by Steven Ertelt
December 5, 2007
Ottawa, Canada (LifeNews.com) — The wives of the hockey players for the Ottawa Senators have formed a charitable group called "The Better Halves" and are soliciting donations that will go to a local pregnancy center. One-third of the money they raise will support the First Place Pregnancy Centre, which helps women in the area who are considering an abortion.
The Sens Foundation, the team’s registered charity arm, is matching every dollar the wives raise during the campaign, which involves selling Christmas trees.
The idea of helping women in crisis pregnancy situations is coming under fire from abortion advocates and Planned Parenthood Ottawa has sent out a press release attacking their effort.
The group claims pregnancy centers exploit women and pressure them against having abortions.
Abortion advocates have been putting pressure on Sens Foundation president Dave Ready, trying to get him to declare the donations illegal under Revenue Canada’s rules for charities.
But Ready told the CBC that the First Place pregnancy center donations are "in line with our mandate."
"We did due diligence and checked that it’s a charity," he said.
Terri Mazik, the center’s director, responded to some of the criticism in a press release LifeNews.com obtained..
"I was disheartened to read statements made by our colleagues at Planned Parenthood Ottawa that mischaracterize First Place operations," she said.
"While it is true that First Place does not provide referrals to abortion services, we do provide complete and accurate information on abortion, and allow each woman to make her own decision in a non-judgemental, compassionate environment," Mazik said.
Mazik said Planned Parenthood Ottawa misrepresented First Place by claiming that it tries to trick women into not having abortions and she said the pregnancy center discloses at the beginning of counseling women that it does not make abortion referrals.
"Notwithstanding these types of irresponsible comments, the general public can be assured that any money directed towards First Place through the “Better Halves” fundraiser will be put to good use, making a real difference in the lives of women who are in real need," she said.
Mazik explained that the funds the wives donate will "go towards helping women deal with an unexpected or crisis pregnancy situation."
Related web sites:
First Place – https://www.first-place.ca