Chicago—Last week, the Pro-Life Action League was the target of mail fraud, in which an advertisement offering an at-home abortion kit was mailed to an undetermined number of recipients using the League’s contact information. An unknown individual sent out the mailing that advertised an “At-Home Abortion Kit” from a fictional women’s clinic, American Women’s Health, using the address and phone number of the League’s Chicago office.
In most states, a physician is required to perform an abortion. The at-home abortion “kit” described in the fraudulent advertisement is medically unheard of—it describes using a variety of “pumps” with a “secret combination of chemicals” to break down in the unborn child into “bio-waste in a mere ten minutes” even up until the eighth month of pregnancy.
View the advertisement here.
“In our 30 years working to help abortion-bound mothers and their unborn children, we have seen it all—from signs prohibiting protest activity, to lawsuits infringing upon our free speech, to baseless attacks in the media, and now targeted mail fraud,” said Ann Scheidler, vice president of the Pro-Life Action League. “We know we’re not alone in experiencing these attacks on our reputation, but there are things organizations such as ours can do in these crises, in both the short- and long-term.”
Scheidler and the Pro-Life Action League offer the following tips for organizations facing an attack on their name and/or reputation.
- Monitor your reputation. You won’t hear what is being said about you if you don’t listen. Whether it’s using your social networks, staying in touch with friends and supporters, or even keeping tabs on your opponents, it’s essential to keep your fingers on the pulse of your reputation.
- Share your own bad news. Don’t hide under the covers if your organization has come under attack; keep your friends, fans and followers informed of what is happening. In this case, Scheidler said she hopes getting the word out about the mail fraud will help the Pro-Life Action League determine how many mailings were sent, where they were received, and hopefully lead to a perpetrator.
- Work through the system. Although it often requires paperwork, time, and a lot of patience, go to the authorities where there has been a serious threat to your organization. Filing an official report with the appropriate office can help expedite the process of dealing with the situation, and the authorities can often provide additional resources or third-party assistance. Scheidler notified the Chicago Police Department, the United States Post Office, the Office of the Inspector General at the Post Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
- Get and stay active. Although opponents of your organization may try to use attacks to slow or halt your cause, use it as an impetus to do even more. Scheidler says, “This attack on our organization hasn’t slowed us down; it has only reinvigorated our fight to end all types of abortion—even the disgusting, largely illegal ‘at-home’ kind purported in this bogus advertisement.”