Minnesota Twins Respond to NARAL Donation Criticism
by Paul Nowak
January 7, 2004
Minneapolis, MN (LifeNews.com) — The Minnesota Twins and the St. Paul Saints Baseball Clubs have both elaborated on how and why they donated to a fundraiser for the Minnesota affiliate of NARAL, following a LifeNews.com story.
In December, LifeNews.com reported on an announcement in NARAL’s December newsletter of NARAL’s Minnesota affiliate that included a list of donors to the organization’s 12th Annual House Tour and Silent Auction fund-raiser on September 15th. Included in the alphabetical listing of donors, which did not specify the value or description of the items donated, MN NARAL listed the Minnesota Twins Major League Baseball Club, the St. Paul Saints Minor League Baseball Club, and the Minnesota Zoo, among others.
"The Minnesota Twins’ contribution to Minnesota NARAL was nothing more than a $4 Twins Magazine/game program," said Peter Martin, Director of Community Relations for the Twins.
"It is the policy of the Minnesota Twins to donate in-kind support to any nonprofit organization in the Upper Midwest," Martin told LifeNews.com. "And, due to the volume of requests we receive, it is sometimes difficult to discern the mission and programs of every organization that solicits contributions from the ball club. We in no way want or intend to be on any side of the abortion debate."
Martin said the Twins donated memorabilia and game tickets to more than 2,500 non-profit organizations in 2003.
"While a contribution to NARAL is, admittedly, something we could have pondered more closely, I can tell you with confidence that an in-kind request from a pro-life organization would have likewise been fulfilled," Martin added. "We are in the process of reviewing our in-kind donation decision-making process to determine if changes should be made."
That doesn’t satisfy the state’s leading pro-life organization.
"It is the principle of the matter that is important, and the Minnesota Twins have really hit a foul ball with this one," commented Jackie Moen of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life. "The Minnesota Twins have lent their good name to a bad cause, a cause that will end the lives of future Twins fans before they are even born. The Minnesota Twins need to recognize that children and families make up a huge portion of their fan base."
Meanwhile, the St. Paul Saints Baseball Club told LifeNews.com that an intern unfamiliar with NARAL and its agenda had filled the order for a donation.
"We really didn’t know anything about NARAL," Dave Wright, Media Relations Director for the Saints said. "We will definitely be more judicious in checking donation requests. This really was an honest mistake and we will be more diligent to make sure it doesn’t happen again."
"Baseball parks, particularly this one, are supposed to be happy places — oasises where the heavy arguments of the day can be forgotten, or at least put aside, for a few hours," explained Wright. "It has always been my view that a ball team must work hard at saying out of issues such as this one and concentrate and comment on the things we do best.
"Even if we had a public stance, it would be quite improper to state it," Wright added.
"The St. Paul Saints said that their donation was mistake," said Scott Fischbach, Executive Director of MCCL, commenting on a response his organization received from the Saints. "That is progress."
An official with the Minnesota Zoo had told LifeNews.com that the practice of sending free passes to the zoo to groups for use in fundraisers is a standard practice, despite the pro-abortion mission of Minnesota NARAL.
The Minnesota Opera was also among the Minnesota NARAL event’s supporters.
In recent years, many corporations have stopped supporting he abortion movement, including Target Corp., American Express and Disney. MCCL credits recent advances in technology, such as 4D ultrasounds, as a leading cause of the declining popularity of national corporations supporting pro-abortion organizations.
Dean for America, Gephardt for President, John Kerry for President, also made donations to the pro-abortion group.
"It is important for the people of Minnesota to know who is funding Minnesota’s radical pro-abortion movement, a movement that has led to the deaths of nearly 15,000 unborn babies per year in our state," Fischbach concluded.
NARAL December 2003 Newsletter, featuring a list of sponsors to the September fundraiser: