Bridget Ryder, Community Outreach Manager
In the Internet Age having a wide spread and positive online presence is essential for an organization. At Abria, our website is one of the main ways women find out about us and contact us. The digital world also offers young adults easy and effective online activism opportunities for supporting their favorite causes and organizations, especially Abria.
Allow me to share how one incident of online activism affected Abria.
I still remember that morning last July when an unusual stream of negative, single star reviews popped up on our Abria Facebook page and Google business listing. From the sound of the reviews, these women had never been clients with us, but had merely scanned our website and determined that since we did not offer referrals for contraception or abortions, we were poorly serving women. Some reviews also made additional false and unfounded claims.
We did a little research and discovered that one of the dissatisfied reviewers, Lizz Winstead, the co-creator of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, was also the founder of the Lady Parts Justice League, a reproductive rights activist organization on a mission to discredit pregnancy centers as “fake clinics.” Winstead had launched the #ExposeFakeClinics campaign which spent that week in July giving bad reviews to and protesting outside of pregnancy centers.
But as it always does, the truth prevailed. We responded to the false reviews, reported them to Facebook and Google and encouraged our clients to review us online. To our surprise, the next day a flood of new reviews came in, this time all 5 stars. A counter campaign in support of pregnancy centers had been launched by the person behind Dank Pro-Life Memes, a Facebook page filled with punchy pro-life comebacks. Unsolicited by us, his followers’ reviews had elevated our star rating to above where it was before the #ExposeFakeClinics hit. While we believe the 5-star ratings truly reflect the quality of the service we provide, unfortunately, some of the comments of the positive reviews included politically charged language and barbs at abortion proponents.
At a time when a platform that should simply provide honest information is being used to advance an agenda, having authentic reviews from people who have actually experienced Abria—whether as a client, volunteer, or donor—is more important than ever. The #ExposeFakeClinics campaign continues, intensified by the Supreme Court case NIFLA vs. Becerra (read more about it here), which has brought pregnancy centers into the public spotlight. Coinciding with the case (the court heard oral arguments in March and a decision is due in June), NARAL ProChoice America has also launched the #StopTheLies campaign focused on swaying public opinion against pregnancy centers.
Leaving a brief testimony of your experience left either on our Facebook page or Google business listing provides accurate information to potential clients, while boosting our overall online presence. Also, by liking or giving a thumb’s up to good reviews from our clients, you can push them to the top, where they are more visible. This also makes it easier for women to find us online and see what we are really about when they are looking for help. Finally, by posting client stories from our videos and website to your social media feeds, you can let our clients speak for themselves about how Abria has helped them.
To summarize, here’s what you can do to support Abria and spread the truth:
- Leave a review on our Facebook page and Google business listing. Keep it brief and free of politically charged language.
- Boost client reviews by giving them a thumb’s up.
- Post our client success stories to your social media feeds and show the world the hope and help women receive at Abria.
As the next generation of pro-life leaders, your support is critical in reaching the many women who need and want help in the face of an unexpected pregnancy. Thank you for all you do for LIFE!