Gift Cards for Abortion this Season?

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Indiana pro-life groups say the state's Planned Parenthood clinics are "making a mockery of Christmas" by offering holiday gift cards for health services, including abortion.

Planned Parenthood Indiana began offering the gift certificates last month for health services, which can include birth control and abortions. The vouchers, sold in increments of $25, are now available online and in 35 clinics across the state.

"How sad it is that during a season meant to celebrate the birth of Christ, Planned Parenthood is...offering gift certificates that can be used for abortions," Indiana Right to Life president Mike Fitcher told CBN News.

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"The tragedy is that nearly 6,000 fewer Hoosier children will be enjoying a first Christmas this year because they were aborted at one of Planned Parenthood's three Indiana abortion clinics," he said.

Planned Parenthood Indiana president Betty Cockrum maintains that the gift certificates are meant for those with lower incomes or individuals who don't usually have access to health care.

"Nearly 800,000 Hoosiers don't have health insurance and can't afford basic health services," she said. "Now, there's no excuse for those people in your life not to get the basic health care that they need."

Cockrum added that the gift certificates are mainly for basic services. She says only a small percentage of their patients actually come in for abortions.

But Fitcher argues that there's no legitimate reason to support the gift certificates at all.

"If Planned Parenthood really cared about the needy, they would offer their services at no cost, like the dozens of pro-life pregnancy resource centers statewide," he said.

"Each gift certificate sold by Planned Parenthood represents a source of revenue for Planned Parenthood," he added.

Indiana's Right to Life is encouraging residents to make a Christmas donation to a pro-life center, rather than purchase a Planned Parenthood gift certificate. The group is also asking legislators to remove all state funding to Planned Parenthood clinics, citing the certificates as one reason why the group does not need taxpayer dollars.

Since Nov. 25, Cockrum says about a dozen gift certificates have been purchased.

In 2002, Planned Parenthood launched a similarly controversial campaign selling pro-abortion "Choice on Earth" Christmas cards.

Sources: CBN News, Indiana Right to Life, Planned Parenthood Indiana, Chicago Tribune

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