Planned Parenthood Affiliates Embarrassed by "I Had an Abortion" Shirts

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 28, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Planned Parenthood Affiliates Embarrassed by "I Had an Abortion" Shirts

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 28, 2004

Washington, DC ( — Planned Parenthood is selling controversial t-shirts with the slogan, "I had an abortion" depicted on the front. But, the shirts aren’t just drawing opposition from pro-life groups. Local Planned Parenthood affiliates are embarrassed by them and are distancing themselves from their parent organization.

"This is going beyond pro-choice. We’re offending people," Brian Lewis, director of public policy for Planned Parenthood Health Systems of North Carolina, told the Charlotte Observer newspaper.

On Tuesday, Lewis fired off an email to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America headquarters expressing his disapproval.

Meanwhile, abortion advocates in Idaho are also upset by the sale of the shirts that PPFA maintains have a "powerful message in support of women’s rights."

Rebecca Poedy, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of Idaho, told KBCI-TV in Boise that she was "very disappointed."

"I think the issue to focus on here is the effort that Planned Parenthood goes to, to prevent unwanted pregnancy. I think this is just a poor decision and we are just not supportive of it," Poedy said.

Lewis, whose group represents Planned Parenthood affiliates throughout the Tar Heel State and in South Carolina, said he though Planned Parenthood was planning to pull the shirts as a result of sharply negative reactions to them. However, they are still listed for sale on PPFA’s web site.

"This has so many repercussions," Lewis told the Observer. "This is not what America needs."

But, Lori Mariner, who works for Planned Parenthood in Bettendorf, Iowa, defends the shirts.

“They created the t-shirt after a request came from women who’d had abortions and that was the original idea for both women who’d requested it and Planned Parenthood, to try to get rid of the taboo—that abortion is a dirty little secret that should be hidden," Mariner told WQAD.

However, Mariner admitted that sales of the shirts and other items on the PPFA web site helps fund her job.

For women who have had abortions, and regret their decision, the Planned Parenthood shirt is offensive.

Olivia Gans, director of American Victims of Abortion, who had an abortion in 1981, says, in response to the t-shirts, "Having an abortion is a heartbreaking experience. It is not something to boast about."

ACTION: Send your complaints to [email protected].

Related web sites:
Silent No More Awareness Campaign –
Rachel’s Vineyard –