Planned Parenthood Upsets Mormons by Using LDS Saying on Packages of Condoms

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 28, 2016   |   12:04PM   |   Salt Lake City, UT

A Planned Parenthood affiliate in Utah is facing public backlash after it integrated a Mormon trademark phrase on its new condom packages.

KLS News in Utah reports the condom packages showed the letters “CTR” against a pink shield, a reference to a popular Mormon hymn and symbol used in youth religious education programs. On Monday, the abortion group posted a photo of the condoms on its Facebook page, but deleted it later that day after the public began to complain, according to the report.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints issued a statement saying it has a registered trademark for the imaging, and it did not give Planned Parenthood permission to use it.

Here’s more from the report:

The design is a reference to an LDS hymn about making good choices called “Choose the Right.” It is also an integral part of the church’s program to prepare children, ages 5 to 7, on the road to baptism as they develop and prepare to make a commitment to Jesus Christ. Many children are given rings emblazoned with a shield and the letters “CTR” as a reminder of the Choose the Right message.

… After deleting the first post, Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, which also fights for abortion rights and family planning, re-posted the photo Tuesday afternoon and said the intent was to “use this imagery to foster an important conversation about condom use and safe sex in the big-tent LDS community.”

The condoms were designed specifically to give away at the annual 2016 Salt Lake Summer Symposium of Sunstone magazine, the organization said.

“While we acknowledge that this tongue-in-cheek messaging does not appeal to all audiences, Planned Parenthood often uses humor as a rhetorical device to spark open, honest conversations about sex,” the organization wrote.

Since then, the abortion group also deleted its second post and the photo. Now the Planned Parenthood Utah Facebook page has this message:

PPAU has designed a special run of CTR condoms to give away at the 2016 Salt Lake Summer Symposium of Sunstone Magazine. Our intent was never to offend, but to use the idea of “choosing the right” to spark open, honest conversations about sexual health and contraception. We strive to be sensitive to our community and after listening to feedback, we have decided to remove the photo from our Facebook page.

A number of people commenting online asked Planned Parenthood not to distribute them. Others called it bad taste for the abortion business to borrow the Mormon symbol.

UPDATE: Planned Parenthood has now pulled the condoms:

Utah’s Planned Parenthood branch won’t hand out condom packages printed with a symbol associated with Mormon youth teachings after an image of the wrappers on its Facebook page generated backlash.

The wrappers stamped with a popular design symbolizing the phrase “Choose the Right” were a limited run intended to spark open conversation about sexual health, Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Katrina Barker said.

It is unknown at this time if the church plans to file a lawsuit. Lawyer Randall Bateman told KSL News that trademark issues are based on the “likelihood of confusion.”

“If some percentage of the population would see that and think, ‘Oh, these are somehow sponsored by the LDS Church or approved by the LDS Church, then that would be trademark infringement,” Bateman said.

Planned Parenthood frequently uses condoms packages as a medium to push its agenda. Last week during the Republican National Convention, the abortion giant handed out condoms printed with messages attacking presidential candidate Donald Trump.