Canada Pregnancy Center Settles Lawsuit After Planned Parenthood Attacks

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 8, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Canada Pregnancy Center Settles Lawsuit After Planned Parenthood Attacks

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 8
, 2008

Ottawa, Canada ( — A Canadian pregnancy center that came under attack from Planned Parenthood after the wives of the Ottawa Senators hockey team designated it as a charity recipient has settled a lawsuit it filed against the abortion business. The suit came after Planned Parenthood attacked First Place Pregnancy Centre.

The hockey players’ wives formed a charitable group called "The Better Halves" and named the pregnancy center as one of three groups to receive proceeds from a raffle of players’ items and memorabilia.

Planned Parenthood officials objected to the group that helps pregnant women and publicly attacked First Place with claims that it misleads women.

The center voluntarily withdrew from the fundraiser — forfeiting $25,000 — but filed a claim against Planned Parenthood Ottawa and two of its representatives before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in May.

First Place alleged Planned Parenthood Ottawa interfered with critical funding and defamed their charity putting the charity and the women they serve at risk.

Terri Mazik, the group’s director, said at the time: "Why did Planned Parenthood
Ottawa interfere in this way? While we do not refer for abortion we provide and have always provided nonjudgmental support to women facing an unintended pregnancy in order for them to make an informed decision."

The two sides have reportedly settled the lawsuit out of court, according to a joint press release.

The release doesn’t say whether Planned Parenthood forked over any of the money the pregnancy enter lost and neither side can share more than what is contained in the press release as a “no comment” confidentiality agreement accompanied the settlement.

The release says First Place and Planned Parenthood met together for discussion “in a spirit of mutual respect" and that Planned Parenthood “did not intend any harm to First Place.”

“Each of them acknowledge that the other represents an organization acting in good faith in accordance with its own mission to provide support services for people facing unintended pregnancies," the release says.

It describes First Place as “a respected community organization" but does not describe Planned Parenthood in such terms.

It concludes saying, “First Place and PPO will have no further comment with respect to the allegations raised in the legal proceedings.”

Don Hutchinson, the vice president of the Centre for Faith and Public Life and legal counsel for the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, commented on the settlement in a recent editorial and says he thinks the language of the press release makes it appear First Place got the better end of the settlement.

"Mutual respect is not how one would generally characterize the history of Planned Parenthood’s dealings in regard to crisis pregnancy centers. These words alone are a giveaway that whatever was determined in the settlement discussions was strongly in favor of First Place," he says.

The wording, "is as close to ‘we were wrong’ as most legal settlements ever get," Hutchinson added.

"It is unheard of that Planned Parenthood, or any self-described pro-choice organization, would describe a pro-life crisis pregnancy center as acting in good faith in its provision of support for pregnant women," Hutchinson continued.

"The only allegations raised in this process were that Planned Parenthood had called First Place untrue names and defamed them," he concludes.

"The wording of the press release, taken as an entirety, tells me that Planned Parenthood is no longer permitted to criticize the work of First Place as being anti-choice or otherwise inappropriate so long as First Place is conducting itself in accordance with its current stated mission."

Related web sites:
First Place –

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