Planned Parenthood Ottawa denies local charity drive freedom of choice
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Planned Parenthood Ottawa (PPO) is trying to make a Tree Raffle, launched Monday by the wives and girlfriends of the Ottawa Senators NHL hockey team, their business.
The Senators’ “Better Halves” launched a holiday fundraising campaign and one of the organizations set to benefit from the money raised is First Place Pregnancy Centre. The Centre is an Ottawa-based organization that advertises it “wants you to be empowered to make your choice”, but will not provide women facing an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy with referrals to abortion services.
“As a pro-choice organization, Planned Parenthood Ottawa is concerned that generous Senators fans contributing to this fundraising campaign may do so without knowing that a portion of their donations is going to support an anti-choice organization,” PPO Volunteer & Options Program Coordinator wrote in a news release.
The launch of the Sens “Better Halves” Tree Raffle is an endeavor taken on by the wives and girlfriends of the Ottawa Senators to raise money to benefit three organizations: First Place Pregnancy Centre, Kids Help Phone, and Harmony House.
“We don’t want to undermine the tremendous contributions the Senators have made to the community or the fact that the Kids Help Phone and Harmony house (sic) are wonderful organizations,” says Stephanie Piche, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Ottawa, “but we consider it our responsibility to make sure that the public clearly understands that a portion of their money will go to the First Place Pregnancy Centre, which we consider to be an anti-choice organization.”
There are some who would argue that it is neither the responsibility of PPO to make sure that the public clearly understands where a portion of their money would go, nor is it any of PPO’s business for whom the Sens “Better Halves” raise their money.
Noteworthy: the incredible ease with which PPO throws around the term “pro-choice”.
What is pro-choice about trying to hurl the proverbial money wrench into a fundraising drive?
Planned Parenthood Ottawa considers the First Place Pregnancy Centre to be an anti-choice organization because they will not provide women with referrals to abortion services.
As Heather Greenwood explains, “While we don’t promote or recommend abortion, we do feel that it is the right of every woman facing an unintended pregnancy to make an informed decision based on all available information. Denying access to information on any pregnancy option, in this case abortion, is to us anti-choice.”
Wait a minute, Ms. Greenwood, isn’t Planned Parenthood the organization that thinks it fair for teens as young as 13 to have access to birth control without their parents’ knowledge?
“We sometimes have women contact us after visiting First Place Pregnancy,” continues Ms. Greenwood, “sometimes they’re upset that they couldn’t get the information that they wanted and sometimes they’re angry because they feel as if they were tricked into believing that they were going to a pro-choice counseling session only to discover that that was not the case when they got there.”
Surely, Ms. Greenwood means to say “allegedly” tricked into believing that they were going to a pro-choice counseling session only to discover that was not the case when they got there”?
“We respect other people’s values and that the Senators may choose to support First Place Pregnancy,” says Ms. Piche, “but it would be unfortunate for the generosity of the public to be going to support anti-choice values without them knowing about it.”
Meanwhile, the wives and girlfriends of the Ottawa Senators should be able to continue their holiday fundraising campaign without the interference of Planned Parenthood Ottawa.
After all, that’s what choice is all about, isn’t it?