For some time now critics of Safe Haven Baby Boxes have discussed amongst ourselves the possibility that some of these perfectly healthy babies who anonymously arrive pristine and “much loved” in a local box-in-a-wall might be run through the box system via Crisis Pregnancy Centers now nicely known as Pregnancy Resource Centers. CPCs are huge supporters and funders of boxes, under the belief that their availability can decrease abortion (where it’s still allowed),give a “safe option” to women whom they speculate will otherwise dump their babies in a ditch or dumpster if they can’t get an abortion or find themselves in some other undefined crisis. We are sure, then, that CPC “counselors” inform their clients about the baby box option…but as far as putting baby-box-interested women under their medical care, for intentional box abandonment, acilitating or actually performing drop-offs for the mother. I don’t know. But today…
…the SHBB Inc Facebook page featured this post from Community Pregnancy Clinics in Florida
Normally, I would just print off this press release and file it away, but for one point…the disclaimer made by SHBB Inc that it has never partnered or been affiliated with any pregnancy clinic.
At the bottom of the press release, you’ll find contact information for 5 Community Pregnancy Clinics in 4 Florida cities: Naples, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Gainesville.
And who is these Community Pregnancy Clinics’ Director of Community Services?
Pam Stenzel, the president of Safe Haven Baby Boxes Inc board of directors as well as its hotline coordinator and counselor. If you don’t believe me, here it is from the horse’s mouth. And here and here and here. According to SHBB”s latest 990 form, Mrs. Stenzel received $6,000 last year for her services to the baby box company.
I have written about Mrs. Stenzel before. She is a Big Name in the forced birth movement. I first ran into her over 20 years ago when she presented the dangers of sex and birth control to teenagers at a Teen Mania/Acquire the Fire event. She has stayed on my radar ever since, and her spiel hasn’t changed. (Does SHBB Inc or Mrs.Kelsey personally share this misogynist ideology?) We hope that if you are a “desperate mother” calling the hotline you aren’t told “you’re an old shoe” or a “piece of chewed gum” or birth control = death. That’s what Mrs Stenzel warns will happen to teen girls if they have sex with more than one boy or their mothers “put them on birth control.”
Like Monica Kelsey, founder and CEO of SHBB Inc, Mrs. Stenzel is adopted and the product of rape, and is a high dudgeon evangelical. She has no ties to the adoptee rights movement but would like to meet her birthmother in heaven. She says that adopted people who oppose baby boxes have serious mental challenges.
We are struck then, by the absurd idea that SHBB Inc and Community Pregnancy Centers are not affiliated in some way. (The organization, in fact, is owned by Heartbeat International, probably the largest CPC franchise in the world, and operates in other states, so it has a wide reach.) At best there is no official legal affiliation–no written agreement or contract– but there is certainly an informal “social” affiliation between “friends.” that can easily go beyond the referral stage. Mrs, Stenzel/Community Pregnancy Clinics have a vested moral (if not other) interest, in baby box consumption. Mrs. Stenzel has occasionally casually mentioned her role at SHBB, but we have not seen a similar acknowledgment from SHBB. That is disturbing and indicative of the lack of transparency practiced by SHBB Inc.
Networking is one thing. Affiliation another. There are many forms of affiliation between individuals and organizations. At the least, SHBB Inc should make its employment relationship with community Pregnancy Crisis Centers public.
Time to ‘fess up!