New Hampshire Theater Under Fire for Play Benefiting Abortion Business
by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
January 24, 2004
Portsmouth, NH (LifeNews.com) — The phone at the Seacoast Repertory Theater has been ringing quite a bit — but not because the next big hit is coming to town. The calls have come from pro-life advocates outraged that the proceeds from the venue’s upcoming production of the "Vagina Monologues" will go to a local abortion facility.
While the play will not be staged until February 15, the announcement that the beneficiary of the performances will be the Portsmouth Feminist Health Center — a facility that does first-trimester abortions.
The contractual agreement between C&C Productions, the producers of the local performance, and World Wide Campaign/V-Day, the owners of the play’s rights, require that a portion of the proceeds go to a local organizations "working to end violence against women and girls," as the V-Day website explains the arrangement.
In the past, the beneficiaries were Safe Place and Sexual Assault Support Services to help women who are victims of domestic violence.
"I wasn’t even thinking of it as an abortion center," said Claudia Koziner, director and producer of the play, who said the Feminist Center was chosen for its numerous services and lack of government funding. "Our view was to help a clinic with no funding that helps women in crisis."
"I believe what I’m doing and what I’m supporting is right," she added. "I take no political stand, nor do I judge. I think a clinic that helps other women in its community is something to support."
Kathleen Dufton, who has called the theater, pointed out there are many other women’s health centers that do not provide abortions.
"To get a mammogram free you can go to Family First. You don’t have to go the [Feminist Center]," said Dufton. "Their main resource [at the Feminist Center] has been the killing of unborn babies."
Stacy Baker-Chilicki, the marketing director of the theater, says the theater has no position on the abortion issue.
"Seacoast Repertory Theatre has a signed contract with C & C Productions as a renter and can not control who they chose as a benefactor and will not do so. Any views, opinions or chosen benefactors of C & C Productions, or any other production company for that matter, that might rent the theater for an event does not represent the views and options of the Seacoast Repertory Theatre," Baker-Chilicki told LifeNews.com. "Seacoast Repertory Theatre does not and will not take a ‘side’ in this or any political issue."
"The callers asked us to cancel the event or change the benefactor," Baker-Chilicki said of the outraged pro-life callers. "I listened to their thoughts on it, let them know they certainly have the rights to them. But we’re not canceling."
Ed Holdgate, President of New Hampshire Right to Life, believes the theater’s "no-position" stance is indeed a statement of their sympathies.
"We implore the pro-abortion crowd and those feigning ignorance or ‘no-position’ on the matter to consider this: if born babies, say up to 30 days old, could be legally exterminated at the Feminist clinics, would their actions and inactions be the same?" asked Holdgate.
"The pro-abortion crowd will sink to fascinating depths just to scrounge more and more money to kill babies and wound women," Holdgate added.