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Planned Parenthood offers gift certificates

WASHINGTON (BP)–A state affiliate of Planned Parenthood is offering a new service to Christmas shoppers — gift certificates that can be redeemed for the killing of unborn children.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana, which has 35 centers across the state, is providing certificates during the Christmas season for the first time for what it calls the “gift of health.” The gift certificates, which come in $25 increments, can be used for services, such as annual examinations for women and contraceptives, according to the organization’s website.

The certificates also can be redeemed to help pay for abortions, the Associated Press reported, though a Planned Parenthood spokeswoman doubted certificates would be given for such a reason. “I certainly don’t think anyone would consider giving it for that purpose,” Kate Shepherd said, according to AP.

That assertion from Planned Parenthood was neither reassuring nor comforting for pro-life advocates.

The new gift certificates “represent a brazen and ill-disguised effort to package abortion as a gift,” wrote Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. on his weblog Dec. 3.

They “have been called ‘tasteless,’ but a better description of these gift certificates is deadly,” Mohler said. “There is every reason to believe that some babies will have their lives ended by means of these gift certificates.

“The Culture of Death creeps forward all around us.”

Alveda King, pastoral associate of Priests for Life and a niece of the late Martin Luther King Jr., said in a written statement, “The word ‘inappropriate’ hardly describes Planned Parenthood’s scheme. To give someone a gift card from the nation’s largest abortion business is to give death for Christmas. Planned Parenthood really should call these ‘King Herod certificates’ after [the ruler] who slaughtered tiny babies in his vain attempt to kill the baby Jesus. Better yet, it should just leave Christmas, a celebration of birth, hope and life, completely alone.”

Planned Parenthood of Indiana’s 2007 report showed its clinics performed 5,160 abortions in its most recent statistical year, more than 3,900 by surgery and the rest using drugs such as the RU 486 regimen. The organization performs abortions at its clinics in Bloomington, Indianapolis and Merrillville, AP reported.

It is not the first time Planned Parenthood has used Christmas to bring in funds. In past years, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) has sold “Choice on Earth” Christmas cards. Its “Choice on Earth” slogan was a pernicious twist on “peace on earth,” part of the message the angels declared to the shepherds upon the announcement of the birth of Jesus, as recorded in the second chapter of Luke.

In May, PPFA also found a way to use Mother’s Day as a fundraising tool. PPFA President Cecile Richards and mother-daughter actresses Blythe Danner and Gwyneth Paltrow wrote e-mails asking for Mother’s Day gifts to the organization. Planned Parenthood enabled donors to give in honor or memory of their mothers or others, as well as have a Mother’s Day card sent to someone from PPFA.

PPFA’s affiliates performed nearly 290,000 abortions in 2006, the latest year for which statistics are available. PPFA surpassed $1 billion in annual revenue for the first time last year, with more than $336 million of that total coming in grants and contracts from the federal and state governments.
Compiled by Baptist Press Washington bureau chief Tom Strode.

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