YMCA Refuses to Cancel Wisconsin Event With Planned Parenthood
by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
February 28, 2004
St. Paul, MN (LifeNews.com) — The YMCA of Greater St. Paul has refused to cancel an event conducted by the nation’s largest abortion business, currently scheduled at its Camp St. Croix in Hudson, Wisconsin. As YMCAs are separate entities able to set their own policies, pro-life advocates fear this opens the door to other YMCA/Planned Parenthood arrangements across the country.
"Because of opposition to an element of the broad Planned Parenthood agenda, several persons have asked the YMCA to ban Planned Parenthood from our facility. We have denied that request. The YMCA is a community service organization, is open to all, and does not discriminate," reads a statement dated Thursday.
"Camp St. Croix agreed to rent our facility to Planned Parenthood for a retreat for mothers and daughters and fathers and sons. The event is a time for parents and children to spend time together, to talk and communicate, and to build stronger relationships," explains the release.
"The decision to rent our facility for this retreat should not imply that the YMCA of Greater St. Paul is aligned with or in partnership with Planned Parenthood, or supports the agenda of Planned Parenthood," adds the statement. "The YMCA has not and will not take a stand on the issue of abortion."
"By renting our facilities the YMCA is not implying endorsement or alignment with individual organization or groups," states the YMCA release. "We are providing an opportunity for organizations to utilize our facilities, which in turn makes it possible for us to do what we do best – build strong kids, strong families and strong communities."
However, in the YMCA of Greater St. Paul’s IRS form 990 from 2002, the organization reported that it enters into "collaborative partnerships" with organizations including "nonprofit agencies," for various purposes including "maximizing community resources" and "capitalizing on multiple agencies’ expertise to address community needs."
"Planned Parenthood is vehemently anti-family and anti-life, trying to stop parental involvement in their own children’s lives," argued Darla Meyers, who is organizing a protest at the camp on March 6. "PP promotes sexual promiscuity and tries to stop the most successful unintended pregnancy preventer–chastity among our youth."
In fact, the website of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota/South Dakota, coordinator of the events at Camp St. Croix, features an ad stating "Speak out against abstinence-only education!" on its front page.
Meyers had previously called the idea of Planned Parenthood using YMCA resources to input their expertise on parent-child communication "preposterous."
Planned Parenthood routinely challenges parental notification laws across the country, and explains to teens on its website for adolescents how to avoid such laws by seeking "judicial bypass waivers" or going to another state. In some cases, pro-life advocates have reported that Planned Parenthood employees and attorneys have aiding girls in obtaining abortions without parental consent in those states.
According to the YMCA of the USA website, the Chicago-based organization is a supporting organization to the independent associations nationwide. The local YMCAs are obligated by the national YMCA constitution to pay dues to the YMCA of the USA, adopt a non-discrimination policy, and uphold the mission "To put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all."
"The YMCA makes a serious mistake in trying to placate the largest abortion organization in the United States," Meyers told LifeNews.com. "In order for the YMCA to impart those Christian principles, the child needs to be born. The YMCA is discriminating against the most defenseless among us, the unborn baby, by allowing an extremist organization like PP to rent their facilities."
In addition to a protest on-site, Meyers is asking those opposed to the arrangement to contact contributors to the YMCA and ask them to demand refunds for their contributions, as well as promise not to contribute in the future.
"If all the babies were born that Planned Parenthood kills by abortion, they would have enough membership to cover their costs," said Meyers.
According the YMCA of Greater St. Paul’s 2002 annual report, 39.7 percent of their income comes from memberships, and 27 percent comes from Child Care fees. Approximately 14 percent of their income is from contributions and endowment gifts.
All together, the over 2,000 YMCAs nationwide form the largest non-profit community service organization in the United States.
YMCA of Greater St. Paul and YMCA of Minneapolis – https://www.ymcatwincities.org
YMCA National Headquarters – https://www.ymca.net
YMCA Camp St. Croix Information Page – https://www.ymca.net/index.jsp?assn=3209