Michigan City’s Rotary Criticized for Funding Planned Parenthood
by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
January 6, 2004
Traverse City, MI (LifeNews.com) — Planned Parenthood Northern Michigan received a $10,000 grant from Rotary Charities of Traverse City in the organization’s fall grant cycle.
The non-profit Rotary awarded $289,100 to 10 groups, including a center for homeless youths, a conservancy group, and the restoration of a historic ship. The abortion business was given the money to fund so-called abstinence education programs.
Officials from Rotary Charities of Traverse City were unavailable for comment, despite repeated requests from LifeNews.com.
The donation doesn’t go over well with pro-life advocates.
"Abstinence educational programs can positively impact our young people, but I have serious reservations regarding any program organized by Planned Parenthood," Pam Sherstad, Director of Public Information for Michigan Right to Life, told LifeNews.com "An organization which promotes abortion as the solution to untimely pregnancies completely disregards the truth that all human life deserves our respect and support."
"Too many people give to charities without knowing how the money will be used," continued Sherstad. "The Rotary Charities is a good example. While many positive community services are supported, any funds provided to Planned Parenthood should raise a red flag, especially for pro-life people."
This is not the first organization in Traverse City to draw criticism from pro-life groups.
In July, the Traverse City Cherry Festival committee barred a pro-life student group from marching in its annual parade because committee members felt that the group’s "Choose Life" message was too controversial. The group had marched in the Festival’s Junior Royale Parade for the previous 8 years.
A change was made in the 2003 rules and regulations, stating "Units sponsored by or depicting a political organization or controversial issue will not be permitted in the parade."
"I was disgusted really," Andrea Becker of Students for Life told the Record-Eagle. "We purposefully try to not put the word ‘abortion’ on the sign, and we purposefully tried to avoid the controversy in the first place. They allowed us before and now all of a sudden they don’t."
The Cherry Festival committee’s decision also drew criticism from state legislators. Sens. Michelle McManus and Jason Allen, and Reps. Howard Walker and David Palsrok wrote a letter asking the festival’s committee to reconsider and accept the group’s application in 2004.