is clear that regulations need to be set down to ensure that crisis pregnancy counselling is carried out in an ethical, honest and compassionate way."

In a further comment, spokesperson Sinead Ahern added, "We hope that our upcoming hearing with the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health will further the development of legislation governing the operation of crisis pregnancy agencies. This would close the legal loophole which allows these agencies to traumatise women facing a crisis pregnancy."

This evidence of the continued operation of these "rogue" crisis pregnancy agencies closely follows the recent publication of the Commission on Patient Safety report recommending a licensing system for all healthcare providers. Minister for Health Mary Harney has failed to address the issue of rogue crisis pregnancy agencies.

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