Indiana’s Planned Parenthood is offering a rather unusual stocking stuffer this year: gift certificates redeemable for health services at clinics throughout the state.
The organization’s leaders have said they’re offering gift certificates because they fear that during these tough economic times women will neglect getting basic health care and forgo things like pap smears. Planned Parenthood chapters in Illinois, New York, Alaska and Michigan are considering similar gift certificate programs for the holidays.
Plenty of folks, however, are outraged, according to a report on ABCNews.com, and believe Planned Parenthood is just using this as a way to promote abortion.
ABC News quoted Sister Diane Carollo, director of the Office for Pro-Life Ministry for the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis, saying:
“This campaign to offer lethal gift certificates that Planned Parenthood is engaging in right now is offensive.”
She went on to add:
“And it’s offensive because Christmas is about the celebration of human life.”
Planned Parenthood argues, however, that about 95 percent of women who come to their clinics come for basic health services — not abortion.
ABC News quoted Planned Parenthood of Indiana’s president and CEO Betty Cockrum saying:
“It’s about basic health care. It’s about annual exams, it’s about pap smears, it’s about birth control,” said Cockrum. “I would be amazed if a dime of it goes toward an abortion.”
ABC News reported that reactions on its website were mixed:
One person wrote: “Wal-Mart gift cards can be used to buy alcohol and ammunition … but nobody is outraged.”
Another wrote: “Disgusting!!!!! I am pro choice, but gift certificates for abortion, sick, sick, sick!”
What do you think? Do you believe Planned Parenthood gift certificates are making a mockery or Christmas or do you think they’ll help women get proper basic healthy care as the organization claims?
Because I’m a journalist I don’t speak publicly about my stance on abortion. But I will say that it both saddens and infuriates me that more attention isn’t given to the need for affordable pap smears and other basic health care services for women. And I hate that whenever this issue is brought to the forefront it’s almost always pushed quickly to the background again by the abortion debate. Of course, the issue of abortion is very, very important, but so are ovarian cysts; so is a lump in a woman’s breast; so is cervical cancer.
Some people fear these gift certificates will be used to end a life, but I wonder if they’ve considered that instead they could be used to save one.