The Land’s End clothing company has issued an apology for promoting abortion activists Gloria Steinem in a new interview spread featured in the latest version of its catalog.
Earlier this month, Lands’ End published an interview and photo-shoot with Steinem on its website (see images below) and in its spring catalog, highlighting Steinem’s work to pass an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), which could expand abortion in the U.S. Steinem is a well-known abortion activist who once said women “need” abortion.
Lands’ End labeled Steinem as one of its “Legends,” individuals who have made a difference in both their respective industries and the world at large and have paved the way for others to follow.
Just a few hours after LifeNews broke a story about Lands’ End honoring pro-abortion feminist Gloria Steinem and collecting donations for her organization, a flood of criticism from pro-lifers prompted the clothing company to removed all references to Steinem from its website. Now, the company has issued a statement apologizing.
Lands’ End released a statement on Wednesday, “We understand that some of our customers were offended by the inclusion of an interview in a recent catalog with Gloria Steinem on her quest for women’s equality. We thought it was a good idea and we heard from our customers that, for different reasons, it wasn’t. For that, we sincerely apologize. Our goal was to feature individuals with different interests and backgrounds that have made a difference for our new Legends Series, not to take any political or religious stance.”
However, the issue pro-life advocates have with Land’s End is not limited to the interview or the potential political stance the company took, but rather with the company’s decision to sell a tote-bag and donate proceeds of the sales to Steinem’s organization.
The company advertised an ERA Coalition logo monogram “in honor of Gloria’s work” and said it would donate $3 to the coalition’s Fund for Women’s Equality, Inc., for every monogram ordered now through Jan. 31, 2017.
“In honor of Gloria’s work, we’ll donate 50% of the monogram fee to the Fund for Women’s Equality for every ERA logo ordered. Add it to your choice of styles. Learn more at landsend.com,” the catalog reads.
The apology statement makes no mention of whether Land’s End would halt the donation campaign or what happened to the funds it has raised so far or would raise in the future through sales from its print catalogs mailed to customers.
LifeNews reported the story early Tuesday afternoon, and by late that afternoon, the company had taken down the interview and donation campaign off its website and scrubbed it from its online catalog. Flooded with criticism, the company appears to have taken down the campaign so quickly that even websites that archive older versions of webpages did not have the chance to index it.
Many people used Facebook to ask the company to stop honoring the pro-abortion activist. One upset customer, Kiena P. Nutter wrote on the Lands’ End Facebook page: “Was planning a purchase from the latest catalog until I saw Gloria Steinem featured. I thought I had somehow opened some magazine by accident. Not what I expected or wanted in a catalog.”
Mary Thormodson Hedstrom told Lands’ End on Facebook that they had lost her business because of the Steinem campaign: “How could you interview Gloria Steinem? She has done so much damage to the dignity of being a wife and a mother. How could Gloria say in the article that “each person is a unique miracle” and still be pro-abortion? You have lost another customer (and I just spent $200 for dresses for an upcoming wedding.)”
Many other commenters asked the clothing company to apologize, and some said they wrote to the company but did not receive a reply.
As of late Wednesday morning, the company does not appear to have issued a statement about its decision to remove the Steinem interview and donation campaign from its website.
The Lands’ End interview with Steinem did not mention abortion but focused on Steinem’s national effort to pass an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution.
Steinem’s description of the ERA sounded simple and uncontroversial in the interview. The amendment originally was introduced by pro-life feminist Alice Paul in 1923 to write women’s equality into the Constitution; but pro-lifers say new versions of the amendment could expand abortion.
He says the sweeping language of the 1972 ERA would be used as a legal weapon against virtually all laws that regulate abortion.
“In other states, major national pro-ERA organizations have argued that laws limiting tax-funded abortions or requiring parental consent for minors’ abortions violate ERAs,” Johnson explained.
Should the ERA be adopted, it would invalidate the federal Hyde Amendment and all state restrictions prohibiting tax-funded abortions. Likewise, it would nullify any federal or state restrictions even on partial-birth abortions or third-trimester abortions (since these are sought “only by women”).
Johnson said laws that allow government-supported medical facilities and personnel — including religiously affiliated hospitals — to refuse to participate in abortions would likely be in jeopardy as well.
ACTION: Email Land’s End here or call 1-800-963-4816 to complain.