A Pregnancy Crisis Center Recommends Baby Powder Scented Candles Because They Smell "Like A Newborn Baby"

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A pro-life charity in Ireland has come under fire after a recent Facebook post recommended a candle with a very specific scent. Stanton Healthcare Belfast, the crisis pregnancy center in Northern Ireland, posted a picture of a Yankee Candle and suggested fellow crisis pregnancy centers light baby powder-scented candles because they “smell like newborn babies.” Bustle has reached out to Stanton Healthcare for comment but has not received any official statement at this time. (Yankee Candle responded to the post in a Facebook comment on their official page after a person brought Stanton Healthcare’s post to their attention. “Yankee Candle is not affiliated with Stanton Healthcare Belfast. We are currently addressing the issue,” their official response reads.)

Stanton Healthcare’s Facebook post, originally posted in late July, was shared with a caption that reads, “Stanton Healthcare would recommend to all crisis pregnancy centre's [sic] the new baby powder yankee candle. It just smells like a new born [sic] baby. #lovelife #lovebabies #protectthemboth #loveyankeecandles.” The post gained attention after many in the comments section pointed out the implications of a candle that “smells like a newborn” and how it might influence a woman’s reproductive choice, as reported by Irish site Buzz.ie.

Despite often being confused for one another, crisis pregnancy centers and abortion clinics are not the same thing. Crisis pregnancy centers can often appear to be abortion clinics, even having locations intentionally close to them. However, crisis pregnancy centers are usually run by pro-life religious organizations and do not always qualify as medical clinics. They typically perpetuate abortion myths and pseudoscience to attempt to dissuade women from having an abortion. Hence why having a baby powder-scented candle in the waiting room of one such center could be interpreted as a manipulative tactic.

Any comments criticizing Stanton Healthcare’s post appear to have been deleted, according to Broadly. However, Buzz.ie captured some of the comments before they were removed which called the post “sick and manipulative” and said things like “Do these candles come in scents of shame, stigma or social isolation?”

The British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS), a UK non-profit organization which offers abortion care, responded to Stanton Healthcare’s post in a tweet reading, “A scented candle won't convince a woman to have a child.”

BPAS spokesperson Katherine O'Brien told Broadly, “Not only is this a rather cruel attempt to manipulate women who may be in incredibly desperate circumstances, it is also profoundly patronizing. The majority of women who have an abortion are already mothers—they know perfectly well how a newborn baby smells, and the idea that any woman could be convinced to have a child by the mere presence of a scented candle is just insulting.

“While we are sure that their waiting rooms now smell perfectly lovely,” O'Brien continued, “this new strategy rather reeks of desperation.”