Heartbeat International

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Heartbeat International is an international anti-abortion association that supports the largest network of crisis pregnancy centers (CPC) in the world, with over 2,000 affiliates in 50 countries.[1] It does not offer, recommend, or refer for abortions.[2] It describes itself as an "interdenominational Christian association".[3] Heartbeat International teaches its affiliated members to make their advertising look as though they are full-service reproductive health clinics that provide referrals for birth control or abortion.[1][4] Staff are also trained on how to discourage pregnant women from accessing abortion, and how to discourage young women from using emergency contraception, birth control pills, or IUDs.[1] Heartbeat staff are also encouraged to create two websites, one that has an explicitly Christian message, and one that looks like Planned Parenthood. Many pregnancy centers have the ultimate goal of converting women through a born-again experience to "save the mother, save the baby".[5]

For a story appearing in February 2020, openDemocracy sent "feminist investigative journalists" to 30 Heartbeat International crisis pregnancy centers in 18 countries, where they "were given misleading or manipulative counselling in most cases."[6] The reporters, who posed as women with unwanted pregnancies, found cases where women were told falsehoods such as abortion causing mental illness, cancer, or increased risk of child abuse, along with other misinformation.[6]

In January 2016, Jor-El Godsey was named President of Heartbeat International.[7]



  1. ^ a b c Beusman, Callie (2017-05-30). "How Anti-Abortion Zealots Pose as Medical Professionals to Trick Pregnant Women - Anti-abortion groups are opening fake clinics near actual reproductive health care providers across the country in an attempt to shame and scare women into staying pregnant". Vice. St. Gerard's is an affiliate of Heartbeat International (HBI), the biggest crisis pregnancy center network in the world. HBI has over 2000 affiliated organizations in 50 countries, ... Although there are no explicitly religious references on the Option Line website, it agenda is obviously and extremely Catholic—which is to say, staunchly anti-abortion and anti-contraception.
  2. ^ "Our Commitment". Retrieved 2011-02-16.
  3. ^ Hobbs, Jay. "About Us". www.heartbeatinternational.org. Retrieved 2022-01-29.
  4. ^ "Hartford Weighs Ordinance to Stop an Anti-Choice Clinic From Tricking Abortion Patients". Rewire News Group. 21 November 2017. Hartford Women's Center is part of St. Gerard's Center for Life, an affiliate of Heartbeat International, which describes itself as the largest network of crisis pregnancy centers in the world. Its members are trained to conceal their true intentions by opening near abortion clinics and ditching religious content. The clinic's name and location, and the medical scrubs sometimes worn by its representatives, appear designed to confuse people into mistaking it for the abortion clinic that stands just yards away.
  5. ^ Winter, Meaghan (6 April 2015). "'Save the Mother, Save the Baby': An Inside Look at a Pregnancy Center Conference". Cosmopolitan. Retrieved 23 November 2017.
  6. ^ a b Provost, Claire; Archer, Nandini (10 February 2020). "Exclusive: Trump-linked religious 'extremists' target women with disinformation worldwide". openDemocracy. Retrieved 14 February 2020. 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... Materials from a second 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.
  7. ^ Wright, Jennifer. "Fast Facts: Jor-El Godsey". www.heartbeatinternational.org. Retrieved 2022-10-28.

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