Some Planned Parenthood Affiliates Disapprove of 'I Had an Abortion' T-Shirts

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - As more pro-life groups condemn the nation's largest abortion provider for selling a new t-shirt that states, "I had an abortion," Planned Parenthood affiliates in three states have publicly voiced their disapproval for the shirt.

The fact that affiliates in Idaho, North Carolina and South Carolina object to the shirt's message affirms that most Planned Parenthood volunteers and employees don't have a true understanding of what the organization is really about, said Jim Sedlak, executive director of American Life League's STOPP International.

Brian Lewis, director of public policy for Planned Parenthood Health Systems of North Carolina, which represents affiliates in North Carolina and in South Carolina, expressed concern that the t-shirt is ?offending people.?

Rebecca Poedy, executive director of Planned Parenthood of Idaho, said the purpose of the organization is to ?prevent unwanted pregnancy? and the t-shirts were ?a poor decision? that her affiliate does not support.

Sedlak said most people associated with Planned Parenthood are unaware of the background of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger.

"Planned Parenthood was founded by a staunch racist who firmly believed in the eugenics movement. This organization is now the single largest abortion provider in the country," said Sedlak. "I am positive that is not well known by Planned Parenthood's supporters and customers."

Sedlak said the new t-shirt "confirms that the abortion chain lacks any sense of integrity, tact, and compassion. This shirt's message celebrates an act of violence that is traumatic for women, and worst of all, kills an innocent child."

He said "this latest stunt goes right along with the philosophies which have produced such items as a 'Choice on Earth' holiday card and a Florida advertisement which said, 'Give the gift that stops giving...a gift certificate for a holiday vasectomy at Planned Parenthood.'"

"Apparently, it isn't enough to make a regrettable choice," said Martha Nolan of Crossroads, a pro-life organization that has sponsored walks across America for the last 10 years. "Now, abortion advocates seem to believe that the choice should be displayed with pride."

Nolan said, "They might want to call it 'the T-shirt that sexually irresponsible males want to see their ex-girlfriend in.'"

She added, "It's difficult to understand how Planned Parenthood can say that abortion is always a difficult choice, and then encourage women to wear their 'choice' on their shirt. How about a line of shirts for men that says, 'My ex-girlfriend got an abortion because I made her?'"

Crossroads, which was founded in 1994 in Steubenville, Ohio, has sponsored walks to "witness to the sanctity and dignity of all human life, from conception until natural death." The group is sponsoring two walks this year - one from San Francisco and one from Los Angeles. Both will conclude in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 15.

"Some of the women we come in contact with on the walk have had abortions and have required a long process of spiritual and psychological healing through counseling programs, such as Rachel's Vineyard," said Elizabeth Daub, a two-time walker.

"One of the most flagrant contradictions in Planned Parenthood's message is revealed by the fact that so many women we meet say, 'I didn't have a choice.' That's the real tragedy. Women do have a choice, and the right choice is always life," she said. "Abortion hurts women. It's that simple.

STOPP officials are willing to pay all expenses to travel to any Planned Parenthood clinic in the United States to do a one-day education program for employees and volunteers of the abortion provider to show them the true nature and history of the organization.

"When people know the truth, they recognize that Planned Parenthood is not a benevolent healthcare organization, but rather, a lucrative business that profits from selling sex and aborting babies," said Sedlak.

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