by Maria Vitale Gallagher
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
January 28, 2005
Harrisburg, PA (LifeNews.com) — In a publicity gimmick that some are labeling as bizarre, the pro-abortion lobbying group known as NARAL is encouraging its supporters in Pennsylvania to ask state lawmakers to mail them chastity belts.
NARAL is distributing a form letter to lawmakers which states, "Unless you give us real choices, please rush me the only thing that the Pennsylvania State Legislature seems to want to provide to protect my reproductive health: a chastity belt."
Abstinence educators see the gimmick as a sad commentary on the pro-abortion movement.
"I think it’s quite sad that this organization is speaking negatively about young people being made aware of the healthiest choice they can make," Jill Page, an abstinence educator for the Urban Family Council, told the Associated Press.
NARAL wants the Pennsylvania General Assembly to support what it calls “comprehensive sex education," which includes contraceptive information; health care coverage for birth control; and the sometimes abortifacient morning-after abortion pill for rape victims.
When asked about the chastity belt campaign, NARAL spokesman David Seldin told the AP the group is “trying to be more creative in the way in which we communicate and reach out, particularly to younger people."
In a press release, Carrie Rae, Executive Director of NARAL’s Pennsylvania affiliate said, "We are launching this campaign to tap a new generation of activists tired of seeing their tax dollars spent on discredited ‘abstinence-only-until-marriage’ programming. Pennsylvanians want real choices and real solutions to today’s reproductive health problems, not the modern equivalent of a chastity belt."
Rae added, "The symbolism of the chastity belt is perfect. The idea that women are the property of their husbands belongs in the dark ages. The Pennsylvania State Legislature commemorated Chastity Awareness Week last year with a unanimous vote — let’s see them get that excited about real choices!"
NARAL has its work cut out for itself in Pennsylvania, which is home to the Abortion Control Act, one of the strongest pro-life laws in the nation. The state has also earned a grade of "F" from NARAL because of its protections on abortion.
Pennsylvania has a 24-hour waiting period for abortions and requires that women be offered information on alternatives to abortion. Pennsylvania also requires parental consent before an abortion can take place. The state also has a first-of-its-kind, government-funded program called Real Alternatives which offers comprehensive material and emotional support to women facing unexpected pregnancies.
On its website, the abortion lobbying group calls the Pennsylvania House and Senate "anti-choice." The website also states that the Pennsylvania Democratic Party does not take a position on a "woman’s right to choose," while the Pennsylvania Republican Party opposes legal abortion.
While Pennsylvania’s Governor, Ed Rendell, supports abortion on demand, the Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General are both pro-life.
As Mary Beliveau of the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation has stated, "There is no doubt that the pro-life issue is an advantage for pro-life candidates in most districts."
Related web sites:
Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation – https://www.paprolife.org