Planned Parenthood Affiliates Still At Odds Over "I Had an Abortion" Shirt

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 10, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Planned Parenthood Affiliates Still At Odds Over "I Had an Abortion" Shirt

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 10, 2004

St. Paul, MN ( — Planned Parenthood affiliates are still at odds with their parent organization over sales of a t-shirt with the message "I Had an Abortion." The shirt has caused a national controversy with groups representing women who had abortions and pro-life organizations objecting to it.

In a statement responding to the controversy, Planned Parenthood of Minnesota and South Dakota took issue with the nation’s largest abortion business.

"We would like to emphasize that we are not selling this t-shirt on our local website, nor did PPMSD participate in the making or marketing of this product," the group said. "We also think that putting ‘I had an abortion’ on a t-shirt is not a good idea."

Sarah Stoesz, president of PPMSD told the Pioneer Press newspaper, "I would not have chosen to market this T-shirt, and I disagree with our national office."

Scott Fischbach, director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, says he is not surprised to see the abortion business distancing itself from Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Fischbach told that the t-shirt debacle is an "embarrassing situation for over zealous abortionists."

Other abortion advocates are complaining about the shirts.

The pro-abortion editorial board of the Seattle Times newspaper wrote in a recent editorial that the "shirts being sold online by Planned Parenthood affiliates go beyond outrageous. They turn an agonizing, personal choice into a cavalier schtick."

Despite the controversy that has drawn national attention to the shirts, as of last week, only 200 of them have sold so far, PPFA says.

The controversial shirt has also prompted other Planned Parenthood affiliates to oppose 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.

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

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

Meanwhile, Olivia Gans, the director of American Victims of Abortion, opposes the sale of the shirt and regrets her abortion decision.

For Gans, who would give anything to undo her abortion decision, the t-shirt is a sad reminder of a decision so many women regret.

"Every abortion not only ends a life, but it can leave a woman emotionally wounded," said Gans. "The experience of abortion is traumatic and devastating and I am appalled that Planned Parenthood would exploit the tragic experience of women like myself to further their agenda."