Oregon Catholic Group Stops Using United Way Over Planned Parenthood

State   Steven Ertelt   Dec 30, 2010   |   1:48PM    Eugene, Oregon

The Catholic Community Services Board in Eugene, Oregon has stopped using the United Way as a charity partner through which it can receive donations because of ties to Planned Parenthood.

The Lane County United Way gives funds to Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion business that does more than one-quarter of all of the abortions done annually in the United States. Also, some Oregon Planned Parenthood centers have begun distributing the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug that has killed dozens of women and injured more than 1,100 women in the U.S. alone since 2006, according to the FDA.

In 2010, funds obtained through the United Way accounted for $71,000, or 4 percent of the budget of the Catholic organization. The money it had received had been designated for food and shelter services for poor and homeless residents of the area.

Portland Archdiocese spokesman Bud Bunce told the Eugene Register Guard newspaper: “If there was going to be no changes made, his recommendation was they (Catholic Community Services) would need to withdraw from United Way. Planned Parenthood is now offering abortion services in Lane County. Abortions are contrary to Catholic moral teachings.”

Bunce added that it doesn’t matter that the money is not used directly for abortions, because it goes to an agency that does.

“Catholic Community Services could be seen to raise money in their promotional efforts for United Way and could be seen as raising money for Planned Parenthood in that way,” he said.

Archbishop John G. Vlazny will be speaking at the Rally for Life on Sunday January 16th at the Capitol Mall in Salem and he will likely be praised for the group’s decision.

In March, according to the newspaper, discussions began over not using United Way anymore after Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon announced it would begin offering the abortion drug to women. Vlazny urged Catholic Community Services to contact United Way to explain the objections to the organization’s ties with Planned Parenthood.

The Catholic Community Services board eventually voted earlier this month to sever the ties with the group with which it had been working for over two decades.

Chris Pryor, United Way director of community impact, informed the Register Guard that UW was told about the decision two weeks ago, but he hopes to find other agencies to take over the grant and the services it provided.

Cynthia Pappas, CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon confirmed it gives women the abortion drug at its Eugene and Ashland clinics and she said she is happy with the abortion center’s ties to United Way.

“We are very grateful for our strong relationship with the United Way,” she said. “The money we receive is tied very specifically to education programs and to expansion of our West Eugene Health Center. I want to make sure it’s very clear that we do not use United Way funding to fund abortions.”

Gayle Attebury, the director of Oregon Right to Life, told LifeNews.com she was pleased with the disaffiliation.

“I am very pleased to see this decision by Catholic Community Services. I know the decision to turn down money is always hard, but they chose God’s principles instead of being involved in any way with Planned Parenthood’s abortion work. God will bless them for this,” she said.