Red Cross: “Irrelevant” That Blood Drive Location Does Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 10, 2012   |   5:03PM   |   Columbus, OH

A representative of the Red Cross is digging a deeper hole for the charitable group, which is facing an outpouring of criticism over the fact that it held a blood drive in Columbus, Ohio at a local abortion business.

The American Red Cross held the blood drive at the Complete Healthcare for Woman (CHfW) abortion facility on Cleveland Ave.

Ruth Yorston, Executive Director of Greater Columbus Right to Life, says the blood drive is another way for the abortion clinic to make itself look like a legitimate medical facility.

Brad Mattes of Life Issues Institute, also based in Ohio, called the Red Cross to complain.

“Over the years I have donated more than three gallons of blood until a cancer diagnosis disqualified future donations. As the recipient of ten various surgical procedures, I am acutely aware of the need for people to donate blood. So it’s especially disheartening to learn that such a reputable organization would partner with the abortion industry that kills the unborn and causes irrefutable harm to the mother’s health,” he said.

Mattes contacted Rodney Wilson, communications manager of Central Ohio Blood Services of the American Red Cross, who said he was not aware abortion was among the services performed at the facility called Complete Healthcare for Women. However, he said, a simple Internet search shows the group’s website openly publicizes that it offers both surgical abortions and the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug as well as late-term abortions.

After further questioning by Mattes, Wilson conceded, “We would see that as irrelevant,” citing the Red Cross’ principle of impartiality.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is guided by fundamental principles that include impartiality and neutrality. Those guidelines explicitly state that the Red Cross “may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.”

Yet, the Red Cross has taken a stance on contentious issues in the past, Mattes notes. In 2005, Chief Diversity Officer, David Wilkens, proclaimed, “It is my pleasure to announce that June will be recognized as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month.” This led to a dispute with an employee who was fired after stating that he would not participate as it was contrary to his religious beliefs. In December 2011, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) made a stand on abortion by asserting, “[International] states must take measures to ensure that legal and safe abortion services are available, accessible and of good quality.”

Furthermore, by partnering with an abortionist, the Red Cross defies one of the other fundamental principles of the IFRC: humanity. It says that the purpose of the Red Cross is “to protect life and health and to ensure respect for the human being.”



“The double standard is alarming,” said Mattes. “How can an organization who professes to protect human life, not only stand idly by, but devastatingly approve, the practice of abortion?”

He concludes with a challenge for pro-lifers to contact the Red Cross and make their voices heard, stating, “They have to know this rests at the heart of their mission. And it is not something that’s just going to go away.”

Individuals can direct their concerns to Christine Copper, Senior Director for the Central Ohio blood program at [email protected] or 614- 361-8135.